TheRealSharon's Blog

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? I literally just finished “Escape” this morning….I had about 100 pages left and I just could NOT put it down until I got to the end. Even though I KNEW she had escaped, I wanted to hurry up and get to that part so I could hear the happy news of it and how her life was so much better now.

What did you recently finish reading? “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop with Lauren Palmer….WOW…I could probably go on for days about this book. The stuff this woman had to go through makes me feel so grateful for the life I have. It’s just horrific how this woman was treated by her husband, her sister wives, step children and even some of her own children, and the people who helped run the Fundamentalist sect she was in. I had already read so much last year in the book, “Stolen Innocence” by Elissa Wall(another amazing book!) and this book just exposed even more about how bad it was under the rule of FLDS with Rulon Jeffs going into Warren Jeffs taking over. So thankful they finally arrested that guy and put him away…..if you read either one of these books, you will understand what I mean. Just an incredible revealing look into what life was like for women in these communities.

What do you think you’ll read next? I think I’m gonna read “Little Earthquakes” by Jennifer Weiner…time for a chick lit fix! 🙂

I’m currently only 4 books away from completing my challenge of reading 50 books in 2011! Even though I have slowed down my reading some, I KNOW I will have no problem with meeting that goal and since I can change the goal, I’m thinking of increasing the number a bit. Do you think I should make it 75? or should I only increase it to about 60? OR do you think I shouldn’t change it at all and just continue reading regardless and be happy I passed my challenge goal?

{August 30, 2011}   Weekly Photo Challenge:UP

Up….this could be the sky or the ceiling, a way of feeling, if you’re upside down, UP could be the floor, Up could be a destination or your present location. You might be heading up of your own accord or against your wishes. UP as a photo theme has unlimited options….just as UP could have unlimited meanings.

For some reason, after I got the Disney movie “Up” out of my thoughts, I immediately switched to the saying of “Word Up”. I remember hearing this saying various times as a child AND as a teen. Urban Dictionary has a lot of snazzy definitions for it…..Such as, “Yeah, that’s right”, acknowledgment of approval and “I comprehend what you are saying and verify that your statement is true, my good brother.” <—That last one seems too sophisticated to have come from anyone I remember overusing the saying, “Word Up”, but hey…whatever you say, Urban Dictionary.

In order of this theme and the saying “Word Up”, I am putting a picture of me as a child that I believe fully epitomizes the meaning of cool and feeling “Up”.

“Word Up, dude!” 😉

Was I a cool kid or what?

{August 29, 2011}   A Plus Sized Rant

I remember always being a little chubby as I was growing up. My two older sisters were a normal weight and so was my brother. My dad was always a healthy weight but my mom was a little chunkier after she started having kids, but never obese. My mom cooked meals for me just as she did when my siblings were young. She cooked healthy, well balanced meals that I was required to finish before I left the table or had desert. I never liked sweets that much anyway, so I never had a so called “sweet tooth”. I played dolls and danced around to music all the time and I played outside quite a bit. My brother had an Atari and later a Nintendo but I don’t remember ever playing any of that until my teen years probably and even then, not a whole lot. I was a normal kid in the 80’s, just a little bit chubby, not really fat and definitely not obese.

I remember getting sick with a virus or something right before 5th grade when I was 9 and dropping about 25 pounds in no time. I still wasn’t skinny but I definitely wasn’t fat then. Later that year, I ended up meeting an older girl who was what you would consider fat or overweight, but that sort of thing didn’t matter to me. I was friendly and would be friends with whoever was a nice person. I remember the girl coming up to me and asking if she could borrow some money to get some lunch one day. She told me she had forgotten hers, so I let her borrow some. I didn’t care. Later, I was told by the girl’s mom(a lady who worked at the school in another class) to not give the girl money anymore. The lady explained to me that the girl had some kind of problem with her brain where she would eat and forget that she had done so. She always felt hungry because of this problem. I had never heard of such a thing and even to this day, it seems strange, but I agreed to do what her mom said and next time the girl asked, I would tell her I didn’t have any money or some excuse.

Looking back, that was the first moment in my life I had ever been exposed to someone who was overweight and it wasn’t completely their fault. When I looked at her, I felt pity in my heart because people were so cruel to her and called her names. I never called her names and was always nice to the girl and tried to stick up for her because I felt her situation was unfair.

Now, it seems like it was almost a foretelling of my own situation later in life.

