Dear Mama,

I never liked to talk about this much, because it’s personal and sad. I hope that by sharing, it helps someone in pain. I lost 9 babies through IVF. Some call them embryos. I call them babies. So, I mourned 9 babies (some boys and some girls) that we couldn’t implant on transfer day. My pain isn’t anymore than someone else’s. I just hurt. I hope as more years go by, that the pain will go away. I’ve dreamed of what being a Momma would be like. Yes, I’m a bonus Mom, and I’m very grateful for that role. Just a reminder, that it takes thick skin as I spend every Mother’s Day alone, because our girls are with their Mom. I’m not bitter. I don’t need a pat on the back. I understand. I do, because that’s what I’m the best at. When our girls had 4 tickets for a recital, they talked about giving one to their Mom, Grandma, Dad & sister. I, being the understanding bonus Mom, told my daughter not to stress it…Invite your Mom, Dad, Grandma, and sister – they are your blood. It’s ok. They should be there (in my best excited, supportive, understanding voice). I meant that. I didn’t want her to stress about not having enough tickets to give one to me.  So, I sit here tonight crying and wondering if this will be our year, and I still want to have a baby.

I long for a child. When I was just a child, people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I wanted to be a Momma. I’ve always had a way with children, a bond, a way to relate, a love for babies. I’m not ready to give up hope. At 42, Maybe it’s time to throw the towel in. Maybe it’s not. At the end of the day, I want to have a baby. I want to give birth to my baby. The girls call their Momma, Mommy. They call me, Kristin. For anyone who says it’s the same, you haven’t walked in my shoes. It’s not the girls fault either. it’s no ones fault. They are precious, innocent children, who happen to have a bonus Parent, me. I’d love to have my own child and to be called Mom, Momma, Mama, Mother, or Mommy.  Me wanting a child doesn’t make me love them any less. Not at all. There is so much more than being called Mom, not enough time to type out the pros of creating life. Sean and I want to expand our family. So, to all the Mama’s who’ve lost, who feel sad, I see you. I’m praying for you. Don’t lose hope. #ivf #infertility #internationalbereavementmothersday

Dear Food,

You’re like an ocean wave crashing against a sand castle that was meticulously created for hours on the beach. You came crashing back into my life and swept part of the castle that I built with my own hands. My sweat and tears. Hours spent on me washed away with the morning tide. So, I took the plunge, and I’m headed to dry ground.

When you need help in your yard, you hire a landscaper. When you need help running electrical, you hire an electrician. When you need help eating, you invest in a Nutritionist. Seems simple, so why didn’t I do this years ago. I’ve struggled and had a super, unhealthy relationship with food. I’d definitely peg myself as an emotional eater. If I’m sad, I grab a bag of plain Lays. The crunch of the chip and salty taste mixed with grease is un – bee – lieveable bliss. I may even add them to my sandwich, so I can enjoy the crunch after the bread – – mayo and plain lays in between. If I’m stressed, I eat brownies. And, not just a brownie. Psffff, I warm two brownies in the microwave, top them with two giant scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, and then drizzle chocolate syrup over the top. THAT’S a brownie. If I’m happy, I’ll knock out a bag of tortilla chips like someone is trying to grab them from me. And, I look around to ensure no one is watching before I turn up the bag to make sure I don’t let the crumbs and salt go to waste. Then, I go into the kitchen. I’m on a clear mission, to find more of you. More Food. When will you stop?

I worked my tail off last year. I peddled my little heart away on a Peleton bike , then switched to lifting weights by joining PowHERfit. I ate more nutrient dense food, and I dropped 30+ pounds. I say 30+, because I didn’t start weighing myself until I was 173 ish. I hit 140 Winter of last year. 1 – four – zero! I’ve never let the scale define me. Wait, yes, I did. But seriously, I was one, proud chick. I could see my belly button again. I didn’t have to sit down to put on my shoes. I had one neck, not two. I didn’t have to wear a back brace to work in the yard. And, I could wear a normal sized bra, like one they sell in regular stores that wasn’t special ordered. Good-NESS. Ladies that are blessed, I feel ya sisters, why don’t they make cute bras for us that are sold inside Vicky Secrets? The ladies are always sweet, as they tell me they are out of that size, but they can order it and have it delivered to my house or available for instore pick up. No more of that wasted time! My back quit hurting – like zero back pain. Sugar was under control, because I didn’t eat fast food, 24/7. Not knocking every fast food restaurant as I know a lot have healthy options like a salad now. I’m just not that chick that goes through a burger joint and orders a grilled chicken salad. Um, no thank yew, I’ll take a double quarter pounder, large fry, diet coke, and a hot fudge sundae. Ya feel me?

