Thursday, June 23, 2011

Now and Forever

I am strong.
I am passionate.
I am determined.
I am resilient.

I am a motivator.
I am an achiever.
I am a finisher.
I am a winner.

I will finish strong.
I will accomplish my goals.
I will blaze trails.
I will be on top.

The future is mine, and only I can get me there.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clearing the road to the journey

Shows like The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian Michaels have been used to motivate me in the past, so I decided to start Season 11 over from the beginning and watch it on Hulu in my free time since my big decision to lose 100 lbs. in a year. It's pretty nice, actually, but I must admit that I cry every episode.

It seems that the majority of the people on these shows have had some major problems or incidents in their lives they haven't dealt with yet, and it is implied through these programs that those are the things that are holding these people back from healthier lifestyles and, ultimately, a healthier future. Being the overly emotional person that I am to begin with, I cannot help but feel their pain through the television or computer screen as I watch these shows. I'm sure the amount of saline I lose while I sit on my ass could contribute to my weight loss just as much as my exercises... Just kidding. (Kinda.)

Through these programs and through some of the conversations with my trainer Erin, I've realized that there are some things along my journey that I also need to clear out of the way in order to get to the next destination. (Of course, the next destination I'm referring to here is the 100 lb. weight loss.) In the past year or so, I've talked about my depression issues, my rocky relationship with food, and I've taken the necessary steps to forgive the voices of the past for trying to bring me down for my size, my personality, and my talents. Now, I'm facing some pretty hard memories, and honestly, there's one of these 2 I'm not sure I want to get past.

I recently wrote in one of my other blogs about my experience with sexual assault. If you only read this health blog of mine, you can find my "thoughts and feelings" one at It isn't an easy read, but it was necessary for me to get that out so I can deal with it and move on. I'm hoping to somehow take up boxing in the near future to get some of the aggression I feel toward that situation out of me, but we shall see how that unfolds. I've forgiven him for doing that. I've forgiven the person who made me feel as though it were my fault. I'm ready to leave that moment behind me and only carry it with me to be a strong advocate for others and to educate others on how to not blame the victim.

As for the other thing, I'm getting light-headed just thinking about trying to put it behind me, but I know that I absolutely have to.

If there's anyone I have on my mind and my heart every day, it's my friend Nathan. Today is Nate's birthday. He would be 30 if he were alive, and it is this way of thinking that has kept me back in some areas of my life I believe.

At first, when I read about his death in Iraq (he and 3 others hit an IED in the desert of Samarra), the whole world went cloudy. I felt like the room was growing bigger and becoming darker. How could this person who meant so much to me - someone so full of life and love and fun and wisdom, someone who literally changed my life - be gone? Forever? Yes. Forever, at least here on earth. Not even my Christian afterlife view of eternity in Heaven has been able to help me cope with his loss. I can't see him, hear him, or touch him. I can't get one of his hugs. I can't call him on the phone. I can't argue with him about anything under the sun.

I also can't live my life for him, and I think this has made me feel a little guilty. At first, when he passed, I chose to live my life to the fullest like he would have and go out into the world (namely Austin, TX) in search of whatever will come my way. I feel like I understand the concept of "abundant life" here because I am so happy and amazingly rich with such wonderful friends in this bubble of creativity and love. I don't believe I would be here if he was still alive. Losing him pushed me out of my comfort zone - on many, many levels - but in the past 6 years since his death, I've gone back into grieving his loss. It's hard to say this and it hasn't always felt right for many reasons, but it's time to stop grieving for him and start living for me.

I owe it to myself to take control of my future, just so I can have one! Certain events have taken some of that control from me, but I believe with all of my being that I have the power to be #1 for me. I feel stronger than I've ever felt before, not just in physical strength, but now emotionally and mentally.

I weighed this morning at 247.6, just 8 more lbs. to go before my first personal goal of weighing less than 240 before I see my family for July 4th. I'm in this for me now, completely, and victory will soon be mine.

So... Happy birthday, Nathan. I love you. I miss you. You were a great friend to me. I'm glad you were alive so I could know you and have an incredible connection with someone like you. "Esse quam videri" - "To be rather than to seem" - was your Latin phrase that you lived by. Thank you for showing me how to live authentically. I have to let you go now so I can do it my way.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

I am... Anslee.