When I was almost 12, we moved to another city to be closer to my grandma. We had had a fire during the move and I was leaving my best friend and the big city for a small city and junior high. At the time I was 4’11” and probably about 120 pounds. I was chubby, but if you look at pictures from that time, I didn’t look fat. I was healthy and I ate right, but my weight just stuck to me. My mom never told me I should diet or anything and why should she have? She cooked good foods and I wasn’t an overeater. Throughout the next few years, I would end up putting on more weight, though. My mom probably thought some of the reason was puberty….I mean, I WAS a teenager.

It sucked for me, though. One of my best friends was really tall and weighed about 85 pounds. I remember being shocked at how much my friend could eat. She could put away 10 times the amount of food I could eat and she wouldn’t gain a pound. I would eat an average amount of food and gain! It just seemed so unfair. I remember going out for pizza one time, I ate about 3 pieces, which was more than I usually would eat and then I was full. She ate 14 pieces before she was done and you guessed it, not one pound did she gain. I could see that I was having to get plus size clothes and I wanted so badly to be skinnier, but I just couldn’t understand how I could keep gaining when I wasn’t eating any more than I usually did.

Then high school hit….at my biggest I was probably about 180 and close to my highest height I would reach, which was 5’5″. I WAS overweight and back then I felt really fat. Now I would say I wasn’t as fat as I thought I was. I just couldn’t get the weight off. I tried starving some a few times and that even made me gain. I now KNOW that starving makes your body hold on to whatever fat you DO have, so that’s definitely not the answer. Back then, it just frustrated me even more. Overall, I was a healthy girl. At my physicals, I had perfect blood pressure, good blood sugar, no signs of diabetes or anything, I was in good health, just a little overweight.

But others didn’t feel that way…..I remember the comments. “You look like a Huge Whale.” “Why don’t you get off the couch and exercise?” “How much food DO you eat? Do you eat a whole steak every night?” “You are such a FAT cow, if you died, no one would care.”  You think I exaggerate, but those were comments coming from 15-17 yr. olds in the late 90’s……I don’t exaggerate.

Those words hurt because after hearing them for so long, you start to believe them. You start to believe that no one DOES care and that you’re just lazy and worth nothing. The truth was that I wasn’t lazy, I didn’t eat unhealthy and I didn’t deserve those words. BUT because of those words, I would skip lunch on more than one occasion so the other kids wouldn’t see me eating anything. I would only eat in the privacy of my home as much as possible and worry that every time I ate in public, people were seeing a pig eating.

It wasn’t until after high school and  I gained even more weight that I was first diagnosed as having a thyroid problem. Hypothyroidism. It means I have a super slow metabolism so everything I eat ends up making me gain weight. And it doesn’t matter what KIND of food. Both of my sisters, my mom AND my grandma have thyroid problems too, but one of my sisters has Hyperthyroidism where your metabolism is too fast. Without taking medicine, she would probably weigh around 90 pounds all the time.

My thyroid problem is NOT completely under control yet for several reasons, but it helps to know what was behind my uncontrolled weight gain that started when I was a pre-teen.

When I hear other people bashing parents that have obese children and talk about taking the children away, I have mixed reactions. I believe there ARE some kids out there that the parents probably are feeding their kids unhealthy and they just don’t care. But then I also believe there are kids just like I was. Would my parents deserved to have ME taken away back then? NO!

There ARE some health reasons that cause kids to gain weight no matter how they are fed and whether they exercise a lot or not….and I believe THIS should be taken into account. Not every parent with an overweight child is a bad parent. There are other factors that should be looked into.

And for that matter, not every overweight or obese person is lazy OR eats unhealthy all the time and I am extremely tired of hearing the biased comments from those who have never experienced being FAT or overweight one day of their life! I am sick of the “Get off the couch and do something” statements made by people who do NOT have a video camera in everyone’s house to see that they are in fact only sitting on the couch! For that matter, I know super skinny people who are more lazy than some overweight people and run out of breath faster……Stop stereotyping!

{August 28, 2011}   Embrace YOUR Truth

This post is coming after tonight’s Movie Awards and responding to a friend of my husband’s who mentioned something about the infamous Lady Gaga possibly actually being a guy instead of merely playing one tonight on the awards.

Ah, Lady Gaga, some love her, some hate her, some are so confused they don’t know what to feel about her.  She is definitely “out there” and unlike anyone else, I will give her that. As for the rumors of her being a guy, IF she was one, she is the Houdini of hiding that fact….She has had on some pretty skimpy outfits without any shocking moments, that I know of, anyways.

