Monday, March 31, 2014


I absolutely adore Broadway. I wouldn't call myself a Broadway fanatic: I don't even know what shows are playing right now, I can only name a few Broadway stars, and I have never stepped foot in New York City. But I could listen to show tunes all day long, and I get a feeling of giddiness and excitement when I talk about Broadway shows.

I think it is due to my general love of music. The combination of storytelling and music weaved in Broadway shows is genius. I have loved listening to show tunes since I was a little girl. My mom and I was blast the "Broadway Kids" CD in the car while we did errands. I used to watch Annie on a regular basis. I knew all the words to Joseph by the time I was 10.

My love for Broadway grew stronger in high school. It was then I learned about Les Mis, A Chorus Line, and Rent. I fell in love with all of them. There was a time where I listened ONLY to the Rent soundtrack. Wicked came out my senior year of high school, and my friends and I had an unhealthy obsession with the music and characters.

I squeal whenever Glee does a Broadway tune. I put the showtunes station on Sirirus Radio more often than I do Top 40. And I dream, of one day, seeing a Broadway show in New York.

My 10 Favorite Broadway Musicals
and my favorite song from each :)

10. Dreamgirls

9. The Music Man

8. A Chorus Line

7. Chicago

6. Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

5. Sound of Music

4. Annie

3. Wicked

2. Les Mis

1. Rent 


Today is Day 1 of the A-Z Challenge, a huge blog challenge that I have participated in for the past few years. I have no set "theme" this year. My only goal is to keep it positive. I am going to try to write about things that make me happy, things I love, things I have accomplished or seen, music I have discovered, people I have met. I hope to introduce you to new things, connect with you, and learn from you!

I'll admit it: I put too much thought into this post, at first. I wrote down all my possible topics and even e-mailed a few friends, asking their opinion on which topic they would most like to read. Everyone gave me a different answer, so I was back at step 1. And then I decided to just start writing. Whichever topic felt most "right" would end up coming out. That is the approach I will take for the rest of this challenge. Just write, and it will be right. (Cheesy, huh?)

When I was a little girl, I loved watching Touched By An Angel. I thought the stories were amazing, and they always made me FEEL something. Comfort, maybe.

For as long as I can remember, I have believed in angels. It could be my Catholic upbringing, or it could just be part of who I am. All I know is, I believe in angels. I believe each of us are watched over by angels. I believe I have a guardian angel who has comforted me in times of distress and saved me in moments of danger. When my anxiety was really bad in college, there were many nights when I stayed up crying, praying for comfort. And then I would feel- literally feel- a hug. It brought me peace when I needed it the most.

I believe that angels also speak to us through other humans. Take, for example, the time I did my 1/2 marathon. I believe several "angels" helped me through that race. There was a point where I didn't' think I was going to make it, and a little girl sporting a Taylor Swift t-shirt handed me water and told me to keep going. And then again, when I could see the finish line but wanted to quit, a fellow walker slowed down so we could walk together. When I told her I was going to run the rest of the way, she said she was going to was going to walk. I ran ahead, and heard her cheering for me behind me. When I crossed the finish line, I looked behind me and never saw her again. That is probably coincidence, but she was an angel to me.

There are other examples- like when my brother was nearly killed in a car accident after having a seizure, survived, even though the police and bystanders said there was no way he should be alive. He walked away with no injuries. Or how, whenever my mom can't find something, she prays to Tony, a student in her class who was killed by a drunk driver quite a few years ago, and she suddenly finds her item.

I can't explain to you why tragedies still happen, even though I believe in angels. "Why didn't angels save ____". Those are things none of us can answer, and nothing I say can justify those losses. All I can say is that life, and death, are explainable. It is not up to us to understand it or to fix it. We just have to be present, and be aware.

I do not know if my guardian angel is someone I know who passed away. At times I feel my grandma's presence, other times I feel Laurence. Or my angel could be someone I have never met. But I know I have one.

The next time something extraordinary happens to you, take some time to think about it, focus on it. Remember the words exchanged, remember who was there. You may discover something bigger.

There are a lot of songs about angels, but this one is probably my favorite. Enjoy.

Dear Ryan

Dear Ryan,
I totally forgot to do a letter for February, I'm sorry buddy!

You have grown up SO much. You are talking, running, playing hockey, making animal noises, getting good comments from daycare. It is amazing to watch you grow. I just wish you would quit getting sick. It seems every time I see you, you have a runny nose or a cough. I know it's no fun for you, and I pray your immune system hurries up and gets stronger so that you stop picking up so many germs.

