Eating my feelings

Today's lunch. Lightly sauteed zucchini, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, spinach in evoo with hummus wrap. Super yummy!

Today’s lunch. Zucchini, red & yellow peppers, mushrooms and spinach sauteed in evoo with hummus wrap. Super yummy!

I’m sitting here thinking about the amazing mind body connection we have with food. I mean, yes, we all crave junk at times, but when we make a conscious effort to eat healthier we feel better overall. Seriously, how do you feel after you sit alone in your car and scarf that greasy cheeseburger, or that movie sized box of candy? Disgusting. Gross. Angry. Depressed. Disappointed in yourself. I know I’m not alone here. I know that there are people all over the country, probably all over the world, sitting in their car or apartment eating stuff they know damn well they shouldn’t be eating. Hell, how about on the floor in front of the refrigerator grabbing random food shoving it down their throats almost faster than they can swallow…Been there. Done that. I am not saying this to make you feel bad. I am saying this to let you know you’re not alone. I am not alone. We are not alone.

I have been thin, I have been fat, and I have been where I am right now before. Somewhere in the middle, fed up with feeling like crap and wanting to make positive changes. Are you with me? I hope so.

I joke with my best friend all the time about eating my feelings. It’s kind of like a running joke between us. But the funny thing is, it’s really not that funny. I do eat my feelings. I’m pretty sure so many of us do, but are too ashamed to admit it. So I make fun of myself. I use humor to deflect from my emotional state when the truth is too hard to face. Everything is better when you can just laugh about it right? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe looking inside of ourselves is harder than we anticipated, so we deflect. Look over here. This is funny. Don’t notice my reckless abandon staring you in the face.

Most of my life I have spent it worrying about when I’m going to die. Yes. Morbid I know. But it’s who I am. Or at least who I’ve been. Women in my family have a long history of dying before they are fifty. Or at least in the close to age vicinity. I have spent my ENTIRE life waiting to die at an early age. I let it control my actions, my feelings, and my mindset. I’m here to say that I am ready to live.

It has been a long year for me. My grandmother’s death and then the almost immediate deaths of two close family members pushed me over the edge and under an emotional tidal wave of depression and anxiety. I shut down. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. I stopped living. Stopped caring about what I did, what I ate, and how I lived. Hey, what was the point? At forty one I was close to the casket. Right? And some days I am still there. Holding my breath. Trying not to drown under the weight of my past and vague promise of my future. Struggling to break the surface. But some days, like today, I close my eyes and let the sun warm my face as I dream of an alternate reality from the one where I die in less than nine years. I dream of a place where I have a hand in controlling my destiny.

Every day I am trying to make healthier food choices. I don’t always succeed. But when I do, the feeling of accomplishment…boy oh boy…it tastes like satisfaction. Mmmmmm. Maybe I am still drooling over that cookie ice cream in the freezer, apparently dreaming loudly of bacon according to my husband…but I would rather eat my unprocessed, natural foods and feel the flood of endorphins sluicing through my veins and giving me that high that you can only get from natural foods and healthy living. Call me crazy. Haha, you wouldn’t be the first. But I know what I know, and what I know is that I feel better when I eat better. When I get my butt up off the couch and do something, anything. Live.

I can choose to let my thoughts control me or I can choose to control my thoughts. I can toss those self destructive depressive thoughts out the window and replace them with positive thoughts. I can choose to eat that greasy cheeseburger and large fries and wash it down with a giant coke or I can prepare a healthy meal for my family to better our lives. One meal at a time.

Let’s do this. Let’s change our lives one day at time. We didn’t get unhealthy in one day and we won’t get healthy in one day. I know I didn’t get like this overnight. But I tell you this, from a girl who is barely over five feet tall and has been over two hundred pounds (yes, picture it, not a very pretty picture)…I have done it before and will do it again. I will get my healthy back. I can feel it already. With every little change I make I take a step towards a better tomorrow.

I am in tears sitting here writing this. I am ready for change and praying for wisdom. They say with age comes clarity. I believe that I am starting to see through the fog. I just needed to change my perspective. Shift. There, that’s a bit brighter.

I am thinking of the meal I will make for my loves tonight. Something tasty but healthy. Baby steps. Every day. Baby steps. I can do it and so can you. We are not alone.

Peace and love,

Angie

 

Book Review: Flypaper by C.K. Vile

Flypaper by C.K.Vile

fly

Flypaper by author C.K. Vile is listed as a dark psychological thriller. I would personally suggest that the author also categorize this as a horror suspense. And I say that with utmost respect. I grew up reading and loving the masterful works of the greats like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Yes, I know, those are some big shoes to fill, but author C.K. Vile stepped right up and laced those bad boys up! His masterful ability to grab you and pull you into his twisted world of psychosis and mayhem is what horror junkies like me live for.