So, I took the plunge. I have been following some healthy ladies and gents and reading about their success. By the way, I ditched the scale, but now I’m up ten pounds. Once I weighed myself, the trigger inside my head screamed – DO – SOMETHING – NOW! You have worked – WAY – TOO – HARD! STOP – THE – MADNESS! So, I’m at 150.0 yesterday and today, because I’m weighing myself again. I want to gain muscle, shed some fat, and be more lean.

I’m going to blog about my journey with a Nutritionist. I went with who I trusted for learning how to lift weights. One of the ladies used Add Nutrition https://www.addnutritionllc.com/, and I saw her incredible journey which had me sold. Then, my Coach’s journey was inspiring too. I’m not seeking advice from a little skinny chick (no offense, I used to be this chick in my early twenties) that doesn’t understand what it’s like to have minimal muscle and make unhealthy food choices. I watched a reel (little video) of her journey and my mouth dropped. She walked my same path, and then got lean and strong. Heck to the Yeah, Bishes, SIGN – ME – UP!

Yesterday, I told myself that since I didn’t have my marching orders, that I was going to eat whatever I wanted. So, I ate yesterday like it was the Last Supper which included one cheeseburger, large fry, four piece chicken nuggets with Hot Mustard (Holy Smokes ya’ll, Micky D’s has THE 90’s Hot Mustard sauce back – yikes, YUM) medium Diet Coke, two pieces of pepperoni pizza, and 1 piece of Everything pizza dipped in Ranch mixed with Frank’s hot sauce.

15 hours into day 1, and I have not swayed. I am not restricting myself. I’m incorporating more protein, more fiber, more good carbs, more vegetables, more water, and if I want any of that other stuff – – well, I can have it. I’m just not having it for every. single. meal.

Today was a success for me. My Coach, Shalena, IG handle is @redfitforever gave me every tool I needed to be successful. I tracked each meal today, and I’ll share more about that once I half way know what the heck I’m doing. I don’t want to steer anyone wrong right now. For now, I’ll leave you with this, it’s 9: 15 p.m., and I still have 29g of protein and 52 g of carbs to eat which is about 263 calories. I did go over on my fat intake by 9 grams, so I’ll try to hone that in tomorrow. And, I don’t have to track macros forever, this is a building block to learn what food is made up of, so I can build balanced meals. I love Math, so learning the formula behind food, is liberating. And, if you hate Math, it’s ok. I use My Fitness Pal, so it does the Math for you. Today, I weighed everything I ate, took a picture of the food scale, wrote that on a piece of paper, uploaded the photos into the Healthie app, and then typed it into My Fitness Pal. Call it over the top. I call it focused. I’m going to conquer you, food.

Love,

One hungry b

#weightlossjourney #fitness #fitafter40 #nutrientdensefood #leanmuscle #womenweightlifting #transformation #beforeandafter #glowup

My First Blog Post

Hey! Welcome to The Darling Garling blog. I am so excited to share a glimpse of my life, a sliver of my soul, many years packed into these simple, but heartfelt blog posts. I want to unravel the yarn and slowly roll it back up as I share what I love about life sprinkled with experiences that shaped me: DIY projects (Home Reno, Pleasant Hill Ranch, and Vintage Cars), Gardening, Life with Horses, IVF and Infertility, Workout Program (Weight Loss journey, weightlifting, and fitness after forty), Nutrition, College in my mid thirties, Fashion and Beauty Inspo: Hair/Skin/Make-up/Outfits, and my passion for animals – in that you will meet Hope, Bob, Maggie Poo and Sweetie Baby.