Your daddy taught you how to smile. Anytime I ask you to smile, you scrunch up your whole face! It's adorable. I hope you always smile like that. :)

I have gotten to spend some time with you a few times when Mommy and Daddy had volleyball and I just love getting to see you. Right now your favorite game to play is hockey. You use your lincoln logs that Tom bought you as sticks and you hit the ball across the room, and then giggle as you go chase it to hit it again. I have an inkling you are going to be an athlete like your mommy and daddy! You love to watch sports, too. I am not giving up on music, though!

My favorite word that you have learned is "Papa". That is your name for Grandpa, and the way you say it is just so cute and you know what it means. The first time you said it for Grandpa Carolin, he was so excited. I think he had tears in his eyes, and his smile was the biggest I have seen in a very long time.

You are getting so smart- you know your animals and what noises they make and you are learning your colors! Plus, you have routines down to a science. I watched you help your daddy "get the drinks ready" for dinner. You did great! You know where to get Clancy's food, you run over to your chair at dinner time and you know "bedtime" means you hug Clancy goodnight and you head for the stairs. It's amazing!

I love you so much, Ryan. Right now you are very attached to Mommy and Daddy, so sometimes you cry when I come over to watch you because you don't want them to leave. I get it, they are so awesome and great parents. It doesn't hurt my feelings. I just give you your time, and pretty soon you are giggling again and we are playing.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to go to Florida with you in a few weeks. I wonder if you will eat seafood, or how you will like the sand and water. I hope you have the greatest time building sandcastles. It is going to be a trip full of memories and smiles.

Love you, Ryan!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I take in a deep breath of the crisp, fresh air and skip off my porch. I have no destination or route in mind, I just need to feel the earth beneath my feet. As I begin to walk, I realize the air has gotten a bit colder, and ponder turning back. No, pushing forward would be best. The sun has not yet set and this is one of the first warm days we've had since the fall. It would be a shame to turn back.

I walk past the school- on any normal afternoon, the fields would be flooded with kids in uniforms, practicing lacrosse or soccer. Today, it is still and silent. A few other walkers pass me by, some with dogs. We smile politely at each other, a code.

I take the street that leads me to the tennis courts, baseball diamonds and skateboard park. Most of my walk has been silent up until this point, but now the laughs and chatter of teenage boys fills the street, along with the rolling and clicks of their skateboards.

I keep walking and see all the small businesses and studios that I have never noticed before.They are hidden back here, like gems waiting to be found. Fancy hair salons and private yoga studios, closed now, but sure to be busy tomorrow. These streets are at peace until a new work week begins. The owners, I'm sure, are sitting at home, preparing for the week to come, going over their future appointments and classes.

I find myself back on a residential street. I take note how close the houses are to the street, and to each other. With just a glance you can look into these homes. I see a couple doing dishes, a child watching cartoons, a young woman doing paperwork at the kitchen table. I begin to imagine the different stories that are taking place in these homes. And then, I begin to pray for each home that I walk by. I pray that the home is filled of happiness and peace, that there are no worries or anxiety. I pray that they sleep well and have a good week full of blessings. I do not know these people, nor do I know what is going on in their home, but I find I want them all to be happy. We all deserve to be happy.

The stories in each of these homes vary. Some homes are occupied by large families, others older couples, and others just a couple of roommates. There are all kinds of families grouped together in these homes, not one of them is the same. That's the beauty of the human race. That's the gift of life. We've all been blessed with this gift, but it is so very different for each of us. We need to treasure and honor this gift, with each step we take. We also need to recognize that each of us are just living out our story, trying to survive, and to find happiness along the way. If we held each other closely in positive, grateful thoughts, recognizing how precious each day is, perhaps life would be calmer, with more smiles.

May you all have a beautiful week.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday: 50

Had you told me a year ago, "Megan, you're going to lose 50 pounds", I would have laughed in your face. I would have considered it impossible.

But a year ago, I was a different person. A year ago I had a broken heart and a warped mind. I had poor self esteem and low confidence. I hid from the world. I lacked ambition and drive. Looking back at it now, THAT almost seems impossible. THAT almost seems like a stretch.

Because that is so far from where I am now.

All it took was a minor health scare and a real, sit down conversation with a doctor to get me going. That was the first step of many. And with each step I continue to take, I feel better and stronger than ever before.

