Posted in News

My take on Harvey Weinstein

If you’ve been living under a rock these last few months, allegations came out against Harvey Weinstein and a slew of other Hollywood directors about sexual misconduct among actors and actresses. This is what started the #metoo campaign. There was a lot of support for the men and women who came forth and also a lot of backlash wondering why it took so long for them to come forward.

As a fellow survivor, I understand why these men and women didn’t come forward. For a lot of them, it could’ve made or broke their careers. In today’s day and age of technology and social media, it is easier for this information to come out.

In my case, it was the early 90’s and this sort of thing was taboo. Luckily I wasn’t assaulted but I was abused.  I was 8 when this happened and the system failed me as a child. Granted, I give Children & Youth the benefit of the doubt as this stuff is not easy to handle. Especially when you have 2 people giving conflicting results. In my case, they couldn’t determine who was lying and who was telling the truth. That can be said in this day and age. What everyone needed was proof. At 8, I didn’t think about writing down everything that happened. My mindset was he was doing this because he loved me. In reality, it is all about control, especially when it’s a younger woman and an older male. My abuse went on for 7 years before I was able to do anything about it. The abuser: my father.

I was 15 when I put my foot down and put a stop to it. When my parents divorced, I stayed with him on the weekends. At first, everything was fine, we got along and hung out with his neighbors. It wasn’t until one night he told me something disturbing that I did for him while under the influence of marijuana. I didn’t remember anything and was disgusted to think that something happened. That’s when the floodgates opened and I went all Hannibal Lecter on him. I went through the long laundry list of things he did to me, of course, him denying everything. He gave me the phone to call the police but instead I ran to a friend’s house that lived around the corner until my mother could pick me up. That was my final straw to go back to the police and put him away.

For a lot of women, facing their accuser is a terrifying idea. I couldn’t imagine if I was in the public eye and having to do this. It takes a lot of support and courage to sit through and recall all the horrible things that happen. He was in jail on an unrelated charge so to see him sit there shaking his head every time I went into detail was a knife digging into my back.

Since statue of limitations had passed, there wasn’t much they could do. I got a restraining order for 6 months and he had to stay 500ft away from me. That fear went with me every time I went to a gas station, shopping center or grocery store. Luckily, I never had to see him again my uncle got married in 2006. We were cordial but if I didn’t have to be near him, I wasn’t. I only saw him a handful of times after that and haven’t seen him since.

As I had kids, I thought about forgiving him and letting him get to know his grandchildren. Then I think back to everything that happened, what he put me and my family through, and the destruction that was left in the aftermath. Not only does it hurt the victim, it hurts everyone around them. I applaud Harvey’s wife to separate from him while this is going on. I couldn’t imagine being with someone that did stuff like this to countless others, thinking it was okay because of who they were.

If you have a hard time believing someone that they say something happened, imagine yourself in their shoes. Imagine the courage it takes, the backlash that occurs and the loss of family and friends. Abuse or assault should never be tolerated and if it happens to you, speak up. It doesn’t matter if you are a child, young adult or an adult. Have a support system intact to help you through, go to the police and bring your abuser to justice.

Even after my father remarried, I don’t know if he ever touched or hurt another person again. It sickens me to think if he did and when these stories come up in the news, it makes me go back to this. I was a lot stronger than a lot of women, even at 8 or 15. The law may not be on your side but if enough happens, someday you’ll be able to sleep in peace knowing your accuser had what was coming to them.

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Posted in News

Happy New Years!

I hope everyone that celebrated had a good time. I spent my NYE creating vision boards for 2019. I still have my travel and home board to make but I’m excited to start creating some goals for the new year. This year will test my faith and see how far I can take my positivity. As Hal Elrod said, can’t change it. I can’t change my past, my mistakes, my faults, I can only change my future. I’m learning to let go of a lot and embrace what life has to offer.

My next chapter hasn’t been written yet as it is still hanging on by the previous chapter. These past few days has me reflecting on my regrets and mistakes. I’ve told people how I’ve felt and it’s blown up in my face. Life is too short and if someone means something to you, tell them. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. I say my prayers every night, thanking the Lord for protecting my family and keeping us safe. I also ask for His guidance and wisdom with everything I do. Whether it be a song on the radio, a stranger or a vision. I have a lot of questions about life and can take all the help I can get.

January will be my busiest month to date personally and professionally. I’m ready for the distractions and welcome the challenges.

Bring it!

Posted in News

What Are Your 2019 Goals?