I almost didn’t click the link when I saw it on the list of new thrillers available for free. To be honest, I thought “Flypaper? Ewww. What could this possibly even be about?” and then I read the book description and was intrigued. To think that I almost lost out on this gem of a book and the beautifully twisted mind of C. K. Vile is actually appalling. Let me just say now that if you are a fan of horror/psychological thrillers and are on the fence about picking up this book…don’t be! You need this book in your library.

C.K. Vile tells the tale of famed horror writer Nick Dawkins who’s childhood was his very own horror story. Obsessively pursued and harassed by his devoted legion of delightfully demented fans Nick chooses to leave the technologically overloaded mainstream society and move to a small town in the middle of nowhere. But in this age of social media and tech savvy is it really possible for anyone to truly escape from society? Especially one with compulsively psychotic stalkers…I mean fans? Vile’s ability to weave humor and suspense into scenes of havoc is a rare gift to the reader.

The main character Nick Dawkins is the guy who has everything and nothing. Plagued by his own demons and the word around him this story brings you along for the emotional roller coaster of a ride that is Dawkin’s unbalanced existence.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is Vile’s ability to grab you by the hand from page one and pull you down the virtual rabbit hole of character Nick Dawkin’s tumultuous life. I fell in love with his writing style and became an instant fan. I have no doubt that C. K Vile will become a household name in the mouth’s of horror lovers worldwide. I can already see the movies in my head! A good book will do that to you.

Flypaper, the first installment in the series, is a quick but entertaining read. Not for children or the faint of heart. If you are looking to add another author to your list of beloved horror/psychological thriller writers, I would highly recommend purchasing this book.

Book Review: And Then, I Died by May Sage

 

And Then, I Died by May Sage

and then I died

And Then I Died is a well paced novel that includes all of the things people want when reading a book. Fully fleshed out characters, a thoughtful storyline, action, suspense, humor, and love… with a delightful smattering of sexual tension and steamy love scenes thrown into the mix that leave you wanting more.

May Sage did a wonderful job of weaving a lovely tale filled with drama, intrigue, and suspense. The main characters are relatable and funny, smart and sarcastic. You want to dislike them but you end up loving them both. The side characters, while not the main focus, were still wonderfully developed. You can get a sense of who they are and what parts they play in Elizabeth and Liam’s lives.

I look forward to the second book in this series with anticipation. I will definitely be following this author.

Book Review: The Summer Remains by Seth King

The Summer Remains  by Seth King

sum

Book hangover. It’s a real thing. Believe me. It’s when the book you’ve just read is so amazing, so heartbreaking, and so beautiful that you are emotionally devastated…It’s when the book you’ve just finished has rendered you emotionally devastated and utterly broken. The Summer Remains by Seth King is that book. As an avid reader I can devour a few books in a week without blinking. Heck, I can devour a few books a day some days. With that said, let me tell you why I feel the way I do about this book.

At first, I honestly wasn’t sure this book was my cup of tea, but I could feel the bones of a good storyteller in there so I continued to read…and I am eternally grateful that I did. This book tells the beautiful story of 24 year old Summer Johnson who was born with a grave medical condition. Scarred emotionally and physically, Summer has lived her life as fully as can be expected but she feels that she has missed out on a lot of what life has to offer due to her limiting medical condition. The story goes on to explain that she was nearing the end of her journey on this earth.

When approached about her last wish, she said the thing she wanted most was “to fall in love”. You can feel the tension as everyone around her is thinking the same thing. That she was dying and her time here was almost over. But then she met Cooper Nichols. Beautiful, suntanned, surfer Cooper Nichols. He was everything Summer wasn’t. But behind the beauty he hid the turmoil in both his life and his soul. As the unlikely pair form a friendship and then more, you fall in love with them both. They are complicated and troubled. Hilarious and sincere.

I literally laughed out loud and cried into my pillow…multiple times. This book ruined me in the best way possible. After reading The Summer Remains I was emotionally devastated. There are no other words to describe it. When I reached the end of the book I grabbed my pillow and cried my eyes out…not a little bit. A lot. Gut wrenching sobs, snot running down my face into my pillow sobs. It was the middle of the night and I had to try to stifle my sobs so as not to wake my family.