I wanted to share with you all some things I have learned along the way. These are in no order, just how they appear in my mind.
  • Celebrate every small accomplishment. I remember when I first started working out and I could barely do a mile on the bike. Now I can do 10. With each mile gained, I celebrated.
  • Self affirmation really does work. And by self affirmation, I mean talking to yourself- positive things, of course! Today was I was running and feeling like I was going to die, I just kept saying to myself you are so awesome! You can do this! Keep running! You are your best cheerleader.
  • Don't be afraid to say no when someone offers you something. It is okay to turn down a cookie or a donut or whatever else is being offered. It's not rude. Just politely decline. If you do take, it, however, do not beat yourself up. Eat it, enjoy it, put it in your food log.
  • It's also okay to order something special at a restaurant. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for it. Take your time and choose carefully. Want that omelette with egg whites instead of regular eggs? Order it. Burger no bun? Order it that way.
  • Change up your exercise routine. This was the biggest thing I had to learn: you can't get very far doing the same thing over and over again. Shake it up and mix it up. Your body will be confused, but grateful. Don't be afraid to try new things.
  • Do not rely on the words of others. This is YOUR body and YOUR health. At the end of the day, you are doing this because YOU want to and because it will benefit YOU. So don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't, and also, don't do this for anyone else.
  • Seek out advice from professionals. It has taken me a team of people to help get me where I am- I have learned so much about diet and fitness from them! 

  • Keep your emotions in check. Don't let them get the best of you.
  • Do not become obsessed. This is actually something I STILL struggle with. I have to remember to not become obsessed with the scale or numbers and just keep going. Obviously you need to check in occasionally to be sure you are on the right track, but also make sure you aren't being crazy. I was crazy for a minute there.
  • Plan your meals ahead, get all your groceries for the week. Cook your meals as much as possible, and try to cut out processed foods.
That's all I got for now. 

Friends, thank you for being with me on this journey. Thank you for your comments, encouragement, hugs, and love. I am so appreciative. 50 lbs is a lot. It's still sinking in that I have actually lost 50 lbs. I am so happy, so proud of myself and so ready to keep going!

What happens next? I still have weight to lose. I am still considered overweight. I have between 70-80 lbs to go still. I know it's not going to be easy. This has already been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and it's not over yet. But I will get to the point where I am no longer considered overweight, where I am healthy and where I am able to live life to my full potential. 

I want you all to know that you have the ability to make positive changes in your life. It doesn't have to be weight loss. But if there is a goal in mind, or something you have been wanting to do, you CAN do it. Trust me. This is coming from someone who couldn't walk up a flight of stairs 6 months ago. You CAN do it. You are WORTHY of doing it. Now, you just need to take the first step.

Thank you again, I cannot express that enough, I am on cloud 9 celebrating 50 pounds gone. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I worry.

I worry when someone doesn't answer my texts because I assume that they are angry or upset with me. I spend the next several hours rehashing our last conversation to pick it apart and pull out anything that may have upset them. I constantly check my phone until they respond.

If i am waiting for someone to come home or to meet me somewhere and they are late I worry that something terrible happened to them. My mind automatically jumps to the worst case scenario. I can't concentrate on anything else until I know that they are safe.

I hate being late because I don't want everyone staring at me when I walk in. So I either get to where I need to be early, or, I don't go at all. I have missed classes and important meetings because of this.

Any ache or pain I feel turns into fear of serious illness or disease, which esclates quickly because the more I worry about the symptoms, the more symptoms I suddenly develop. I have thought everything from gas leak to brain cancer.

I worry so much about letting you down that sometimes I tell you the things you want to hear rather than the truth. This is what I am most ashamed of. I am better, but not 100%.

I fear social interaction because I worry that I will say something wrong or do something stupid, so I avoid it. I make excuses, like being sick or being too busy or having family things to do. Anything to get out of a social situation.

I never once raised my hand in school in fear that I was wrong. To this day, when I have to speak in group meetings I rehearse what I am going to say several times to make sure I say it correctly.

I despise shopping because I am terrified of strangers talking to me and I don't want a sales associate to help me or to ask me too many questions. I also will never ask them a question. If I don't see my size, I simply leave.

When the phone rings, I panic. My mind automatically assumes it is bad news. Usually, by the time I get the courage to answer the phone, the other person has already hung up. And I won't call you back because I'm scared of what you will say.