My business coach has me watching some videos and reading some books to help me get into the right mindset. We will be working to scale my business over the next 90 days as well as build a new business model. He asked about my goals and what I hope to accomplish, hence the reading material. I have a lot of things I hope to accomplish next year, both personally and professionally. He gave me a financial goal he hopes we can achieve. It is more than I could possibly imagine so as the daydreaming goes, I think about what I would use that money for.

Among other things, I passed my Real Estate Exam and go on New Years Eve to meet with a Broker. This would be my 2nd stream of income. I am also taking a Medical Billing and Coding class so I am able to work at home. This would be my 3rd stream of income. Plus I am working on publishing my 2 books as well so hopefully I’ll have 4 streams of income coming in. I am doing everything I can possibly do to be able to support myself and give my kids the things they need. Depending on how my relationship works out, I need to be able to have my own money so I can achieve everything I want.

I started by watching a YouTube video on Vision Boards. I created two about 6 months ago, one personal, one business. I have not completed anything on those boards so I’m exciting to create a new one. I’m already all over Google and Pinterest, picking out the type of house I want, and other things I hope to do. I would love to travel as soon as I get over my fear of flying. There are so many beautiful places in this world and I would like to achieve them while I’m young.

My husband and I are still working on what we plan on doing with our relationship and if I had a timeline in place. He is hoping I wait until our youngest is in school (3 years) before I decide on ending things. I told him 1 year. I am trying to plan out my 2019 to the point where I’ll be happy and everything will fall into place.

I have decided to get out my head and start working. I have been around so much negativity this year that as the year comes to a close, I will be removing all the negative thoughts and only allowing positive vibes to come in. That will include getting rid of negative people and people that only bring me down instead of lifting me up.

Check out these links to get started on creating your goals!

Vision Board- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z45-sB3EH7Q

Hal Elrod- “The Miracle Morning”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0uRp7BoPVY&t=3s

Posted in Fitness, News

Tummy Tuck Surgery Update- 7 weeks Post Op

December 28, 2018 was 7 weeks from my Tummy Tuck Surgery. I will post my before/after pictures as well as today’s. Since surgery, I am down 12.4lbs, 1-1/2 dress sizes and down 1 size in underwear. I have started getting rid of all my 1-2X clothes and started buying XL clothes. Each week I have gotten rid of clothes and inherited some smaller ones. I am currently a size 16 and ordered my first pair of 14W of my favorite Melissa McCarthy Seven7 Jeans. My goal is to be between a 12-14. I still have 30lbs until my goal weight. I start back to regular workouts on Monday with Liift4 so I’m excited to start lifting again. I still can’t do any ab workouts until week 8 so I will modify and do what doesn’t hurt.

When I looked in the mirror today, I realized that I made the right decision. I may have regretted it when I was in pain but as I start wearing smaller clothes and feeling better about myself, I realize it was the right thing to do. If you are still on the fence about it, just do it. Yes there may be complications along the way but there’s nothing better than the feeling of your self-esteem boosting and the glow you will exert.

Before
2 days after

As you can see, I still have a fair amount of swelling, which can go up to a year. I’ve changed my eating habits and increased my water intake. It can only go up from here. I have a wedding in June next year that I will look fabulous for and may even be able to wear a bikini, my first ever. Each year I always had a dream to be able to wear one and this time, it’s a reality.

Let me know what you think and share your before/after photos.

Posted in Fitness, News

I Finally Did Something For Me!

You may have noticed from prior post, I was thinking of getting a tummy tuck. On Friday November 9th, I did just that. I wasn’t nervous going in. My scheduled time was 10:30am. I got to the surgery center early for pre-op and waited patiently for my turn. Around 11:15, my surgeon came in to draw me up and explain what he would be doing. They wheeled me off to the OR, anesthesiologist started the potion, telling me I would feel tingling in my fingers and I would be out. I remember hearing them talking and waking up, very foggy and disoriented. It was my first time being under for 4 hours. I had a nausea patch behind my ear to help with it but it ended up being the reason I didn’t come to when they expected.  I remember very little, except being in a lot of pain.

The ride home went fast and ended up in my chair, sleeping most of the evening. I managed to get a picture of myself in the binder, as I will be taking it off later to clean my bandages. For now, I will post my before and after so you can get a sense of what they did. We had a bet going, the surgeon, myself and my husband on how much they would end up taking off. My surgeon went with 2lbs, I went with 5-7 and my husband said around 9. They ended up taking 9.5lbs of extra skin off my stomach and hips. I knew it would be a lot but I wasn’t expected that much. Now when my mom sees the end result, she’ll realize it needed to be done.

