“Spooky Random Fact: #20”

“Spooky Random Fact: #20”

 “Wiccaphobia” … now this phobia is rather interesting to me…..

Why? Because of my own personal beliefs and spiritual journey. Wiccaphobia: which is the fear of witches and/or witchcraft. I am Wiccan, a solitary one who practices the use of white magic, and there’s definitely no reason to fear anything I do. I only believe in promoting love and light. I am well aware of those who practice dark magic, and I also stay away from them. However, that doesn’t mean that I fear them.

But respectfully, it’s easy to fear that which one doesn’t understand. It takes strength, courage and faith to overcome adversity. That’s why I always encourage educating oneself. It helps to eliminate misinformation and eradicate fears.

To learn more about other phobias, including Samhainphobia: which is the fear of Halloween, read more at Phasmophobia: A Ghostly Fear.

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

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“Dodging the Bullet”

Hey, everyone! Hoping you’re all having a great weekend! It’s a beautiful day here in the South. The Gulf Coast is blessed with amazing sunshine and the temp is currently 82°. 

However gorgeous the day is, the past few days haven’t been so bright for me. As many of you know, I’m a huge advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness. I’m always encouraging ladies to get annual mammograms to keep the ta-tas in check. I began getting mine when I turned forty. The first two years my mammograms came back with clean results, my ta-tas were healthy. *Thank goodness!*

But…. a couple of weeks ago when I went for my annual mammogram everything went well, same as usual….. or so I thought…. Then, last week I got a letter from the Women’s Imaging Center saying that my current screening “required additional imagining studies” and they wanted me to schedule to have another mammogram done. (I got this letter the very same afternoon that I learned about a very close friend of mine being diagnosed with stage three cancer in her intestines, so my nerves were already on end.)

My husband was in the shower and our son was in his room. As I quietly stood in the kitchen trying to keep myself quietly composed while I read the letter about my mammogram results, I couldn’t help but feel a lump in my throat as the tears welled in my eyes. I knew that my breasts felt fine, never any discomfort or anything of the sort, but I also knew that cancer could be present without any signs known to the individual.

I continued to keep silent, not wanting to cause any concern for my son, but when my husband got out of the shower, I showed him the letter. He read it and then told me that I was going to be fine and not to read too much into it. He was being strong when I couldn’t be. But then I remembered dinner and it was time for my family to eat, so I wiped away the tears and kept myself together for the rest of the evening, being my same ol’ silly self.

The next day as soon as I knew the clinic was open I called to make my appointment to have another mammogram. I had to wait a week before I could get in. That meant a week of not knowing what was going on with my body. The fear I concealed from my friends and family wasn’t easy to hold back. With everyone else having their busy lives, I didn’t want to trouble anyone with mine. So I’ve kept this to myself, until now. For those who know me best, I’m actually an extremely private person and don’t talk a lot about my personal life. What I do disclose about myself, I do so in hope to help others find courage and strength to overcome anything they may be going through.

As I said, I had to wait a week before getting my next appointment. Not just the fear of the possibility of maybe having anything cancerous, but also the entire “game changing” that it would do to me and my family. If I did have breast cancer, how would I tell my loved ones? It would crush them! And what would I do for work. I have two jobs, how would I be able to maintain my employment if I had to go to doctor appointments? Also, the treatments…. I know what it can do to the body. I’ve seen dear ones to me suffer and I didn’t want to go through that, too. Didn’t want my family to have to deal with that.

My thoughts were literally running scared. Of course, I continued with my goofy ways, but what I was going through stayed heavy on my mind. And the couple of days right before my appointment were even a little heavier to deal with. I just wanted the next mammogram to be done. I honestly had never wished for a day to be over with so badly.

Yesterday was the day. The alarm clock chimed at 5:40 a.m. I woke my son up for school just like any other day. He still was unaware of everything. My husband held me and reassured me that everything was going to be ok. As sweet as he was being, I still couldn’t stop my eyes from tearing up. But then I composed myself quickly so that our son couldn’t see me that way. About an hour later after my husband left for work and our son left for school, I was on my way to my appointment. I had to be at the Women’s Imaging Center at 7:00 a.m. When I arrived, the lady at the front desk said, “Oh, you’re here for a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound.” I questioned the ultrasound because I wasn’t aware of that one. The lady continued, “That’s just to be on the safe side in case they still have questions about this next mammogram.” I was quietly like, “Ok.” She added with her genuine smile, “Everything’s going to be fine.”