Most of my free time is spent with the hubs on DIY projects. I’m that lady that likes to dress up and layer on some bling paired with super cute heels, but will also throw on some jeans and boots and run an 800 foot water line if needed – that will be a blog post in itself later. I go ditch to ditch on fashion. Lately, I’m in gym clothes with a suit jacket and no make-up. Weekends, I’m in work clothes with boots and no make-up. However, if you see me in the street, hahahhaa, I couldn’t resist. No, really, if you see me on Insta, I’m decked out to a T most of the time. However, this is NOT everyday me. Everyday me is work clothes, hair in a pony tail, and no make-up. And, if flip flops would keep my feet warm all winter, I’d be wearing them right now. I love some flip flops! Instead, I’m usually still in my gym shoes and workout clothes until I go to sleep. I try to embrace the cute pajama sets, and well, it’s just not me. I’m way more comfortable in oversized pants or shorts or a t-shirt, looking more like a train wreck that shopped the latest Goodwill rack. No knock on Goodwill, because I shop the mess outa some Goodwill. Fashion is just something that I always dreamed about, but never could afford. I would sum up my choices today as Thrifty Tara who goes on a date with Expensive Ethan every now and then.

I’ve struggled with weight loss and have finally found the recipe for a healthy life. The workout program that has changed my life is https://PowHER.fit.com. I never ever thought I would enjoy weight lifting. I’m hooked! The community of women in this workout program are so empowering and supportive. I’m down 30 pounds and counting. I don’t have any number that I’m trying to get to. I really think people should ditch the scale for a while. You start to feel the benefits of a healthy life inside your soul, and it shines out like rays of warm sun. I’m happier and healthier. I count macros – still not great at that, but I’m learning. Lifting has healed me from the inside out. I’m stronger.

Shopping for me consists of Walmart, Walmart, and Walmart, with a little Nordy’s and some support of local businesses sprinkled in there. Who doesn’t love a good Walmart find? Speaking of that, I just opened two packages today – a Def Leopard T and a pink, cheetah print slip dress – looooooooooove. I just shared that fit on Insta.

And, I love Christmas!! Is there even any other holiday? Kidding – kidding – kidding – all you Halloween lovers out there. Don’t stop reading now. As a Bonus Mom, I’ve learned to embrace the beautiful darkness of Halloween, and I’ve grown to really, really like it as well. I mean I love playing dress up! Win-win!

Now, come on in and sit down. You hungry? I’ve got some oatmeal with a dollup of yogurt, sprinkled with walnuts and cinnamon (blah, healthy stuff), or I can make you a bowl of Magic Spoon cereal, fruity flavor (still healthy), OR how about some poached eggs on toast? If you’re more of a grits lover, then I make some mean cheese grits swimming in butter. I mean what Southern girl doesn’t want to feed their friends? I know, I know, you’re hung up on how I know anything about poached eggs. I had the best of both worlds. Mom from Massachusetts and Dad from Ohio. Raised in Georgia. Back to the menu, because I love food – if it was lunch time, I’d warm up some Garlic butter chicken with brussell sprouts sprinkled in again, garlic, and toast a piece of Ezekiel bread with Land O Lakes whipped butter (50 calories).

Back to the butter. I just can’t stick to the spray. I end up spraying 15 squirts. I’ll put the palm of my hand on top of the squirter and bam, bam, bam, bam, bam ,bam like I’m in a race… and well, I still feel unsatisfied. Butter makes the meal. Now, don’t get it twisted. If there are peanut butter cookies (well, any kind of cookie), brownies (the middle gooey ones), or pecan pie for that matter, then I’d be stuffing my face with them. One must have balance. And, some days, I’m too busy to stop and eat much, so I warm up a hot pocket. Yep, a hot pocket. Nothing fancy about that.

I’ll close with this – if someone would have told me that I would be writing a blog ever in my life, then I would not have believed them. Me? Writing? Psfffff, ugh, no. I hate to write. How funny are those words as I type them, to think I would ever hate anything, never mind writing. I mean I love to read. Yes, maybe strange. Seems that those two hobbies, reading and writing, would somehow be intertwined and related to each other. Isn’t life fascinating though as it unfolds, each chapter can be like a novel you once read or a collection of 25 completely different series all melded together. You laugh through most chapters, cry through some, feel lost in others, found in the next series, grateful and blessed, hurt and loved, strong and weak, empowered and broken, healed and empty, then endlessly scanning your project list for the next adventure.

I hope by sharing pieces of my life, that it heals, empowers and encourages.

Love, Kristin