Friends taking a look at the blog!


Journey. Not the band.

What started out as an innocent picture began my journey.

My friend Marilyn came down to South Florida and wanted to meet me.  She is one of my wonderful friends that I have been blessed to “meet” on Twitter.  I actually thought I looked good and didn’t hesitate going down to meet her for a drink.  The shirt I am wearing was so tight that it was cutting off the circulation in my arms. The Capri pants I am wearing was the stretchy kind of “jeans”  (like in Nacho Libre.)   It was hot out that day (or it could be the 54 additional pounds I was carrying) but all in all, I thought I didn't look half bad.  Then came this picture. Marilyn showed me on her phone after it was taken and I went into serious denial. "Oh, it can’t be that bad, it must be the shadows, I’m turning a little - isn't that supposed to make me look thinner?" And then she tweeted it to the Twitter world.  Please don’t get me wrong. I am in no way angry at her as I thought it was a “lovely” picture until I got home and went on twitter and saw the “actual size.”   Oh......... my........ gosh……………

I think the first thing I did was cry. Everything I tried to justify went out the window.  I knew I had “hit bottom.”  The next day, I bought a pair of running shoes. Whatta  joke.  Me running? The only running I did was to the bathroom during commercial breaks while watching football on my couch.  But off I went, around the block. Praying to the baby Jesus that if He was going to take me, He’d better do it now. My ankles, knees, feet, arms, shoulders, ear lobes were hurting. I thought - fughetaboutit - I ain’t doing this anymore. Hurts too much. Then I looked at this picture again. So the next day - went a little bit farther. I pretty much was shuffling at that point. Not pretty. No really - not pretty.  My biggest problem was that I was making deals with myself like - if I “run” I’ll be able to eat that (whole) pizza because I exercised that day. Stuff like that. Let’s see, did that work? Um……

Then came my friend Jo who doesn't have a mean bone in her body says as sweetly as possible - “um…. you want to try Weight Watchers with me - you know, not that you need it or anything (obviously she had her big ole blinders on) and we can do this together!” She was so excited to do it - how the heck was I going to say no.  I, of course, thought she didn't have to lose anything but she wasn't comfortable in her skin and I sure as hell wasn't in mine. So I agreed.

Geez - looking back on this picture - again - I didn't think I looked so bad. (Nice 3 chins I have…..)

We walked into the building and waited on line to get weighed in. Now for all you doubters - it really is a covered area where NO ONE but you and the WW leader can see your weight.  Now, I had “weighed” myself on my wonderful scale at home. No big deal - it can’t be that bad…..  So this woman asks me (with a smile) to get on the scale. I put my right foot on and you’d think I put my foot on hot coals as I took it off just as quick.  I looked at her and asked - “can’t I just tell you what my scale said at home?” She said ……."no."  Ok - here we go. As the numbers were sky rocketing upwards - my head started to spin. I’m an honest person but even to this day - I can’t tell you that number. It made me instantly start to cry. This woman didn't hesitate to say - “don’t cry - that’s why you’re here!” Of course I said “yeah, yeah yeah.”  I sat down next to Jo and we looked shell shocked. Jo looked like she felt so bad inviting me but quickly said (and to this day - I have never appreciated those words more) “look at that number - you’ll never be that again.”  As I type this - tears are in my eyes, as truer words never spoken.

As time went on - so did the weight loss. I got what it meant to portion my meals. What was WORTH eating and how great the (non-food) rewards were, such as smaller size pants!  I did a 5k race (not that I knew I was going to really “run” it) and lived to tell about it. Then came another 5k race with Jo!!

Don’t get me wrong - this 5k race was probably only half way to my goal.  That was the other important lesson I gave myself - why wait to do things if you can try NOW!   At this point my self confidence was shinning more and more. Then came my trip New York where I had a few things on my bucket list and was so blessed to have them come to fruition like walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.

This picture was taken by JD and it so captures my utter joy of completing yet another bucket list item.

In March of this year was the Mud Run that I signed up for in August of last year thinking - I have time to get out of it……..   Not only did I do it - but I finished it. Oh my gosh - whatta feeling. (and yes - it was like “dancing on the ceiling!”) 

Only race I ever did that offered beer instead of water at the finish line!! Oh that tasted so good.

I was doing well with watching what I was eating and exercising but…..wasn’t losing anymore weight. Then at 2 o’clock in the morning - was an infomercial for Zumba.  I found a class near my house that you paid per class. So I dragged my Maria (because I wasn’t going to do this by myself) to a class on a Friday night. This is after the first class we took.

No words necessary.  What I can say - I was hooked but not Maria so much…. I began going because it was actually fun. My Latin roots came out and it was more like dancing than exercising!  I did what I could and faked the rest. Oh who cares. I was there and sweating my arse off.  Then the weight began coming off. Slowly but it was coming off.  I then decided to join a gym where there were other classes to take and low and behold, I hit my goal weight. Down 54 pounds to date.

Today I went to Weight Watcher’s and was brought up to the front of the room and couldn’t even speak. Tears rolled down my face as people who I didn’t know and people that have been supporting me for over a year were clapping and crying with joy with me.   I know I did it for myself regardless of what life threw at me. I also accepted support and love from people that genuinely wanted to see me succeed.  I know this is only the beginning to sustain this weight but, I am confident with the help of others and God - I can do it. My undying thanks to:

my “crew!” - Matt, me, Frank (WW Leader) and Jo.  Can’t wait to celebrate when they hit goal next!!  