As I sat down, waiting to be called back, Stevie Nicks with Don Henley came on the radio singing “Leather & Lace”. I took a breath and sat still, listening to the song. I took it as a sign, a beautiful, positive sign that everything was going to be alright. Why? Because I am such a huge Stevie Nicks fan and hearing her voice made me feel better. I love her music!!

A few minutes later I was called back to have my mammogram. The tech said, “Oh, you’re back again.” I said quietly, “Yeah, unfortunately.” She, like everyone else, tried to reassure me by saying, “Everything’s gonna be ok.” To be honest, hearing everyone say that was beginning to become quite repetitive, but I knew everyone’s intentions were heartfelt.

During this next mammogram, as the tech was going through the steps, she asked me, “Did you lose weight since last year’s mammogram?” I said, “Yeah, a significant amount.” I then continued to explain why and how I did so by my lifestyle change of eating and being healthier and working out (I wrote about being healthier in a recent article titled, You’re Looking Too Thin.)

The tech looked at me and said, “That’s probably it!” I said, “Really? Cuz the thought did cross my mind.” The tech continued, “Yeah, losing weight can change the shape and appearance of your breasts. That’s probably why the concern of the mammograms from last year to now, but we still have to run the tests just to make absolute sure.”

“WOW!” I thought. I was starting to feel even better! It made total sense. Losing weight, changing my body…. I was beginning to understand things more clearly.

After the mammogram they still wanted to conduct the ultrasound. I happily went along with it. The second tech, just like the first one, was super sweet and made me feel even more comfortable. The ultrasound took nearly ten minutes. After that I had to wait almost ten more minutes for the second tech to return with the results. And you wanna know what?! The results came back perfectly fine!! Yep, that’s right!! A clean bill of health!! Talk about a massive huge weight being lifted off my shoulders!!! PHEW!!!! It was like all that heaviness of fear and the unknown from the previous week just automatically vanished!

I walked out of the ultrasound room and into the main lobby. The lady at the front desk asked me how things went. I gave her a big smile with two thumbs up saying, “Perfect!” She smiled back saying how happy she was for me. She and I then briefly exchanged stories of losing loved ones to breast cancer and how important it is to spread breast cancer awareness. Which lead to my purchase of a new t-shirt that the clinic was selling to raise money for the cause.

I am a very proud supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness! What I recently went through, even though my results came back clean and clear, the whole experience was still a “game changer” for me. It put even more things in perspective, my appreciation for love and life is all the stronger now. Not knowing for that week made me realize how fragile life really can be and how things can be changed literally all in an instant. All the questions… all the fear…. and yet one thing I have to admit is… I never questioned “Why me?”

The reason being is that with my belief, prior to us coming into our lives, us being born, we all agree to a “soul contract” that we accept. Now whether or not we fulfill our contracts, (or even acknowledge them for that matter) is up to our own personal awakening and how open we are to embracing change. (Again, this is my belief and I am not speaking on the behalf of anyone else.)

I am happy to say that I don’t have breast cancer, but if I did…. I would hope that I would continue to spread positive love and light to those who are in need. As a light worker I feel that is extremely important to continue. The night before last, I took a long hard look in the mirror and said to myself, “Alright, if you do have cancer, you’re still gonna do the best you can to live life to the fullest! You will not let this get the best of you! You’re strong, you’re gonna get through this! You have to for yourself and for your loved ones!”

I then put my game face on and said a silent prayer to the Universe… reaching out to the Angels and my Guardians, feeling their positive energy of love and light.

 

 

 

And with all of you, I feel that we should honor the ladies out there who aren’t so fortunate. May our hearts and prayers always go out to the fighters, the survivors and those whose lives were taken by breast cancer!

 

 

In memory of a very dear friend of mine…. Julie. After a long and exhausting battle, she lost her fight with breast cancer nearly four years ago. Along with my family, she is my inspiration to spreading awareness for this extremely important cause!

 

 

Here’s another article I wrote for Breast Cancer Awareness.

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

The back of the t-shirt that I proudly bought to show my support for Breast Cancer Awareness!

 

 

The front of the t-shirt that I proudly bought to show my support for Breast Cancer Awareness! It’s a small image on the upper left-hand side of the shirt.

 

 

The delicious homemade cookie that the clinic was giving out. YUM!!!

 

The Third Eye Kiss

Such a wonderful, healing gesture that takes very little effort, yet can do so much for an individual.