Making a phone call should be easy, but for me, I have to give myself a 10-20 minute pep talk before I do it. For work related things, it is always last on my to do list. I do everything else first and e-mail when I can.

New things terrify me. I like routine and I don't want to be surprised or unprepared. When going to a new class or event I will keep my head down to avoid eye contact and keep to myself as much as I can.

These are just some of the things I worry about. Don't feel sorry for me. I used to feel sorry for myself, until I accepted that plain and simple, this is who I am. I can't change it. I have help and I get through each day, some are harder than others, and I survive. Like all of you. We are all just trying to survive.

Some will say I shouldn't have written this blog, and that these types of things should be kept private. Maybe so but this is my story, this is my life, and I am choosing to speak about it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The 10 Most Important Moments of My Life.

When I first read this writing prompt, I figured it would be easy. 10 Important moments? Sure. I can do that. Easily. I began to write about graduations and major accomplishments or rejections. But then I began to think of small moments, and I realized: Important moments are not always revolved around a major life event. Some of mine are, but many are small moments that turned into something much bigger. I think we often put too much pressure on the "big moments". 

Here are 10 of the most important moments in my life, in no particular order. 

1.  Holding my nephew Ryan for the first time. It was in this moment that I learned the true definition of unconditional love. I instantly wanted to protect him, and to be there for him from then on. He was so beautiful and precious. He was a treasure and a gift. My heart was full of emotions I had never felt before. I blocked everything else out and just focused on that little guy. 

October 30th, 2012. 

2. Visiting Laurence, just a month before he died. I knew that I had to see Laurence. I am still thankful and blessed that I was able to do so just a few weeks before he took his final breath. It was up in the air if I was actually going to get to see him. He obviously was not doing very well, and having visitors was a risk.  At this point in his disease process, his mind was slipping and he was very weak. My aunt called over to his house, and Laurence answered the phone. She asked him if we could come over- she began to remind him who I was, and through the phone I heard a very strong "Florida". My eyes began to swell up with tears. Laurence remembered me, and our trips to Florida together. She started laughing and said "yes!". We got to see him. Not for long, but enough for me to tell him I loved him. That moment reminded me the importance of family, and of gratitude.  

3. Entering the halls of Mercy High School for the first time as a student. There are many things I am proud of in my life, but being labeled as a "Mercy girl" is at the top of the list. My four years there were full of important moments. The interactions I had with teachers and fellow students shaped me into the woman I am today. Although friendships have faded and I am not close with many of my high school pals anymore, it is perhaps more notable the impact that MERCY itself has had on my life. I try to live the Mercy values every single day. My faith is strong because of Mercy. My respect for women and myself is strong because of Mercy. I am me because of Mercy.

These are some of my friends form Mercy. I believe it was our senior year. 

4. Hearing Melinda Doolittle perform "There Will Come A Day" on American Idol. It was late April 2007 and I was a complete and utter mess. My food addiction was at it's worst and I had also began drinking. My "friends" at the time were horrible influences and enabled my negative behaviors. I spent most of my time locked up in my room. I remember this moment distinctly. I walked into my bathroom, crying, looked in the mirror and did not even recognize myself. The TV was on and Idol was playing in the background. Suddenly I heard a voice singing "hold onto your faith, there will come a day". I walked back over to the TV and watched Melinda finish her song. From that moment on, I wanted to be better, to do better, to feel better. I had relapses, I had times of sadness, but for the most part, that began the healing process.

5.  Walking into the Carter household the first day I babysat for them. This is another moment I remember very clearly. Martha was sitting on the steps changing the baby's diaper. Fred was on the couch, sick, and weak. Martha looked up and smiled, welcoming me into their home. A few weeks prior, my mom had called me in tears, telling me Martha's husband Fred had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. It was a disease I knew all too well, as I had lost my grandmother to it, and also knew Sam's friend Amanda had passed away from it. Fred was the stay at home dad, so Martha needed help with the kids in these summer months. My time with MVC was coming to a close so I agreed to help out. I had no idea that Martha, Fred, and their kids were going to have such an impact on me. I think about them a lot. Caroline probably does not remember me from her days as a baby, when I changed her diapers and put her down for naps, but she made my days so much brighter. Lizzy, CeCe and Mary made me laugh, drove me crazy, and gave me hope, all at the same time, sometimes within moments of each other. Lizzy especially. Since the day I met her I've said this but she and I are very similar. Sensitive, worried, caring, motherly, and queens of procrastination. And the boys- Charlie and Spencer- I cannot tell you how proud I am and have been of them since that first day. I adore this family, and I am so grateful I was able to spend a few weeks with them that summer. 