The whole argument has always centered around supposed photos passed around and who can really compete with that? There are little kids who are skilled enough nowadays to get on PhotoShop and give people different heads and bodies and do all sorts of things I don’t even know how to do. I’m sure I could buy a PhotoShop for dummies or Google PhotoShop and editing photos and learn, though. The point is, nowadays we are living in a world where people can take any person and realistically make it look like they are someone else or have a secret past. You read constantly about stories in tabloids that celebrities will turn around and state are “absurd nonsense” and who do YOU believe?

To me, it doesn’t matter. If a celebrity has a hidden secret and they are really someone else, I honestly could care less. I’ve learned to not assume that all photos and stories about people out there are all true…it’s easy to make up lies. I also think for a celebrity to make it without coming completely unhinged, they have to come to that realization themselves. We live in a world where it’s easier to prove LIES than it is to prove your truth. So what else can you do but refuse to respond to the lies?

I’m just a 27 yr. old housewife with no worries of tabloid gossip, but even in MY world, I can see where gossip and rumors can ruin lives and hurt. Even normal people aren’t able to completely escape what celebrities deal with. Sure, we have it on a much lower level, but there are still others who are going to judge you, based on your looks, your attitude, your face, your clothes, your lifestyle, your words, your character, etc. and decide then what they think of you and what they may choose to tell others. Just like in a celebrity world, we can choose to let what everyone is saying and thinking get us down and spend all our time trying to prove them ALL wrong OR we can do the opposite. We can embrace OUR Truth. We can decide that THEY don’t know everything. THEY don’t live MY life, they haven’t lived MY life. THEY don’t know everything that has made me the way I am today and all I have gone through in MY life. THEY only know what they choose to see and choose to believe.

So…by having this conversation, I realized that I can choose to do what the celebrities do when they are surrounded by lies and tired of spending all their time trying to prove everyone wrong. STOP trying and just be yourself. No matter how much you try to prove everyone wrong, you can’t. It’s just impossible. It’s a losing battle you can never win, so why waste precious minutes in a losing battle?

To all those in my life who seem to have misconceptions about me, go ahead and have them. It is not important that there are some who believe the lies when I, myself, will always know the truth. As long as I know who I am and I believe in myself and am happy in that knowledge, than what others think about that doesn’t matter anymore. They can believe the lies while I embrace my truth.

{August 27, 2011}   Repost of a Post from the Past

*This is a repost of a post I did March 17th,2010 that didn’t get as many views. If you didn’t read it, enjoy reading it NOW and if you did, you might like to reread….*

Feeling Beautiful Can Be a High Price to Pay

We all as women have been there and we all can relate. Our media is overflowing with images of beautiful women with what seems to be perfect bodies, perfect faces, perfect smiles, perfect everything and we all wish, if even in secret, to be just as beautiful as them. But what happens when the price of gaining beauty ends up leaving you feeling uglier than you felt before? When is trying to achieve beauty too high a price and no longer worth it?

I watched a new show on VH1 last night called “The Price of Beauty”. It’s hosted by Jessica Simpson…not sure what you may personally feel about Jessica Simpson. I think most people would agree she is aesthetically beautiful(meaning on the outside, she has a typical American beauty look)., so above all, to see that someone like her has insecurities about her own beauty is shocking to me and probably most people. BUT under the facade of most beautiful women out there are insecurities and that’s just a fact.

I tuned in to watch it because the premise of the show appealed to me. She travels to different countries to see what makes people from different cultures feel beautiful and I find that an interesting concept. So I tuned in….In the first show, she goes to Thailand and she meets with a correspondent which happens to be the host of Thailand’s Next Top Model. Geez, that show is everywhere! Anyways, the real grabber in the episode, and that could be pun intended, because it really grabbed a hold of my heart, was when they were in this central market place looking at some make-up. In Thailand, they have a lot of whitening and bleaching agents used in their make-ups to make their skin look as light as possible. To them, being tan is low class because it means you work out in the sun, so to feel beautiful, they try to achieve as light of skin as possible. Well, the FDA we have here doesn’t regulate their products and keep them safe so there can be horrible consequences that result from this make-up. They all head to meet and talk with this one woman who knows all too well about this. On her arms and her face, you can see the white blotches that reminded me of something similar to losing skin pigment, where this make-up literally caused her skin to start peeling off layers. This young lady used to be a singer in a bar, now she is too embarrassed to get in front of people. She was also married but when her skin started peeling off, her husband left her.