All one has to do is softly press their lips on the forehead of another, in the center, slightly above the eyebrows. It’s that simple. What does this beautiful act do? “It activates the pineal and pituitary gland of the person and brings a sense of security and well-being to the person.” ~ www.WisdomHealingCenter.com.

When the glands are stimulated, melatonin is released which is a hormone that humans and animals produce that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Hence, a goodnight kiss on the forehead might be just what the doctor could order for those who may be suffering from insomnia.

Here is something else I found interesting. Our pineal glands produce the most potent psychedelic known to man, dimethyltryptamine. Researchers of dimethyltryptamine suggest that it may help encourage personal empowerment, decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and inspire self esteem, just to name a few. So, with all that being said about the pineal gland, it makes even more sense why the third eye kiss is so beneficial to one’s well-being!

It could also bridge the gap between two souls wanting to connect on a more spiritual level, therefore creating a closer bond with the mind, body and Spirit….. a Universal connection on so many levels.

 

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I…. Am…. A Man!”

Joseph Carey Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”.

On August 5,1862, Joseph Carey Merrick (who was often incorrectly referred to as John Merrick) was born in Leicester, England. His parents were Joseph Rockley Merrick and Mary Jane Merrick. During his early years in life, Joseph Carey began to suffer from extreme facial and body deformities. He appeared to have thick and lumpy skin. His lips became rather enlarged, and a bony lump started to grow on his forehead. One arm and both feet also grew to be enlarged and during his childhood he had fallen, damaging his left hip which caused him permanent lameness.

At the age of only eleven years old, Joseph Carey’s mother passed away. The cause of her death was bronchopneumonia. His father remarried not long after. Wrongly, he and his new wife rejected Joseph, treating him like an outcast. Joseph Carey was forced to leave home, finding shelter at the residence of his uncle, Charles Merrick.

At thirteen years old, Joseph gained employment working at Freeman’s Cigar Factory in Leicester. And then, in December 1879, at seventeen years of age, he joined the Leicester Union Workhouse. A few years later in 1884, Joseph got in contact with Sam Torr who was a showman. Joseph suggested that Sam should put Joseph up as an exhibit because of his unusual deformities.

Torr agreed on the proposition and along with a group of men who managed Joseph, they came up with Joseph’s exhibit’s name of “The Elephant Man”. After touring for some time, Joseph made a trip to London to be put on exhibit in a penny gaff located on Whitechapel Road which was rented by Tom Norman who was also a showman. Norman’s shop was located right across the street from the London Hospital.

Frederick Treves, who was a surgeon from the hospital, visited Norman’s shop. Dr. Treves automatically showed interest in Joseph Carey Merrick. The doctor invited Joseph to the hospital to be examined and photographed. This made Joseph feel uncomfortable, like an animal, and he refused to return to the London Hospital. This angered Dr. Treves and oddly enough, Norman’s shop was closed by local authorities. Upset by it all, Joseph decided to seek another opportunity elsewhere and joined a gentleman by the name of Sam Roper who owned a traveling circus that toured throughout Europe.

As time went on, Joseph was unfortunately robbed in Belgium, abandoned in Brussels, and finally made his way back to the London Hospital. Dr. Treves allowed Joseph to stay the remainder of his life at the hospital, free room and board. With daily visits from Dr. Treves, the two men quickly formed a remarkable friendship. Even the wealthy elite, including Alexandra, Princess of Wales visited Joseph.

And then, on April 11, 1890, Joseph Carey Merrick sadly died at the age of twenty-seven years old of asphyxia which is a condition where the body is seriously deprived of oxygen. It was believed that he was awake, attempting to get up from his bed just prior to his death. He was found stretched across his bed with a dislocated neck. Perhaps the weight of his head was too much for his neck to support. His skeletal remains can be found on display in the Royal London Hospital, which is a large educational facility in London, England.

It’s said that one of Joseph Carey Merrick’s favorite poems was:

“Tis true my form is something odd,                                                                               but blaming me is blaming God.                                                                                Could I create myself anew,                                                                                               I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole                                                                                      or grasp the ocean with a span,                                                                                         I would be measured by the soul.                                                                                 The mind’s the standard of the man.”

 

 

“I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a man!” ~ Joseph Carey Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”.

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Here is the artwork that I created in honor of Joseph Carey Merrick simply titled, “The Elephant Man”. Prints, pillows, blankets and even stationary…. available only at Fine Art America!