I am totally making this my next #tbt picture. I love these kids. Spencer is missing from the picture because he was 13 and too cool for us.

6. The night I called my parents because I thought I was dying. Sam and Lauren were at a concert. I opted out because I had a migraine. Which led to my arm going numb, which led to chest pains, which led to feeling like I was having a stroke or a heart attack. To this day I am still not sure if something was medically wrong with me or if my anxiety made things worse, but I think it was a little bit of both. My dad came to get me because I was terrified to sleep alone. I sat on my parents couch and we talked- a lot- about my weight and health. It was something I hated talking about. I knew it was a problem but I avoided it. A few days later, they forced me to go talk to their friend Paula, a doctor. I trusted them to know they knew what they were doing. I felt like a child, but I think that is what I needed. Paula told me about a gym. I joined said gym. I've now lost 51 lbs. All because I made that call to my parents. I am getting healthier and along with that have found happiness and fulfillment.

7. A google search that led me to . I have written about this countless times so I know you are all aware of my friendship with the backups, but I do believe it was one of the most important moments of my life. It was shortly after I had met Melinda for the first time, and I was searching the Internet for other Melinda fans. I came across that page and joined. Things really started to change when I entered the chat room for the first time. I instantly became close with some of the members. Through the backups I have gained faith, strength, love, support, and wisdom. They have helped break me out of my shell, celebrated my happy moments, and came to my rescue in my not so happy moments. They will always be some of the most important people in my life.

The first time most of us Backups met, back in 2007.

8. Deciding to become best friends with Sam. I know that sounds like an odd statement but it's pretty much how it happened: I was at a party with some of my other sorority sisters and Sam and I were out on the balcony. I think at that point we knew we were going to be living together the next year with two other girls. We were friends, but not super close. Until I declared, LOUDLY, on the balcony, that Sam and I were going to be "future bff's". And we did. People have a misconception that Sam and I are only friends because of Idol or that's what keeps us close, which is ridiculous and false in so many ways. Yes, we both like Idol and yes we watch it together and go to tour together but that's not the only thing holding our friendship together. She is literally like my 2nd half. I really cannot imagine my life without her. She has been there for me through good and bad and she's an incredible person. Deciding to become best friends with her was one of the smartest things I've ever done :)

I am almost positive this picture is from the night I decided we were going to be BFF's.

9. Making it "official" with Tom. This was actually exactly 6 months ago, even though we were together "unofficially" for about 3 months before that. I'm not really one for labels and anniversaries, but making it official and calling him my boyfriend was important. It has been the best six months of my entire life. We are a pretty simple couple- we get carryout, watch stupid stuff on TV, work out together, etc. Which some people might find boring, but for me it's perfect. If I can be honest here for else a second: I never thought anyone else was going to love me. I never thought someone would find me beautiful or want to spend their time with me. Tom does, and he goes above and beyond to make me feel special. He doesn't even have to do anything, though, I feel special just being around him. I love having him near me. Today, while I'm recovering from the flu, he was here, just sitting next to me while I read my book, and it was perfect. He's the best!

10. My dad's cancer diagnosis. This moment opened my eyes to a whole new world. Until that moment, cancer was something that happened to everyone else, not us. But suddenly our lives were changed. We had to learn all the lingo, we had to accept the fact that we were grieving a loss of normalcy. But at the same time, we were embraced and loved by hundreds of people- all wanting to help, all praying, all sending me the kindest, nicest messages I had ever gotten. It really made me realize that even through the worst moments, there is good, and that each moment really does need to be cherished and held tightly. My dad's diagnosis brought me even closer to my family than I was before, which is hard to imagine if you know us. It made me strong and it made me driven to live and lead a happy and healthy life- for him, for my mom and for me.

These are just 10 of the most important moments in my life. There are many, many more. And there are more to come. The cool thing about life is that we never know when these moments will arise. They just happen. We just need to be open to them. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday

Most of you read my Facebook, so you are well aware of my little mishap this morning. I stepped on the scale, full expecting to be able to jump on here and talk about officially hitting 50 lbs (I was at 49.8 yesterday). But when I stepped on the scale, it read that I GAINED two lbs. Overnight.

I know it's not possible. I know it's water weight or sodium or some other silly thing. There is no way I consumed 7,000 calories yesterday (that's how much it takes to gain 2 lbs). But I was still frustrated. I want to celebrate 50, damn it!

