Monday, November 18, 2013

30 things I love about my sister

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My sister, Courtney, turned 30 today. She wasn't very excited about it, but I think she often forgets how special and awesome she is. Here are 30 things to remind her of how important and great she is: 

  1. When I adopted Sunday, she helped me train, take care of and love on her without ever questioning my decision or asking for a thank you. 
  2. She spent her 30th birthday riding horses and wrangling cattle out in the Texas hill country. 
  3. She's not afraid to cry or laugh about the things that move her. 
  4. She's braver than she thinks. 
  5. People often think I'm older, but that's because my sister is much more whimsical and open than I am. I envy that. 
  6. She doesn't always tell me to shut up when I say outrageous things. 
  7. She tells me to shut up when I say outrageous things. 
  8. When someone asks who the "nice" Blackmon sister is, we don't even have to think twice about it. 
  9. She likes to pin inspirational quotes on her Facebook, and even when they make me physically cringe from the cheesiness, I like reading them. 
  10. She's selfless - ask her 4 cats, 7 foster dogs, a squirrel named, Momo, and her horse about it. 
  11. She'll admit she's having a hard time and is learning to ask for help. 
  12. She is the easiest person to shop for because she loves and hates things so passionately. 
  13. Unicorns. 
  14. We lived together for 2 years and would do it again in a second. 
  15. Not even our dad can tell our voices apart. 
  16. She will like this list more than the average person would. 
  17. How excited she is when people tell her she looks like Connie Britton.
  18. She likes all of my Instagram photos and nearly every post on Facebook. 
  19. She is the sister we all go to to talk about our problems. She listens. 
  20. She hiked the Inca trail with me. 
  21. Her vice is eating tubs of icing. 
  22. She bought a house for her 4 cats, and while it was a scary decision for her, she did it. 
  23. At 30, she owns her own home.
  24. We changed our lives eating Paleo
  25. On her birthday for the last two years, we've attempted to find the best vegan and gluten-free birthday cake. So far, we've failed twice. We've laughed about it both times. 
  26. She's about to follow her dreams. That's inspiring. 
  27. The fact that her dreams and aspirations are so different than mine make me so happy and glad to be her sister. 
  28. She admitted (finally) that she is the crazy cat lady. We wouldn't have her any other way. 
  29. When others think absolutely not, Courtney says ok without questioning. 
  30. We talk every day. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My stake in the ground

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October has been a harder month than planned. This weightloss journey is about changing my life, adding in structure, and planning for things that I used to let go before. I had two events planned for October: a wedding (week in Austin) and a 5 days in New York. Both were exciting because I was going to spend time with my sisters. I knew that my workout schedule/diet were going to be disrupted. It seemed terrifying, but it was planned and that is what matters. For the most part it wasn't too crazy. Past-Brittany would have been eating tacos, migas and cupcakes in a feral I've-been-on-a-desert-island-for-three-years manner, which is something current-Brittany can't even relate to anymore. In New York and Austin, I "cheated" and ate some dairy, had a cupcake, and drank beers without falling back into past-Brittany ways. It was fine.
Alice in Wonderland
And then something unexpected happened.

I received a call on October 14th that my grandmother wasn't doing well. I'll have to admit that I've never cried so hard as I sat down and thought about her not being there anymore. My grandmother was a constant in my life growing up in Ohio. She taught me to love animals, how to find value in everything and everyone, and from her, I inherited my sweet tooth. I spent my childhood working at her barn (golf range), attending craft fairs, and countless other adventures. Staying at Nana's had always been a treat. With my sisters, I booked a ticket to Ohio for the next day and immediately ate a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Even the best self-resolve can break in a moment of stress.

Since I'm at this point in my life where I'm actively working towards making a shift, my grandmother's death hit me even harder. I kept thinking about my grandmother and wondering what she would have changed in her life. This weightloss journey was my stake in the ground where I decided that if died the next day, this wouldn't be the body and mindset I wanted to end in. I know that's morbid, but if we don't live every day like our last then what's the point?
the tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.
I often worry about failing. I worry about the fact that I've been writing this blog and want to produce results. I worry that I'm not disciplined to stick to the changes that have been helping me succeed. I worry about how I would feel if I let myself down in this way. Because this is a longterm goal with short-term wins in between, sometimes the day-to-day can feel a little daunting. I have this desire to be "finished" but I know that my physical health is something I'll never be finished perfecting. What helps get me through this? Knowing that my stake in the ground wasn't just about changing my body - it was about not taking my current state as final. It was about not giving up and actively changing my life. Today, I see myself in a whole different light and it's that self-awareness that drives me each and every day to live my life to the best of my ability. I believe I'm turning into someone my grandmother would be proud of.