If you are looking for a book that’s going to draw you in, make you fall in love with the characters, and allow you the gift of smiling through your tears, you’ll want to check this book out. I know I will read this again and again. But not yet. As soon as I finished the book I wanted to get my hands on everything this beautiful soul has ever written. But after I’d purchased my next favorite book, I took a moment to reflect and realized that I wasn’t ready to let go of Summer and Cooper’s story yet. It had made a place in my heart and I was not ready to replace them quite yet. Yes, it was that beautiful.

With that said, Seth King has absolutely moved to the top of my favorite author list. He spills his soul out onto the page for us to read, and for that, we should all thank him. I know I do. I will forever be changed by the beauty of his words. The stories in his head. And the gift that his gift of writing has given us and will hopefully continue to give us for years to come.

Losing myself in love

I know what you’re thinking…another blog post about being in love. Well folks, sorry but that’s not what this is…exactly. I mean, yay for love and all that jazz, but I’m talking about passion. All consuming, gut wrenching, can’t stop thinking about it passion. Again, not what you’re thinking about, but I’ll explain in more detail.

Did you ever have a desire to do one thing so much that it muted every other distraction in your life? Phones ringing, social media dinging, kids fighting, spouses squawking, bills assaulting you through snail mail, annoying neighbors…just about everything else aside from your one true love? Or loves??

I honestly don’t know how many other people there are like this. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love my family more than anything else in the world. I love my friends. I love the feeling of endorphins rushing in when I exercise…yes exercise, we may not be as close as we once were but we will be again one day, I promise. And I love the beach…I really love the beach, we have a thing…

But my passion lies in the arts. Writing, painting, drawing, photographing, crafting, cooking. (Yes, I consider cooking a delectable art form!) And not just in the spectator form, although I could do that non-stop as well. But in the active participation…I get lost in it. Completely and utterly lost. And I love that feeling. Love. Love. Love. Getting lost in my craft allows me escape. To transcend this existence and become lost in another. It is a feeling that is close to immeasurable. It is euphoric and draining, and everything that makes me feel alive.

I don’t write, paint, draw, craft, or even cook every day. Shhhh…don’t speak on the cooking thing with my husband…lol. He would love it if I were chained to the stove with an apron and a spatula, whipping up the next delectable foodgasm to go into his tummy, but I digress…lol. Even though I don’t do the things I love everyday, the things that fill me to overflowing with passion, it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about doing them everyday. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have years worth of half finished stories squirreled away, journals collecting dust filled with years of angsty poetry, stacks of drawings and paintings piled in the back of a closet, bags of craft odds and ends strewn to the far corners of the house, and scrumptious cookbooks creating themselves in the chaos that is my mind.

What I do have is more like a fire. A fire that burns in me so intensely that the rest of the world falls aways for a few blessed hours. Often I have a tendency to get lost in my art when I finally allow myself to commit to whatever craft has summoned my muse.

Without a doubt, of all my loves, writing and painting are the top contenders for my affection. I find myself painting or furiously typing away for hours on end…neglecting practically everything else that needs attending to. It is my happy place. Mentally anyway. Physically my happy place is on the beach. Any beach. Winter, spring, summer, fall. The season doesn’t matter. Just the ocean air and the waves crashing on the shore. My refuge from the harsh realities that are this world.

When I finally commit to my love, I am lost to the world for a few blissful hours. Some, like our doctor friends, might call it mania. But I call it love. These are some of my favorite moments in life.

When a story pulls me in and won’t let me go. When a painting requires me to spend hours on a detail that no one else will ever see. When the food hits my tongue and my pleasure receptors express themselves as a moan that is audible for anyone to hear. This is what I love. This is who I am. This is passion. This is my passion.

What we do when we are lost to the world is our passion. Our loves. What do you love and how often do you allow yourself to do it? My oldest son has a habit of being very profound and insightful. He will see me struggling mentally with some issue that won’t matter when I am dead and gone and will ask me seemingly randomly “Mom, when was the last time you did something that made you happy?” or “Mom, why don’t you go do something you love instead sitting there being upset?” and it’s in these moments that I see his profound greatness. His ability to break down the arguments in my head to go do something I love. For me. For them. For anyone who crosses my path.

So again, I ask you. What do you love and how often do you allow yourself to do it? Life is too short to be angry, upset, or anxious all the time. Listen to your muse and let it come out to play. You, and everyone who loves you, might just be thankful for the gift you are giving to not only yourself, but to them as well.

We are more in tune with ourselves when we allow ourselves to love. Be it people. Or passions. Just take some time to lose yourself in love.

Peace and love,

Angie