I am not going to weigh myself for another week. Which will kill me, because I am antsy and anxious to hit that 50, but I am becoming obsessive and I don't want to pick apart numbers and scales. I would rather focus on how I am feeling and what I am doing and eating. So hold tight, friends. I will come back next week with a full report.

I have once again switched up my workouts. I've started adding in more intense interval training on the treadmill, attending Zumba toning classes, and doing the Stairmaster. Next week, I am going to start swimming once a week again. I realized I wasn't quite hitting my calories burned goal over the last few weeks, so I am paying more careful attention to that now.

I see a new doctor tomorrow. As much as I liked my old one, her office staff ruined it for me. They were constantly rude and condescending. I really did not want to deal with that anymore. So tomorrow I see a new doctor, and I'm scared. I am worried she is going to tell me I need to lose weight. I think I may end up blurting out my weight loss story as soon as she walks in the room, sort of as an "I know I need to lose weight, but I've lost nearly 50 lbs already, just so you know". I guess we'll see how it goes. And maybe she can give me some insight into these mini plateaus I run into, as well as my weak immune system and sinus issues.

My trainer at the new gym looked over my food log and noted that I am not eating enough protein. I don't eat red meat (not for any reason other than I don't like it), so I kind of new, I'm horrible with snacks. I don't eat them. I eat my three meals plus tea and a small desert at night. I need to be better about packing a snack that contains some protein during the day at work.

That's all I have for today, friends. I apologize for the lack of excitement and proper writing. I am slowly starting to fall into a better routine with my new job, but still getting used to it. My writing has taken a dive! I need to get back into it.

Have a lovely rest of your week!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

One year

A year ago, just as I was getting home from work, my phone rang. The caller id read "private". Normally, I would ignore these types of calls. But I was hopeful that it was my then boyfriend, who had been acting weird the past 24 hours.

It wasn't him. It was his ex girlfriend, who I knew he still talked to, even though he had promised me he stopped and that he "wanted nothing to do with her". But sometimes I would look over and see him texting her. I would ignore it, not wantin to start a fight. I should have known. 

Based off the information I just gave you, I'm sure you can all imagine what happened next. 

In the moments following that phone call, I felt my world crashing. Which sounds totally desperate and sad but it is sadly true. I thought the world of him, I never thought he'd hurt me. Until then, things seemed fine. But as it turns out, nearly everything about our relationship was a lie.

To discover that the last 4 months of your life were a lie and meant nothing is a hard, cold pill to swallow. I felt washed over. I felt betrayed, and I didn't know who I was or who I wanted to be. 

And that, my friends, is when Tom came in. It was his birthday. I took to Facebook with my emotions. Tom and I were still Facebook friends. He immediately messaged me to ask if I was okay, and we started talking again.

I was a mess. I mean, a mess. I felt like I was worthless and unloveable. Tom helped change my mind.

So really, even though I felt like my world was crashing a year ago, it was actually just beginning. 

Once I pulled myself together and began to see myself as someone important and worthy of love, I began to exercise and eat healthy. I became the best version of myself, all while having my best friend by my side.

It took a while. I had a few months of feeling like a zombie, of crying so much my eyes burn, of intense anger flowing through my blood. But with Toms help, along with the help of my friends and family, I made it out, and I made it out much stronger and better than I ever would have imagined.

Today is Tom's birthday. I will never be able to give him a gift like he gave me last year: hope. But I am wishing him the happiest birthday ever. He's got a lot on his plate right now but I know he can make it, just like I did. Tom, thank you for all the laughs, hugs, hoodies, support, and encouragement you've shown me through the last year. We've got this, babe! Happy birthday! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday

Please excuse me if you sense some sassiness or crankiness in my post, I'm a wee bit grumpy. We've had really great weather these past few days and today got hit with high winds and 6 inches of snow. For those of you who have been playing along, you know Michigan, among several other states, had has had a horrible winter. And I am beyond over it.

I lost another lb, putting me at 47 lbs lost. I'm excited, but also slightly anxious, because I am back in my cycle of staying the same and then dropping. I miss the weeks where I lost 1-2 lbs a week. But hey, I will get there, right?

I have two things I wanted to share this week.

The first is that I had to do an online health assessment this week for work. After answering all the questions, a little box came up that read

"Megan- Based on the information you provided regarding your age, height, weight, and waist measurements, you are considered overweight and should begin a weight loss plan. Would you like us to help create one for you?"