Pain wise, I’ve been doing surprisingly well. They gave me Percocet, which I take every 6-8 hours. I’m trying to wean off but after wheel chairing myself around Kmart, I needed the meds. As we speak, they have kicked in but not enough to make me sleepy. Thursday I go in to get my pain pump removed and hopefully next Tuesday my drains will be next. So far I haven’t regretted my decision as I’ve been able to manage the pain. I will have my daughter or husband take pictures once the bandages and binder are off as I’m afraid looking at my stitches may make me nauseous.

Since my birthday is next month, this was a present to myself. I’m still debating on whether to get my boobs done next year, as they tend to heal better with less pain. Once I’m cleared to work out, I will be working on my chest, legs and butt, as those are the areas that have some skin hanging. Yes this was cosmetic surgery and some may say I shouldn’t have put myself at risk, especially with young kids. Now I’ll be able to keep up with them without this skin weighing me down. Let me know what you guys think and I’ll keep updating my progress.

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Posted in Love, News

What They Don’t Teach You About Having Kids?

what-it-is-like-having-three-kids

We all know children do not come with a manual. Over thousands of years, evolution has changed the way we raise our children. What they don’t teach you is all the added expenses and drama you have to do go through. Besides raising, clothing and feeding your children, you have the expense of daycare, school activities, college, sleepovers, fundraising, the list goes on.

My first rant is Estates. When my mother in law passed away, we found out she left some of her retirement to our 3 kids. After receiving the paperwork from the retirement company, we had to formulate Letters of Appointment. If you don’t know what that is, you have to petition the court for guardianship of a minor in order to claim their inheritance. When we went to the courthouse to find out this, they told us to go to the county website, find the forms, fill it out, pay $60/per child, submit to the judge and he decides whether to sign off on the petition or schedule a court date. I only thought you had to do this is you were petitioning for custody of minors. So we have to submit these forms, a copy of their birth certificates, proving they are ours, and wait. They were not allowed to tell us about filling out these forms because they are not attorney’s. You have to either figure it out yourself or have a lawyer help you out, which could result in hundreds to thousands of extra dollars. If you are on a fixed income, how can someone afford these extra charges? We have to pay out $180 for these forms and wait a few days, weeks or months until everything is signed off. They said if we have to go to court, only one parent can show up. So if I go, I’m signing off that I’m the guardian of 3 kids, not both of us, which could complicate things down the road if something were to happen to me. Meaning if I sign off and I die, my husband would have to go through all of this again to prove guardianship. With his work hours, it is going to be near impossible to get these scheduled with courthouse hours as I would rather have both of us sign off.

Let’s talk Daycare. I was fortunate enough to have a friend of a friend that was only charging me $60/week to watch 2 of my kids while I had one in school. When those rates doubled, I had to chose between them and working. I could not afford both. With what I was making, I would be working for almost free to pay for daycare and we were strapped as it was. With rising costs, I don’t know how most people do it. It is very rare to be able to have one person stay home while the other works. I have to find other means to make some money to contribute especially when my husband gets paid every 2 weeks and I have to go grocery shopping every week, which is anywhere between $100-$200 depending on where I go. I tend to go to discount stores or Aldi’s to pick up most of the goods, which I can get cheap, but sometimes I don’t like their selection so I have to go to either Giant or Walmart, which is not always budgeted. Coupons or getting cash back from Ibotta may help in the long run but you have to accrue a certain amount before you can take out. We made too much for food stamps but I’m happy that the girls get free lunches for school. It’s hard when you have to chose between feeding them and making sure you have enough to eat to take care of them.

When I was in school, they had HomeEc which I learned how to balance a checkbook but I never did the one of having kids. They had classes on how to plan a wedding as they did mock weddings and some kids did the baby test of taking a doll home while it recorded how you took care of it. Between high school and college, there should be more classes on how to run households, budgeting, kids, emergencies, estates, anything to help plan for the real world.

The price of raising kids is only going to increase and with today’s economy, birthrates may decline or we have to move to more economy friendly countries. Honestly, I’m terrified for the future and what my kids will encounter.

What is some advice you would have taken before kids or have found out later on that you wish you knew?

 

 

 

Posted in News

Why Do People Make You Feel Bad because You Want to be Happy?

Why Do People Make You Feel Bad because You Want to be Happy?

A couple of weeks ago, I ended up in the hospital. The night before I started having shooting pains in the back of my arms. They subsided and went away. Not thinking anything of it, I went back to sleep and got everybody ready for the morning. After picking my mother in law up to run some errands, I started feeling nauseous, lightheaded, pains in my arms and legs, my heart was racing, my chest hurt and my vision started getting blurred. After dropping her off and lugging 3 kids with me, I drove myself to the Emergency Room. As I got everyone out of the car, my legs got shakier, making it painful to walk. I started crying as a lady coming out of the hospital had to grab a wheelchair to pull me in. Scared doesn’t begin to describe how I felt.