(“The Elephant Man” ~ by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints, tote bags, coffee mugs and so much more available only at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-elephant-man-sheila-renee-parker.html!)

 

Can’t Stop The Feeling!

It was one morning a little over a month ago, I was in my car on my way to work when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the image of fluorite stone randomly popped into my head. As I was nearing the stop sign of the intersection, I was like, “wha??”. Thought it was odd because I wasn’t even thinking anything remotely to the subject of healing stones. But of course, being the person that I am, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I openly took it as a sign from the Universe. So, when I got to work and had a free moment, I began researching fluorite and its meaning.

And that was when it hit me! Upon my research I discovered this…. “Fluorite is a highly protective and stabilizing stone, useful for grounding and harmonizing spiritual energy. When working with the upper Chakras, Fluorite increases intuitive abilities, links the human mind to universal consciousness, and develops connection to Spirit.”https://www.healingcrystals.com/Fluorite_Articles_107.html

“Fluorite crystals cleanse your mind, body and spirit. On a psychic level, they are very protective stones, protecting you from outside influences and drawing off negative energy.  They balance both sides of your brain to bring mental clarity and rid your mind of any mental or creative blocks. They also cleanse and stabilize your aura, cleansing, purifying and dispelling anything within your body or energy field that is not in perfect order. Fluorite crystals are said to rid your aura of any cording—meaning any unwanted energy lines from other people.”  ~ https://www.energymuse.com/blog/placing-fluorite-crystal-home/

It literally gave me goosebumps! Why? Because on so many levels I’ve been going through a major lifestyle change. I’m eating healthier, exercising daily, creating a much more positive atmosphere, I’m being more open to my abilities and expressing them to others in hope to help people embrace their special gifts. I mean, so many wonderful things are happening and I have never felt so at peace before in my life!

So, by the image of the beautiful fluorite stone coming to me, I had to tell my husband about it! We then decided to order some fluorite beads to make our own necklaces. I made myself a sweet little choker, one so that I could easily layer it with other necklaces if I wanted. For my husband, I made him nearly an 18 inch necklace.

I’ve been wearing my choker every day now for several days and I cannot express the mental clarity it’s given me. I honestly believe in the benefits of fluorite! It’s even helped me “see” things better psychically. I feel like it’s helped me open my third eye all the more.

I also like layering it with my necklace adorned with a moldavite pendant. Moldavite is excellent for…. “Connectivity, Moldavite carries an intense frequency, a fusion of earthly and extraterrestrial energies that are quickly felt, often dramatically in those who resonate with its power. Holding Moldavite for the first time often produces a sensation of heat, felt first in the hand, then progressively throughout the body. In some cases the heart chakra is activated, experienced as a pounding pulse, followed by sweating or flushing of the face, and an emotional release that may range from laughter to tears. Moldavite’s frequency may take some getting used to, but its profound ability to accelerate one’s personal and spiritual evolution makes it highly sought after in the metaphysical world, both for its life-altering capabilities and as a catalyst for drawing in Light to aid in Earth’s healing.” ~ [Simmons, 262][Simmons/Warner, 30-32][Hall, 187]

“Moldavite is a powerful aid for meditation and dream-work, as well as increasing one’s sensitivity to guidance, intuition and telepathy, and the ability to understand messages sent from higher realms.”[Simmons, 262-263][Megemont, 126]

Together, or wearing separately, the fluorite and the moldavite stones create such an amazing sense of well-being! Some people may say that it’s simply the placebo effect induced by reading materials, but I would dispute that because I know what I feel and I cannot deny that. Things that would have bothered me in the past, now have no affect on me at all. I just let them “roll off my back”. My mental clarity has greatly improved and the beautiful, warm energy that I feel surrounding me, the Universal connection… beyond words! It’s all so inspiring!!

Life is a blessing, live it to the fullest!

Love & Light, my friends! ~ Sheila

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

My fluorite choker layered with my moldavite pendant.

 

 

“The Haunted Swamp”

Ahhhh…. The Haunted Swamp. Nefarious place or a peaceful location? I guess that’s up to the individual and their experience.

Recently, my husband and I checked out a place called Bear Creek Swamp located in Prattville, Alabama. It was nearly a three hour drive that we took early in the morning to attend our son’s football game that was scheduled to occur later that night. The reason why we left so early was because my husband and I had already researched the city of Prattville, which was founded by industrialist and architect, Daniel Pratt in 1839. We love historical places so we took the opportunity to look around!