I. Wanted. To. Scream.

I've lost 47 lbs and I am still considered overweight. Which I know, but still. I don't want some computer telling me that! It felt like a slap in the face. I have worked really hard to get to this 47 lb mark and I am damn proud of it, thank you very much! And no, I don't need your help. I'm doing just fine.

Maybe in a few months I can edit my assessment and they'll tell me "Megan- WOW! You have a rockin bod! Keep it going!".

The second thing I wanted to share is a little bit happier.

I decided to do some major "spring cleaning". (Since, you know, it FELT LIKE SPRING AND THEN THE POLAR VORTEX DECIDED TO SHOW UP AGAIN). I went through every single article of clothing and tried things on. I ended up filling two garbage bags full of clothes that are too big. That made me feel damn good! Usually when I do this, clothes are too small! Not anymore! I am slimming down, toning up and clothes are getting bigger. Take THAT, health assessment!

Have a good week, everyone. Stay warm and dry!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Join Me.

On September 24th, 2013, my family squeezed together on an uncomfortable couch in a tiny hospital room at Beaumont. We were surrounding my dad, who was in the bed, refusing to put a hospital gown on. We were anxious as we waited to hear the news from the doctors. All we knew at this point was this: A few weeks back my dad had suffered a few seizures. He went to his primary doctor, who ran tests on Friday the 21st. Early in the morning on the 24th, my dad got an urgent phone call from his doctor telling him to get to Beaumont as fast as he could- the results were in, and they were not good. Their were lesions in my dad's brain.

The results we got were not the ones we wanted.


Even more scary, the doctors said that the tumors in the brain were not the PRIMARY source of the cancer. This meant that the cancer had started- and was growing- somewhere else in his body.

Up until this point in his life, my dad was a very healthy man. Not once did we suspect he was sick, never did the word cancer even cross our mind.

Yet, here we were.

After a few more days, and a few more tests, it was determined that the cancer had started in the lungs.

The lungs? My dad was not a smoker. This shocked us all. How could this be? How could we not have known? How long has this been growing inside of him? Where else has it spread?

There were so many questions, so many fears.

The largest brain tumor was removed surgically. My dad was then put on a medication, Tarveca, which is supposed to shrink the tumors and stop them from spreading.

For the next few weeks, I had to retell this story. Coworkers, church members, family, friends- they all wanted to know the scoop. And I don't blame them. My dad is a special guy and a lot of people care about him. But the one thing I got over and over was-

"Did he smoke?"

"No." I'd reply, with a heavy sigh.

While this was all going on, my Aunt Terry was living her final days with lung cancer. She had battled for a few years, but physically, she became too weak. Terry's cancer had also spread to her brain. A lot of people knew my aunt was dying, and that she was relatively young, so they would ask what  her diagnosis was. When I said "lung cancer", I got the same question

"Did she smoke?".

"Yes". I'd reply, with a heavy sigh.

Yes, she smoked. But I do not understand, on her dying days, why that matters. Yes, smoking is bad for you. Yes, there is proof that it causes cancer. But the woman fought hard, and she certainly did not deserve to have cancer handed to her.

And neither does my dad.

Since I began my job with the American Cancer Society I have been doing a lot of research on cancer. One of the things I have learned is that there is a severe lack of funding for lung cancer research. People assume you can only get it by smoking, which is not true at all. But because of that stereotype/stigma, people don't donate toward funding for lung cancer research. Actually, lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon, and prostate cancer COMBINED.

I am asking you to walk with me on May 3rd because by registering to walk and raising funds, we can raise money for early detection, new treatments, and other important research.

I am walking for my dad. I am walking to celebrate the fact that he is surviving. I am walking to prove that it CAN be beat. I am walking to raise awareness. I am walking so that others can breathe easier.

To join me, and my dad, on May 3rd, go hereJohn's Warriors  and click "Join Team"

To donate in honor of my dad, go here , Dad's Page , and click DONATE.

When all of this began, 500 of you joined a prayer page in honor of my dad. You brought him meals, you gave him rides. You asked what else you can do. This is what you can do- join us. Help save more lives.

I want my dad to be around for a long time. I want new research to be found, new therapies, new medications, so that he can keep beating lung cancer. I need my rock, and I need you all to help me fight.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Do not be afraid

Do not be afraid to try something new, it may be the start of something beautiful.