After answering some questions, they took me back to a room to change so I could get hooked up to the heart monitor. Everything looked good, blood pressure was a little elevated but everything looked normal. They drew some blood to rule anything out and the nurses came in to check on me. We started talking and they told me I probably had an anxiety attack. They ended up giving me some medication to see if that was the issue and it seemed to work. Blood test came back normal, my blood sugar is little high but nothing to be concerned about. My husband came to pick the kids up, having almost getting thrown out by security. Yeah, they’re that bad!

After that, I tried to rest when possible and tried not to get myself stressed out about everything. This past weekend, I was able to reflect on the past 2 weeks. Trying to figure out what happened, I realized in trying to making everyone happy, I was slowly killing myself. I stopped exercising since I neither had the time or energy to do it. I was getting headaches everyday and the kids weren’t making it any easier. Being with them 24/7, trying to take care of my mother in law and my own house, I realized I can’t do it all. I try to to make everyone happy. Even if I ended up having a mild heart attack, nothing would’ve changed. It would’ve stayed the same and it would end up killing me.

Instead, I had an epiphany after that and this past weekend. I needed to do what made me happy. I started back on 21 Day Fix because it’s only 30 minutes and less strenuous on my muscles. I started getting more vegetables and fruit in and laying off the caffeine. I started taking more naps or just walking away from stressful situations.

My husband and I had a long talk about our relationship, kids, and the rest of the family dynamic. I won’t go into much detail because we are still working on a course of action.

In the end, I have to do what makes me happy and will not kill me. If that means I go away for a few hours or a few days, I will do it. I don’t care if my family doesn’t understand it but if they want to stay alive, I need to do things right.

Below are a few quotes I found while surfing the web that have summed up my feelings as of now. I’ll be fine but moving forward, it’s all about me.

Happiness

Posted in News

What is it with schools today?

Today I read an article where a 17 year old girl was told to put Band-Aids on her nipples because it distracted the boys at school.

The gist of the article is the girl got sunburn on her shoulders over the weekend and decided to go to school without a bra on. She still wore an oversize long-sleeve t-shirt, enough to cover herself without revealing anything. For anyone that has suffered sunburns, especially on your shoulders or back, wearing a bra can be quite painful. She is also not small breasted, which I think is why the school made such a big fuss.

From my own personal experience, anytime I’ve gotten sunburn, a bra is the last thing I wanted to put on, especially if you have bigger breasts. The extra pressure from having to hold the girls up can do more damage than good.

According to the article, she hadn’t violated school dress code but that she was considered a “distraction.” It’s 2018 right? We are still having these issues in school, almost monthly where larger breasted girls are getting in trouble with clothing just because they’re bigger. As someone that grew up in the country, most of the guys in my school were rednecks and wore tight jeans. Am I to tell on them because their butts are distracting me from working and make them wear longer shirts.

I don’t understand schools today. I’ve only been out 14 years and the things can get away with today is astonishing. Maybe since cell phones just came out when I was in high school and we didn’t have the issue with social media and sexting.

As a mother of 2 girls, I would be upset if she was my daughter and was being treated this way. I was big breasted in school and never got called out for being a distraction, even wearing low cut shirts or short skirts and that was the early 2000’s.

Something needs to be done about the way we are treating young women who have a little more up top then most girls. Maybe visit Cyber Charter Schools. You can go year round, won’t have to make up snow days and everyone will be safe from bullying and sexual harassment. I knew a bunch of kids that were home schooled that went to proms and dances and didn’t have to face the issues that are plaguing schools today.

As a mother of a boy, I will be teaching him to respect women and know that schools are made for learning, not objectifying women.

In conclusion, something needs to be done. Girls are always going to have breasts, small or large, and shouldn’t be punished for having them. Boys will be boys and they will never change. Breasts have been so sexualized over the years that people forget the real reason we have them in the first place. To feed our children, not to be the object of every man’s fantasy.

 

 

Posted in Fitness, News

Newest Beachbody Coach!

After completing 2 programs, 3 if you include Clean Week, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up as a coach. This was a decision I didn’t take lightly. I’ve known about Beachbody for many years and went into other directions when it came to fitness and nutrition companies. I signed up for a few of them and although they did help me lose weight, they didn’t keep me entertained, as I sometimes have the attention span of a 4-year-old.