Upon our research, we looked for areas known for paranormal activity. That’s when my husband stumbled across some online articles about Bear Creek Swamp, also referred to as “The Haunted Swamp”. What he shared with me were some pretty interesting things. We read about ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers, Creek Indians, early settlers, and even an apparition of a woman desperately in search of her lost child that will lash out at anyone who repeats three times, “We have your baby!”

People have even made reports of seeing floating orbs and phantom car lights that chased them down the road, that’s if their vehicles didn’t stall without plausible explanation. Yep, some say that their cars have actually “died” and wouldn’t start back up while encountering the freakishly paranormal activity of The Haunted Swamp.

Also, sightings of none other…. the big, hairy beast himself, Bigfoot! His echoing howls have been heard by various people claiming the validity of this creature. Oh, and we dare not leave out the elusive, legendary Chupacabra whose sightings have been reported as well.

And as if all that wasn’t enough to make one want to become a nail biter, there’s the Creepy Doll Graveyard where 21 porcelain dolls were found on top of bamboo stakes back in November, 2014. Who or what was behind this macabre creation? Who knows? The origin of such a morbid finding has never been discovered, or revealed.

Now, in finding Bear Creek Swamp, it seemed like it took my husband and me forever before we finally found it. Of course, we used our GPS and it sent us to a bridge that crossed over Bear Creek on Alabama State Route 14. We knew that wasn’t the exact location mentioned in the articles. Keep in mind, we weren’t able to find any road signs about Bear Creek Swamp, but did that stop us from our search? No way! We were determined to see what all the hype was about with The Haunted Swamp!

We traveled down a couple of paved roads that were near the bridge, but quickly knew that we were still in the wrong spots. My husband and I were just about to give up when we passed a dirt, gravelly looking road. He said,  “Hmmm…. wonder if that was the road?” Getting tired of driving around I asked him, “Wanna go back to see?” He was like, “No, uh huh… let’s just keep going.” But when he said that, I could tell that he really did want to go back to see if that old road was the correct one. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked him. “Go back.” He said without any hesitation.

That’s when I found the nearest place to turn our car around. I’m glad we did because once we turned down the old road, we were in awe of our surroundings! We weren’t even a mile away from Alabama State Route 14 when we noticed the swamp that was on both sides of the road. It was lush and green with a beautiful serenity about it! It was a road that appeared not traveled much and had very few residences on it. The entire time we were on the road, not once did we encounter another vehicle. It was absolutely quiet there. The only sound we heard was from a small, man-made drainage culvert. Trees were all over the place, moss was abound and I couldn’t resist taking some of the beautiful moss home. (The next day I put the moss into a crystal bowl and added some tiny, white wire lights to create a stunning coffee table centerpiece. One word…. “Gorgeous!”).

While going down the road we did stop and get out of our car a couple of times. Did we experience anything ghostly or otherworldly? Did we see our beloved Bigfoot and/or  Chupacabra? Nope! Didn’t see anything, hear anything, nor smell anything of the sort. (Smell? Why would I say that?? Because Bigfoot has always been known to have a foul odor about him. Poor guy…. you’d think that with all the water around there that he would take a bath every once in a while. 😉 )

Everything that we researched basically had supernatural activity at night. We didn’t stay there until nightfall because the main reason why we were in Prattville was to attend our son’s football game, which was far more important to us. So, that’s why we visited Bear Creek Swamp during the day.

What we did experience at The Haunted Swamp was tranquility and beauty. It was like stepping back into another time as we made our way down the unpaved road. No sounds of the hustle and bustle of a nearby city, no streetlights and buildings. Only vibrant green scenery and tall trees surrounded us. The occasional breeze that blew off the water was cool to our skin, taking away the humid, August day’s heat.

I was raised as a country girl, so I found myself extremely comfortable there. It made me reminisce the times when I was growing up on the old road that I did with my best friend. Together, she and I were always finding our way down hidden trails that passersby often forgot about.

My husband found himself reminiscing as well. He loved the place, too. We will happily go back at the next given chance!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

My artwork titled, “The Haunted Swamp”.

The Haunted Forest 3

(“The Haunted Swamp” ~ Digital artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints available at Fine Art America!)

 

 

(The coffee table centerpiece that I created using the moss from “The Haunted Swamp”.)

 

 

“You’re Looking Too Thin”

“You’re looking too thin.” Is what some people have been telling me lately. And even though I know they care, their comments are becoming a tad much.

