Are You Up For The Challenge????

One of the lovely side effects of being a non-smoker is the amazing amount of weight you can gain.

I promised myself I wouldn’t trip over packing on the pounds.

And I haven’t. Too much. I’ve tried a couple of half-hearted attempts at exercising.

And Then!

I Saw This!


My best friend and I have decided to do this challenge. Our plan is to do our workout Monday through Friday. (We’ll need the weekend to recuperate the first week!) I wanted to put this out there for you guys to see if you’re interested in joining us. I will be putting up daily reports on how we fared on my tumblr: whosthathchelle


5 Months, 8 Days, 14 Hours……….


since I lit up and smoked my last cigarette, according to my handy-dandy QuitIt app. If you’re a former smoker, you understand what the last few months of my life have been like.

It’s hard to believe as a 12-year-old, I thought smoking was oh-so-cool. Now, as a woman turning 45 this year, I regret lighting up that first cigarette. Let me clarify: I DID NOT smoke from 12 until 44. I didn’t  join in as a ‘real smoker’ until I was around 15 or 16. My friends did it. My parents were chain smokers. It was a part of my world for as long as I can remember.

Another thing I remember is getting car sick on long road trips with my parents as they smoked. Looking back, I don’t know why they didn’t crack or roll down the windows during those endless miles. My complaints weren’t met with the obvious reaction. Instead, we’d pull into the nearest rest area so I could get somewhat of a break, as they continued to smoke.

I also remember learning in school,  cigarettes would kill my parents. I rectified that situation by throwing away newly purchased cartons of cigarettes. Problem solved, right? Uh no! More like I ended up in trouble. I was worried about my parents but it was still a time where the Marlboro man was cool and smoking was just the thing to do. My parents weren’t concerned with the years worth of damage  smoking was doing to their health. In fact, my mom ended up on an oxygen machine during the last few years of her life. Ironically, the first time I went over to see her and the new oxygen machine, she was sitting in bed smoking!

I will admit, I was the adult smoker, puffing away, warning the younger generation of the perils of the nicotine addiction. One of my most ironic and sad memories relating to smoking is: A good friend of mine, who use to babysit my daughter, was outside, you guessed it, smoking, when I arrived. I did what any good smoker does and lit up a cigarette to join her. Tears streamed down her face as she delivered the bad news: her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. My heart sank and clenched with pain for my friend and her family, even as we both puffed and puffed away. Despite the news, neither one of us thought, it’s time to quit smoking.

Fast forward a few years. My daughter is in elementary school and has asked me to accompany her class on a field trip to one of our state parks. Sure, why not, I think. It’s Spring, the weather is perfect and I’d never been to this particular park. Yeah, lemme tell you. Little did I know her teacher and the teacher she partnered up with were evidently in training for an Olympic type of marathon! Initially, I did give it a good-hearted attempt to keep up with the teachers-determined-to-whip-me-into-shape. I even made sure to keep the stragglers caught up with us. That’s right, I was the BEAST! For the first five minutes.

Then my smoker’s lungs started kicking in. Sweat glands I didn’t know existed made their presence known. Luckily, I’d established with the teachers from hell  I was in charge of the stragglers, so it became easy to slow it on down and walk their pace. No longer was I encouraging them to keep up, I was begging THEM to s-l-o-w down! I can remember at one point where they gave up on me trying to catch up with them. Not only did we finish the walk in 2.5 miliseconds, we also had to wait another 20 something hours for the other classes to arrive at the meeting point. Okay, okay, so I’m exaggerating just a little.

It was at that point I knew I had to quit smoking. There was no reason for me to be in my 30’s and ready to keel over from what should have been an invigorating walk. My mind was made up and I quit. For over 2 years. At least, in the sense that I didn’t buy cigarettes. I didn’t smoke cigarettes. But I never stopped feigning for cigarettes. It was oh-so easy to start back up. I’ll just smoke when: fill-in-the-blank. And then as I became more comfortable with the different allowances to smoke, I was a full-time smoker again.

Now, I am back into the world of not smoking. Again. After another attempt back in August of last year. I went three weeks before I just had to smoke again. I have been wanting to post about  my non-smoking journey that began a few months ago but honestly, I was afraid that I would have given in again. I am trying, no not trying, I am succeeding at being a non-smoker. The first month really didn’t bother me. It’s been the second month going into the third that had me going absolutely bonkers! It was through a newsletter for people who have quit smoking that I read once you get to the third month and haven’t smoked, your chances for remaining a non-smoker increase tremendously. That is what I held onto for dear life as the days from 2 months into 3 months slowed down drastically.