Even before I started working out, I was going back and forth about joining. I did my research, watched videos, followed people that were associated with it to see if it was still something I wanted to do. Even if I took a few days and didn’t pay attention to any of it, I always came back to it.

Yes, I will post my link if anyone is interested in learning more. We do have an accountability group on Facebook that is gearing us up for 80 Day Obsession. You will receive quality feedback, inspirations, recipes, struggles from other members and coaches.

I will never pressure anyone to join or buy. My only advice is that everyone that is interested in Beachbody to do your own research. I’ve read and watched negative and positive reviews, even after signing up. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that shares both sides of the spectrum. Every product or program is different for everyone as I will not bash one company over the other. What works for me may not work for you.

If I make money, great. It’s not the top of my priority list. My top priority is toning up, losing weight, and helping others do the same. I’ve already got my mom and sister eating healthier and working out. My mom does a program through work and my sister has access to my Beachbody on Demand if she chooses to exercise.

So if you want to get access to our Free Facebook Group, leave a comment, send an email to musicsamantha@yahoo.com or send me a friend request. If you are ready to make a decision, click here.

I look forward to meeting new people and helping everyone achieve their goals.

Posted in News

My take on Harvey Weinstein

If you’ve been living under a rock these last few months, allegations came out against Harvey Weinstein and a slew of other Hollywood directors about sexual misconduct among actors and actresses. This is what started the #metoo campaign. There was a lot of support for the men and women who came forth and also a lot of backlash wondering why it took so long for them to come forward.

As a fellow survivor, I understand why these men and women didn’t come forward. For a lot of them, it could’ve made or broke their careers. In today’s day and age of technology and social media, it is easier for this information to come out.

In my case, it was the early 90’s and this sort of thing was taboo. Luckily I wasn’t assaulted but I was abused.  I was 8 when this happened and the system failed me as a child. Granted, I give Children & Youth the benefit of the doubt as this stuff is not easy to handle. Especially when you have 2 people giving conflicting results. In my case, they couldn’t determine who was lying and who was telling the truth. That can be said in this day and age. What everyone needed was proof. At 8, I didn’t think about writing down everything that happened. My mindset was he was doing this because he loved me. In reality, it is all about control, especially when it’s a younger woman and an older male. My abuse went on for 7 years before I was able to do anything about it. The abuser: my father.

I was 15 when I put my foot down and put a stop to it. When my parents divorced, I stayed with him on the weekends. At first, everything was fine, we got along and hung out with his neighbors. It wasn’t until one night he told me something disturbing that I did for him while under the influence of marijuana. I didn’t remember anything and was disgusted to think that something happened. That’s when the floodgates opened and I went all Hannibal Lecter on him. I went through the long laundry list of things he did to me, of course, him denying everything. He gave me the phone to call the police but instead I ran to a friend’s house that lived around the corner until my mother could pick me up. That was my final straw to go back to the police and put him away.

For a lot of women, facing their accuser is a terrifying idea. I couldn’t imagine if I was in the public eye and having to do this. It takes a lot of support and courage to sit through and recall all the horrible things that happen. He was in jail on an unrelated charge so to see him sit there shaking his head every time I went into detail was a knife digging into my back.

Since statue of limitations had passed, there wasn’t much they could do. I got a restraining order for 6 months and he had to stay 500ft away from me. That fear went with me every time I went to a gas station, shopping center or grocery store. Luckily, I never had to see him again my uncle got married in 2006. We were cordial but if I didn’t have to be near him, I wasn’t. I only saw him a handful of times after that and haven’t seen him since.

As I had kids, I thought about forgiving him and letting him get to know his grandchildren. Then I think back to everything that happened, what he put me and my family through, and the destruction that was left in the aftermath. Not only does it hurt the victim, it hurts everyone around them. I applaud Harvey’s wife to separate from him while this is going on. I couldn’t imagine being with someone that did stuff like this to countless others, thinking it was okay because of who they were.

If you have a hard time believing someone that they say something happened, imagine yourself in their shoes. Imagine the courage it takes, the backlash that occurs and the loss of family and friends. Abuse or assault should never be tolerated and if it happens to you, speak up. It doesn’t matter if you are a child, young adult or an adult. Have a support system intact to help you through, go to the police and bring your abuser to justice.

Even after my father remarried, I don’t know if he ever touched or hurt another person again. It sickens me to think if he did and when these stories come up in the news, it makes me go back to this. I was a lot stronger than a lot of women, even at 8 or 15. The law may not be on your side but if enough happens, someday you’ll be able to sleep in peace knowing your accuser had what was coming to them.