A little over a year ago I was getting a check up and was told that my weight was slightly more than what it should be. Well, that did hit home because at the time, I had been feeling rather sluggish and unmotivated. But when the nurse practitioner said that, I did listen. So, I started eliminating certain foods that I knew weren’t of the right choice. I began eating healthier, choosing fresh produce rather than processed. Incorporating more fruits and veggies into what I eat on a daily basis. No more pop tarts, chips and things like that. Now, I do still like to eat the occasional cookie (or two… lol). Just a few days ago I baked some homemade peanut butter cookies that were out of this world! YUM!!! And yes, I still eat pizza every once in a while, indulge in a milkshake here and there…. but…. everything in moderation… even Hershey Kisses (which I will always love!)!!

I’ve gotten wiser on how I make my food choices and I couldn’t be happier! Before I made my lifestyle change, my energy level felt drained and my arthritis gave me fits. For anyone who has arthritis, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I would wake up in the morning feeling stiff as a board. My lower back would hurt so much that it would bring tears to my eyes. Not to mention the random hip pains that would often cause me to limp some. My hands would lock up and ache… my knees would, on rare occasions, literally give out on me. I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 34, but knew I had it for a lot longer than that. As I got closer to 40, my pain and discomfort gradually got worse. Actually, to the point where it was starting to limit certain levels of mobility. I hid the pain, dealing with it the best way I could. In the beginning I tried pain medication, but quickly stopped because after reading all the ridiculous side effects, I decided that was not how I was going to live my life, taking pills on a daily basis. That may be for others, but definitely not me!

Then, last year when the nurse practitioner said that about my weight it made me start thinking, plus with my arthritis…. my body was controlling me, making me feel horrible and I wasn’t going to let that happen any longer. I finally woke up, listening to the things that my body had been trying to tell me for so long. That’s when I started taking control by eating healthier and incorporating exercise into my daily routine. Yes, I exercise every single day and I absolutely love it! Guess what?! That arthritis pain….. I kicked its ass!!! Yep, I said it! By me constantly being active, my arthritis pain has become extremely minimal. Every great once in a while it will remind me that it’s still there, but nothing in comparison to how it used to be!

I exercise in the comfort of my own home. I don’t have a gym membership. I have a core flex machine, some light weights, an ab wheel, an exercise stretch band and an exercise ball. I do a lot of sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, etc… I even incorporate isometric exercises along with yoga, and I also jog.

By eating healthier and being active, I feel soooooo much better now! Honestly, I feel better than I did even when I was in my twenties! I haven’t felt this great in decades!! And yes, I have lost 40 lbs., but I’m healthier and I continue to maintain my yearly check-up. My only regret about all this is that I didn’t do it years ago. But can’t dwell on that because everything happens for a reason. Carpe diem!!! 😉

I also minimized my diet soda intake. I used to drink 3 – 4 of those every day. I know they say “no calories”, but seriously… since I am down to only having one a day, I honestly believe that has helped my weight achieve a healthier goal as well. I have become addicted to fruit infused flavored water. I love going to the local markets and picking out fresh fruits and veggies so I can make my own infused water. Totally delicious with soooo many health benefits!! So far, one of my faves is a water that I add green apple, cucumber, mint leaves and lemon to. It’s so refreshing and smells divine!!

Ok, here’s the question… since I’m a vegetarian (and have been for 15 yrs), how do I get my protein? Well, a few years ago I used to be a plasma donor. Every time a person donates plasma, their protein and iron levels get checked. My levels were often higher than those of meat eaters. Why? Because I’ve always known the importance of that so I make sure to eat protein enriched foods. Peanut butter, beans… dairy… and I am also a huge fan of Morning Star products, which are low in fat, but are awesome with maintaining a great protein level. Also, protein shakes… yogurt…. (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it all!) You get the picture. lol

Together, my husband and I are both eating better so we can hopefully live long, healthier lives. So, for anyone who says, “It gets harder as you get older.” I say to that… Bullsnart! I was 41 when I made my lifestyle change and trust me, I’m extremely grateful I did it!

It’s up to us, people…. it only gets harder if we allow it!

 

Eat healthy, be active and stay motivated, my friends! Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed!!!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Here I am with a serious face because I am serious about staying motivated! Wearing absolutely no make-up and just finished working out, feeling awesome day by day! We can all make a difference in our lives, all we have to do is just do it! ❤