This story just touched my heart and caused tears to come to my eyes. How horrible that this woman, in her search for ultimate beauty, now has lost so much and feels less beautiful than she was to begin with. And it also makes me feel so guilty when I start to doubt my own beauty. And it makes me angry that women are made to put so much emphasis on outer beauty in this world. I wish I had a magic wand so priorities could be focused inside on the things that really matter, like a person’s inner beauty, their character. Because I sometimes feel so much is put on the outer beauty nowadays, that the inner beauty is being put on the back burner. Children are being raised to believe that to make it in this world, all you really need is good looks and that saddens me because you can be the most beautiful woman on the outside, but if your inside doesn’t match what’s on the outside, than to me, you are NOT beautiful.

I hope with all that is in me to teach my future children that true beauty lies on the inside and when you are beautiful on the inside and feel beautiful on the inside, then that beauty will radiate outside and give you a glow that no beauty regimen or program can ever equal and when your life comes to its end, you will be known not only for that light you shown outwards to others but also for being an incredibly beautiful person on the inside that inspired others through your actions and your character.

These past couple weeks have been rough for me…..2 weeks of an unexplainable allergic reaction and constant itch followed by a “mother nature” visit and now I seem to have acquired a cold or sinus infection, yuck! Runny nose, sinus congestion, fever blisters,sneezing….I’m really hoping next month looks a little better for me!

But in GOOD news, my husband decided to keep his job and not let his bi-polar win, yay! AND a couple nights ago, our area and other areas in Texas got some much needed rain, so there’s a couple reasons to SMILE through the yuckiness. 🙂

As always, you are welcome to answer these questions in your own blog or the comments and I wish everyone a great rest of August!

This 5 Question Friday was brought to you by:

On to the questions!

1. Did you make any fun purchases this week? I didn’t, personally….BUT my hubby brought home a Chocolate Milk Shake from the new Carl’s Jr. in town the other night for me 🙂

2. If you could go to any musical concert, what would it be? I have only been to ONE , other than a few Christian concerts, so there are a lot I would LOVE to go to….my favorite band ever is Linkin Park, though, so if I had to choose only ONE, it would have to be them…

3. What is your least fav/ most fav house chore? I hate household chores, I really do…..I would so hire a maid if I was rich, but I’m not…:(
Least fav. would be the dishes or cleaning the bathroom, maybe……I don’t know that I have any I LOVE, but folding clothes is OK, not exactly fun, but it’s pretty simple, so I don’t mind it.

4. Would you prefer new appliances or clothes? If I could find affordable, cute clothes in MY size, definitely I would say clothes….I don’t have that many clothes that are even close to being new. Most of my clothes are clothes I have had for years….and I’m not a big appliance person….so clothes for sure!

5. Miracle Whip or Mayo? Neither, I don’t like mayonnaise of any kind OR mustard OR ketchup….I get my sandwiches, burgers, etc. plain…As for the hubby, I think he likes both….
*Sorry to my fellow blog writers who I am behind on commenting…..Due to illness, I haven’t even really felt like blogging, but I don’t want to let myself down with this daily challenge. I promise as soon as I am able to, I will catch up with reading all missed posts and comments!*

{August 25, 2011}   Weekly Photo Challenge:FLOWERS

Apparently, I don’t take pictures of flowers very often…shame on me, right?!

I do have loads of pics of me wearing floral clothes, though….so I guess that will have to do for now!

Cartoon mode....

Bouquet given to me by my stepmom-in-law one yr. for birthday

Exotic birds who are as pretty as a flower 😉

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

This Wednesday is a little different once again and posted a little late just because of several things going on right now…..

I am still reading ‘Dragon Spell” by Donita K. Paul, but I am close to being finished so I will consider it my just finished read for the week.

I plan to start reading “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer soon…..It’s the true life story written by a woman with eight children stuck in a fundamentalist Mormon family. She was coerced into marrying a much older man at the age of 18 and many years later, managed to escape with her 8 children. I read another book about a year ago called Stolen Innocence that told the story of another girl in the same predicament of getting married off early but she escaped before children were brought into it. I was very interested in her story so I wanted to read this other book, too. When I was in Austin, I found it at Half Price Books and purchased it, so I am very excited about getting to read it.

I’m hoping things will straighten out for me soon so I can get back to my regular WWW Wednesdays shortly. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

That’s what I am titling THIS day..for those of you who don’t want to hear negative thoughts and live in a world where it’s ALWAYS butterflies and rainbows and you never feel sad, mad, angry or depressed even one minute of your life…..You may want to look away today. In fact, you may want to look away forever, because 100%  positivity and happiness is NOT realistic. IF this world WAS all full of good, let’s be honest…How would you know to be grateful for those good moments? The BAD times in life make you so much more thankful for when things are looking up. If I had never had the downs, I would never know how to enjoy the ups as much as I do, right?