I am... a daughter of 2 parents who have been through more than I could ever imagine, have sacrificed and still sacrifice more than I could ever know, and have loved me with more love than I could ever comprehend.

I am... a sister of 2 amazingly strong, compassionate, intelligent men who inspire me daily, love me tremendously, and support me in any way possible, who have chosen the most beautiful, loving, caring wives anyone could ever ask for, and one of whom has 2 of the most charming young men who will change the world some day. You'll see.

I am... an artist: a photographer, a writer, a painter, a designer, a singer, a dancer, a creator, an imaginator, and an actor, at times, amongst many other delightfully creative things.

I am... beautiful yet bold, sassy yet sensitive, and always on a quest for the truth.

I am... a world traveler, a collector of odd things to be used later, a wonderful companion to take anywhere, a dreamer at all times of the day and night, and a mountain climber, river rambler, lion tamer in some of those dreams.

I am... a survivor of bullying/ridicule, sexual assault, and a near suicide attempt.

I am... a seeker of the best possible world harmony that I believe can and will happen, despite all odds.

I am... a child of God and a believer in a Holy Trinity, seeing and feeling the Divine presence in every possible scenario that my heart can grasp.

I am... a lover, a fighter for love, with a strong yet also wavering belief that there is just one, and for whom I shall remain in waiting.

I am... a success story being written and a strong, fearless woman with a great, big, huge heart.

Tell me who you are. I would really like to know.

Starting over: 100 lbs. in a year!

I wrote this to my friends and family. You can read it, too! I'll update more thoughts tomorrow most likely. Happy reading!

Hi, friends and family!

First off, I love you very much! I thank God for each of you being apart of my life. I'm so glad to have the wonderful people in my life that I do. Second, I need to send you a sincere, earnest request this morning, so please take what I am about to say very seriously.

Most of you know by now that I was diagnosed with prediabetes/insulin resistance about 10 years ago or so. I've struggled with this whole idea since the moment I got the results, and I am especially struggling with it now. A few things have been brought to my attention recently, and I'm at the point where I need those who are around me to support me in my decision to lose 100 lbs. in a year. This will get me to a healthy weight that will cure my medical conditions.

This is not a joke. This is my life, and I'm choosing to fight for it and set an attainable goal for a year from now. My request to you is that you will support me in every way you possibly can, and this especially means that you please refrain from tempting me with things such as delicious cake and amazing sandwiches and incredible restaurants... Those got me to this point where I am that feels like rock bottom, even though I've been heavier in the past. For my condition, depression comes in the form of sugar more often than not, and I'm prepared to walk away from that feeling forever.

From now on, I will not be "off the wagon." I won't have times where I'm being strict and times where I'm not. If I decide to have something that perhaps I shouldn't, it will be my idea and no one else's, and trust that my ass will be working it off later. This is something that I must do for me, and I apologize in advance for missing out on your lasagnas and banana breads and all the other amazingly wonderful homemade things that I love that you all make. Unless it is sugar free, low in fat, and either gluten free or made with whole grain ingredients, I cannot partake, but please understand that I absolutely do not expect you to do that for me. I also don't expect for you to keep me accountable. I know this is my challenge and I only ask that you support me and love me along the way. I will most undoubtedly need encouragement every now and then.

This year is going to be very difficult for me, but I know that I have an incredible support system. I'd love to include you on my journey, too! If you even think of exercising and I'm around, give me a call. I want to join you. (Plus, you know I love to dance!) If you want to cook something healthy together, I'm your girl. I'll bring the healthy food to your potlucks. If you would like some suggestions to help make something you're wanting to cook a bit healthier, let me know. I'm happy to be there for you also. I'll be cooking at home a lot more now, so if you want to hang out over dinner, let's create something together instead! (That's fun, right?!) I just can't keep going down this destructive road that is literally wearing out my body, namely my pancreas and my kidneys. If you would like more information on my condition, please ask me. I'll load you down with facts for years to come! :)

My future has 2 outlooks, a very bright one and a very dark one. I'm choosing the bright future. Can I count on you to help me achieve this goal and set up the days ahead of me to be the happiest, healthiest, most positive days ever? I really, desperately hope so.

364 more days to go! It's a piece of... celery. :)



"Keep your eyes on the road and don't look over the cliff unless that's where you want to go, i.e. focus on your goal and not what happens if you don't make it." --Chris Connell