Do not be afraid to say hello to a stranger, you might be the best part of their day.

Do not be afraid to say no, protecting yourself against things you are uncomfortable with is a gift you give yourself.

Do not be afraid to speak up, your voice matters.

Do not be afraid of tomorrow, there is so much to see and to do.

Do not be afraid of what others may say or think about you, their opinion does not define you.

Do not be afraid of your past, you are here now, you have made it.

Do not be afraid to talk to God, He is ready and listening.

Do not be afraid to apologize, it is wise and admirable to recognize your mistakes.

Do not be afraid to forgive, your heart and mind will thank you.

Do not be afraid to let go, there is no use in clenching onto things which do not matter.

Do not be afraid to be the you that you want to be, you are a gift that needs to be shared.

Do not be afraid. A shield of love and light protects you. Be brave. Be you. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Truth

So, I have something to admit to you guys.

I just read my WLW post over again, and I think it's pretty obvious my heart wasn't in it this week.

And it wasn't, because I had a little emotional blip. I stuck with eating healthy and working out, but I got really down on myself.

Someone on Facebook who I am acquaintances with posted that she has lost 35 lbs since January. I cried. I legitimacy CRIED. I felt this pang of jealousy, bitterness, anger. She's lost 35 lbs in two months, and I've lost 45 in 9. I felt like a failure. It was a horrible feeling and I didn't tell anyone about it.

Until now.

I am not a failure, and I cannot compare myself to others or their progress. My progress is my own progress and I should be proud and celebrate each accomplishment that I make.

At first, when I read her post, I was really tempted to give up. Those nasty, doubtful voices crept into my head and told me I was never going to make my goal.

But that's silly, and negativity is not going to get me anywhere. So I told those voices to shut up.

I'm nervous about working out since I am sick and last time I threw myself into bronchitis, so I AM taking it easy and I know I may not get to my 50 lb goal as soon as I wanted, but I am NOT giving up. This is my life now- this is me. I am not going to let anything get in my way.

I feel so much better now that I have let all of this out. It was a rough week, friends. But those voices have been pushed aside, and I have welcomed positive thoughts and gratitude back in.

I am going to do this. No matter how long it takes.

Don't give up on me. I haven't. And I won't.

Weight Loss Wednesday!

I'm sick again. I tried to stop it, but it won. I don't know how or why I keep getting these nasty colds, but I am going to see my primary doc this month and she may refer me to an allergist or ENT doctor. We'll see. For now, it's back on the meds, vitamin c, water, soup and sinus rinse diet :)

I meant to post this yesterday, but I had to work late and didn't get a chance.

I have not lost more weight since last week, which is pretty standard routine now for me (go a few weeks without weight loss then drop a few). I am used to it but continue to push through. Plus, I am still getting in my routine and finally getting over the "new job" anxiety.

Anyways, last week I promised you recipes, so here you go. Here are my absolute favorites. The majority of these are from Skinnytaste.


Soups are my new favorite thing to make. They are quick, healthy, and last a few days.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Turkey Meatball Spinach Tortellini Soup

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Easy Chicken Stir Fry
Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken

Shrimp and Zucchini with Bowtie Noodles
Spinach chicken Pasta Bake

Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Turkey Meatballs

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Let me know if you try any of these! I am off to rest and try to get better!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


For the past several years I have done pretty much the same thing for Lent: give up social media, write a gratitude letter every day to important people in my life.

I can't give up social media this year. Maybe I'll try to take a step back from posting, but considering part of my job duties are related to social media, it'd be pretty tricky to navigate that.

And the letters? I am not doing 40. It's a fun project and I love to hear people's reaction to them... But... After four years of doing this, they start to get repetitive. 

Instead, this year, I am changing it up a little.

I am going to try to drink only water, and decaf tea. That means no coffee. I drink about 4-6 cups of regular coffee a day, so this will be difficult. But I am ready! 

The second thing is that I am going to do a random act of kindness each day. And I don't mean opening the door for someone or saying "thank you". Those are things we should all be doing anyways. I am going to do things like send flowers to friends, buy an item for a stranger off their amazon wish list, give things away, make dinner for my neighbors. I am open to ideas from you all, as well.

And who knows? Maybe some of those random acts WILL BE gratitude letters. :)

If you celebrate Lent, I would love to hear what you all are doing. 

I also want to know if you want to hear about my random acts. I know of a girl who did a random acts project and posted daily about what she did. What do you think?

Have a great week!