It began with a picture and ended with a picture.  Ton o' blessings until next time.


Thank you.

Thank you. Two words that are often taken for granted. Why? Why is it so hard to say thank you for something someone did for you. I was once told that I shouldn't do things just to get a thank you, that it was expected of me to do certain things. I never forgot that and trust me, neither did the person who told me ever forget the words I said back to them.  In short, I said that you should always say thank you. That appreciation goes very far, and not to take things for granted that they will be done automatically. My lovely daughter Maria often reminds me to do things with a glee heart. Not to do things for affirmation.  I do things from my heart - all the time.  I just want to take the time to say thank you to some of the people that have believed in me and have always shown me that they've cared.  I do truly know that there are so many that today I might not write about, but that certainly doesn't mean that they aren't in my heart.

To Lorraine and Kenn - people I have never met. Thank you. You are the light in my life that starts my day. You set the day for me to be positive. Your kind words and support over the past year has been life saving. For never “meeting” me in person and to have the relationship we have is priceless to me. You have become family to me that I will always treasure. Thank you for never judging me and for always taking the time to listen (excessively at times) to my belly achin’. You will always be in my heart. I love you both.

To Jason and JD - people that opened up their heart and home to me. Thank you. Your generosity during my visit to New York will forever live in my heart. Thank you for letting me cross off many things on my “bucket list” that included the Brooklyn Bridge and taking the subway BY MYSELF! That trip will forever live in my heart as the massive conversations we had and all the picture taking made me feel extremely special. To witness such love between two people and to allow me into your lives - I will forever be grateful. You both are such talented people that I am proud to call my family. I love you both so much.

To Jo and Liz - women that long time ago went from friends to sisters to me. How do I express just how much I love you both. You never gave up on me and have always been there for me in great times and not so great times. I loved when I moved to Florida, that the very first closest friends that I made, were ex-New Yorkers. I guess we really do stick together. Your friendship has meant the world to me and I will forever be grateful that you allowed me into your hearts and into your lives. The fantastic trips and memories will forever be etched in my heart. I am so blessed to have you both.

To Alicia - my long ago friend who God has placed you back in my life. I know you and I both agree there are no such things as coincidences. Our friendship today is brought forth by God Himself as a comfort to me and I hope to you. I have relied on you these past months like I have not relied on anyone so much. Thank you for always finding the right words to say. Your friendship has been that warm fleece blanket on a cold night. I know you are sick of me thanking you for all that you've done and sorry sister - I'm not stopping. I treasure what we have and look forward to what our future brings. Thank you  again. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself... )

To Dre, Pete and Kurt - my “sons” from FAU. I love you all so much as if I gave birth to you myself. I love that my home is your home.  I love that you call me mom and mean it. Thank you. I will forever be there for you and thank you for being apart of Matty’s life and mine.

To Ingrid - my lacrosse goalie mom who I am so happy to call my friend. I love that our sons Patrick and Christopher played lacrosse together, which feels like a hundred years ago, and that we have kept our friendship going. Thank you for always thinking of me and sending me private messages on Facebook to see how I am doing. Even though we don’t see each other as much as I would like- I know you have a special place in my heart. Thank you for the prayers of support as I have felt every one.

To Adam - Thank you for allowing me into your Fantasy Football world. It is such an honor and pleasure to tweet you and Google chat with you on such important issues as if to keep Cam Newton on my bench. In all seriousness - someone to take the time to answer my questions and concerns and to be a friend to me, I will forever be grateful. I know you don’t see yourself as a huge superstar of the NFL network channel, but I do. Your humor and insight are invaluable. Thank you for always going the extra mile to make me smile and yes, I do know you always tweet me back. Thank you my friend.

To my family (as I don’t want to write all the names down in fear of forgetting someone and getting that back lash -  you know who you are.) Thank you. God has made us family through DNA (and also including your spouses) for the love I have for you all is beyond that. Thank you for always checking up on me and loving me unconditionally. I am thankful for Facebook for allowing us to “see” each other when we can’t see each other in person. I love seeing all the pictures of the good times we've had and treasure that I can see them whenever I want. Your love and prayers mean the world to me.

Last and certainly not least to Maria, Matty and Patrick. Thank you to our Lord for blessing me and giving me the honor to be your mother. You have given me the will to become the person I am today. Thank you Matty and Patrick for being the sons that I am beyond proud of. Thank you for loving me and always allowing me to be mushy with you. Thank you for always saying  “love you Mommy” in front of your friends. You will never know how much that means to me. Most young men would never do that. And to my Maria, thank you for being my best friend and soul mate. I know you've always believed I wanted that third boy (Joseph Anthony) but you're wrong. I now know why God blessed me with having a girl. I treasure our relationship as Mother/daughter but treasure our friendship even more. I love your honesty (well most of the time….) and that you’ll hold my hand where ever we go. Thank you my baby girl for loving me and believing in me. You hold a special place in my heart and please never forget that. And yes, I will wear the “Affirmation Queen” crown proudly. 

Thank you all for allowing me this time to thank the special people in my life. As I start a new chapter in my life, I will always make it a point of saying "thank you" to those who are with me every step of the way. Don’t waste another day, thank someone today. Even the AAA mechanic I hugged for coming out and replacing my battery and getting me on my way.  I want to leave you with this YouTube video. Play it whenever you need it. Trust me - I have this on my desktop just for those special occausions. Until next time, ton o’ blessings to ya.