I’m still struggling with the addiction part at times but not so much that I am willing to taint my non-smoking lips and lungs! The app does tell me how much money I’ve saved as well as how my body is healing. Like most smokers who quit,  I have packed on the pounds.  I can’t even say it’s because food tastes so much better. It’s because I want to SMOKE! The next phase of kicking the habit is to turn my eating habits around. I knew I would gain weight and gave myself a time period to substitute one oral fixation for another. Temporarily, that is!  And so the determination continues into another day I can add to my time of kicking the habit. I’m off into the next journey of kicking the jiggly off my belly!

Any addictions you quit? How many times did it take you? What are some words of advice and encouragement you can give the rest of us?

All I Want Is My Two Front Teeth

I’ve had quite a few people tell me, ‘I don’t dream.’  I’ve read and heard we all dream but most people don’t remember them. Aside from liking sleep because it’s sleep, I look forward to the dreams my mind creates. Most of the time, I don’t ‘read’ into my dreams or try to understand what they mean. Typically, I just think of my dreams as movies while I’m sleeping. But every once in a while, I will have a dream which makes me curious and open to trying to interpret what my mind created.

I have a couple of recurrent dreams: One where I have the ability to jump high, high, in the air, almost as if I have wings and can fly. It never fails, I end up jumping too high, get that scared feeling in my stomach, and then figure, enjoy the ride! (Once the fear has subsided, I realize I can control the flight down.)

The other dream, is where my teeth are either loose or they fall out. Usually, I can put my teeth back where they were but always with the apprehension they might fall out again. Up until the most recent dream, the loose teeth were my back teeth. This time, however, it was my two front teeth. It caused me great anxiety in this dream because teeth missing from the back of your mouth aren’t as obvious when you smile. Missing front teeth are obvious when you smile. And I’m a big cheeser!

It made me curious about what losing my teeth could symbolize so I went to see what the internet had to show me.

A common theme I came across is that dreams of losing teeth symbolize the loss of youth or anxiety of getting older. Hmmm, when I thought about it, I realized lately I have been taking a look at my age and mortality. I’ve peeked in the mirror and have noticed wrinkles becoming more apparent to me. My once thick hair, isn’t so thick.  I can see a correlation between the two.

Interestingly, teeth also represents family. Your upper teeth represent male family members and your lower teeth represent female family members. Front teeth represent siblings and kids. Molars represent your parents and grandparents, whereas the other teeth represent aunts and uncles. Go figure, huh? I have an idea about the front teeth theory I will share at a later time. (I’ve had some interesting dynamics and life changes over the last nine months, to say the least.)

There was also some talk about losing teeth which could mean you want to ‘sink your teeth into something major’ or perhaps, you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. I’d have to say that both are probably true for me at this point, although the lines aren’t too clear for now.

I found the possible meaning of my dream to be interesting in how it can relate to my life. But I will admit, I was more intrigued and tickled to find a frog with missing teeth, seeing how I collect frogs! 

Do you have a recurring dream? What is it about it? What do you think it means? 

Women In Their 40’s

As I was walking to the office today, (always a great time to think and create in my mind), I thought about a conversation Jeannie and I had a couple of weeks ago.

We were discussing our ages since my birthday was  coming up. Jeannie turned 50 this year. I asked her if it bothered her to turn 50 and she said no, turning 40 was harder for her. Turning 30, for me, was extremely hard. I don’t think I was quite ready to let go of the 20’s. However, turning 40 was very exciting for me. In fact, I was telling people a whole year ahead I was 40; that’s how much I was looking forward to it.

(Did I just hear some hhhhmmmm’s go through your minds?)

I’ve always enjoyed  hanging out with older people and my friends are typically quite a few years older than I am. I remember during my mid to late 20’s, a couple of friends and I talking about, what else, our ages. (seems to be a pattern here.)

My friends were in their 40’s already at the time. I remember one friend telling me, “There’s something about being a woman and turning 40. You start to gain more confidence. You speak your mind more freely instead of holding back. It’s just different. I can’t really explain it but you’ll understand when you’re our age.”

I never forgot that conversation. 

During the conversation Jeannie and I had, she made the comment that she thinks when women enter their 40’s, they become even more beautiful and she believes the inner confidence is what radiates on the outside. (sound familiar? favorite song.) 

I think Jeannie summed it up. There is something about becoming older and having a confidence life brings you. 

 Do you think women become more 
confident as they get older? 
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