So today is a Debbie Downer Day for me. It didn’t start out that way, but it ended up so. My redness from my allergic reaction has gone down, of which I am vastly grateful, don’t get me wrong. My itching has gotten a little better…BUT Mother Nature dropped other bombs on me today….

Nevertheless, I WAS happy about my husband getting his TV receiver changed for free to an HD DVR. He was so excited about it and had been waiting for 2 weeks…….the technicians got here late, but they DID get here. Then another bomb dropped….Due to a city ordinance we were unaware of, we couldn’t switch our dish to an HD receiver because it was a lot bigger and would have to be in the middle of the roof instead of the eaves where our standard one was. UGH! So…disappointed husband who I feel bad for cause he was looking forward to this….the techs. didn’t even bother to work something out.

So I then had to get on the phone to DirecTV and ask them about changing the order to a regular DVR instead since HD is out of the question as long as we live in an apartment. I hate talking on the phone, BUT I did it for my husband. Got things straightened out, but STILL not happy with the technicians since I found out they COULD have modified their work order and obviously didn’t want to deal with it. Now we have the regular DVR receiver getting installed 16 days from now when we had already waited 2 weeks…..and it’s not even ME that it bothers so much. It was how excited my husband was and then how sad he was when things didn’t work out. I feel like I let him down and failed even though he says I didn’t……

And I fear this disappointment is making my bipolar husband go into his depressive phase. He is now talking about quitting his newest job and just doing this other telemarketing job, which is still OK money but it’s just commission, whereas the new job was hourly PLUS commission. I told him to sleep on it, but not sure if it will even make a difference. One of the things about him being bipolar is giving up on jobs too easily, which is something I have always known and accepted, although it’s not the best thing.

~Sighs~ I am ranting here because I just need somewhere to do so. This may possibly be more reality than some would ever want to read but it’s what I needed today. If you’re still around reading my blog tomorrow, thanks for sticking by me even when I’m a Debbie Downer…I intend to make tomorrow a Ursula Upper Day(just made that up).

{August 22, 2011}   “She has Fleas”

Last Sunday morning as I was getting ready to come back from my weekend trip with family, my hands started itching like crazy. The next day followed and I noticed a couple of little marks, akin to mosquito or ant bites, so I figured I got bit by one or the other. No problem since who hasn’t, right? Tuesday, I went to the zoo with my friend and her little boy and still nothing abnormal. I showed my mom the bumps that afternoon and told her they were itching a bit and she thought it was maybe heat rash. There were a few more, but it wasn’t looking like that big of a deal. As the day went on, I kept noticing more and more little mosquito looking bites and they were getting redder. By the next day, I asked some friends about it and came to the conclusion that it might be hives. I had all the symptoms listed for that so I started taking some Benadryl and putting calamine lotion on the bumps. But as each day went by, it was staying the same and the itching was driving me bonkers. Finally, I gave in and went to the hospital yesterday to get it checked out.

The doctor immediately told me it wasn’t hives and the bumps looked like insect bites, but she wasn’t sure what kind. Since I am not around animals much and I had been around dogs a little, she presumed it could have been fleas that did it, but she also said I may never know what kind of bug it was. I was given a cortisone shot in my shoulder and told to take Zyrtec, which I already take daily for sinus allergies. For those interested in the outcome so far, the redness has come down drastically, but the itching is worse than ever at the moment. UGH! She did say it might take a couple days for it to get better and 3-4 for it to completely go away, so I am hoping it will be soon. No crossing fingers…I need them to scratch! Blogging right now is actually keeping me from scratching as much.

Anyways, my dear Mother-in-law called my hubby yesterday evening to inquire about me and what the doctor said. The first words out of my husband’s mouth were, “She has fleas.” WHAT?! <—–That was my exact response. I do NOT have fleas! Do I look like a dog to you?! LOL

I, of course, quickly jumped in to the conversation and explained what the doctor REALLY said. It was an allergic reaction to an insect bite.

My sister’s dogs frequently get flea baths and no one else in their house has been bothered with even a single bite lately, so I’m not so sure THAT was the insect. For all I know, it could have been an ant, a simple mosquito, a spider…anything…who knows? The doc herself said I may never know. I just hope whatever caused it never causes it again, because this “reaction” sucks royally. And that’s not just a pun if it was in fact a mosquito OR a flea.

I can’t help but wonder what other words of mine that my husband messes up in interpretation though…Should I follow him around to see?

et cetera
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