The struggle is real.

I have never been stuck on the numbers. Particularly, the number on the scale or the number in my pants. I have always said to myself, “If I am happy with how I feel and look, then I don’t care what the numbers are.” However, there have been times in my life where I have been too indulgent with the pleasures of food and beverage and been stuck on self-loathing.

As a child, I was skinny. Some of my family members thought I looked malnourished! I remember my uncle saying, “Victoria, you eat like a bird!” What a misconception that is! Actually birds do eat A LOT.

As an adult, my weight always seems to be fluctuating. Events in my life seem to encourage these changes. For instance, in the beginning of my relationship with my ex, I was healthy. I was also 19 years old! I have many talents but preparing a meal is not one of them. I can cook, I just don’t. This skillset that I lack, often leads to a lot of dining out. By the end of that relationship…let’s just say I was fluffier.

On my 27th birthday I joined a gym and signed up with a personal trainer. I worked hard and it paid off…for a little while anyway.

Every year I set a daily challenge for myself. A few years ago, I decided to celebrate ALL of the holidays of the year. This challenge served as a reminder to rejoice in the everyday moments of appreciation, laughter, and love and in this journey we call life. It was an awesome year of playing checkers and kazoos and hugging trees…but it was also a year of eating, pasta and corn chips and pies. #celebrateeveryday was quickly turning into #diabeteseveryday!

Toward the latter part of this past summer, I lost some weight. The not-so-concerned numbers girl, noticed the digits were lower than the time she had lost weight before. But then life took some disappointing and unexpected turns. My tank was draining to empty and I was running on fumes. I started talking to food about my feelings. (not literally…I’m not a crazy person!) By the time the Florida winter arrived (LOL), I was more insulated!

I am an emotional eater. I am a foodie. I’m Italian/Irish. ¾ of me eats + ¼ of me drinks=best/worst ethnic combination! Food is social. Want to catch up with a friend? Chances are you’re meeting at a restaurant with two-for-one drinks and bottomless apps.

So here I am, yet again. There is more of me now…a couple more chins and a couple more stretch marks and a couple more lbs…

I am hopeful that in time, I can and will be happy with how I feel and look.

Or maybe I’ll be like Bridget Jones,

“…and yes I will always be just a little bit fat.”

-I hope you found authenticity, honesty and humor in this post-

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Confrontation

Confrontation. It seems as though 9 out of 10 people avoid it. Not me.

I am a problem solver. If I OR we are having a conflict, then I ponder one of two solutions. And with confrontation there really are only two solutions. You either want to heal the wounds or cut the cord. Relationship resuscitation involves having an honest conversation in an effort to come to an agreeable conclusion. A happy medium. Cutting the cord can AND should involve having an honest conversation too. Put the issues to bed.

When advising myself or others, I commonly say, “Check the intention.” Chances are, if your intention doesn’t meet one of the two solutions above…

then YOU are a pot stirrer and a worm can opener.

If you are going to stir the pot, you should know what you’re cooking before you get burned.

AND

You should never open a can of worms unless you plan to go fishing.

It takes a great deal of courage, self-discipline and compassion to be direct with people. I am not talking about the kind of confrontation like telling someone off, but rather the type of confrontation that makes one unpopular, but is essential to generate positive, constructive change in the long run.

I have intentionally AND impulsively initiated several, honest AND unpleasant conversations in my life. From family members TO a boyfriends ex-wife AND anyone else in between.

I am equipped with tools to comfortably handle these encounters. Authenticity, dignity, grace, honesty and respect. No blades or saws in that toolbox, BUT those are power tools, and they can cut like a knife. I understand why a pot stirrer and a worm can opener wouldn’t want to put issues to bed…I’m not confident in the tools in a cowards toolbox.

Their secret is kindness!

In the beginning of August I placed an online order with Victoria’s Secret for about a hundred dollars. I received an email from them stating that it was delivered. My apartment leasing office said they didn’t have the package. The first opportunity I had to call Victoria’s Secret was the Tuesday after Hurricane Irma. I explained the situation and the rep said that she would refund the order and I could reorder online. She did and I did. 
I saw my mail carrier on Saturday and she mentioned that she had a package for me. I had no idea what it was. Well, you guessed it…the Victoria’s Secret order from the beginning of August. So I was issued a refund for items that I now have in my possession. I don’t have statistical data on this, but, I don’t think a lot of people would not have done the right thing in this situation. However, I have the fear of God and karma within me! 
I just called Victoria’s Secret, spoke with the rep, she placed me on hold, and then came back to the line and said, “After speaking to my manager, due to Hurricane Irma and because we are thankful for your honesty, we have decided to allow you to keep the items at no charge.” 
Wow. In all honesty, the delay in the package delivery should not have had anything to do with the hurricane. I’m so moved by this generous gesture. It always pays to be honest.

Right v. Wrong 

It takes courage to be honest. I pride myself on living an authentic and honest life. Living this way is easy and requires less thinking. My insightful intuition is intense. I am excellent at reading people and situations. My transparency facilitates my ability to detect bull$#*t. 
I have zero tolerance for lies. You lie and yet you don’t want to be lied to. Hypocrisy at its finest. 
Call it what you will…
Karma.
Newton’s third law-For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 
Galatians 6:7-A man reaps what he sows.
What goes around comes around. 
Here’s the good news: It is never too late to change!
Your consequences are a gift that bring you lessons for your soul’s personal growth. 
So learn them. Or repeat them. The choice is yours. But until you have learned the lessons, the repercussions of your decisions will keep appearing in your life. 
If you expect different results by doing the same thing over and over again…well, that’s just the definition of insanity and you should just commit yourself now.
Personally, there are very few choices that I make without mentally asking myself, “What will the consequence of this decision be?” My moral compass guides me. Quite simply, right begets right and wrong begets wrong. 
 

Unexpected answers to prayers. 

Sometimes God answers the prayers we pray in ways we never expected. 
I recently accepted a new job opportunity. I was not looking for another job. But when opportunity knocks, don’t let fear hold you back, open the door and embrace the opportunity that has come forth. I gave my resignation earlier this week. After I pulled the trigger, I began to hysterically cry. I was a mixed bag of emotions. Feelings of heartbreak, relief and excitement. However, the most dominant emotion was and IS gratitude and humility. God has blessed me with more more than I deserve. It’s like the song Amazing Grace. I am amazed at God’s grace. 
At our marketing meeting today my resignation was announced. One of my love languages is gift giving. I wanted to give gifts to my bosses and colleagues. I know! Lol Who resigns and then gives a gift?! 
However, I believe the greater gift was a hand written thank you card. I am a firm believer that words have power. Usually when I write something for someone to read I don’t read it aloud. But I think there is a deeper sentiment when words are read aloud. The sincerity of tones and inflections become tangible. As I began to read the card my voice began to shake and my eyes filled with tears. Never underestimate the power of a thank you. 
“You all know me to be energetically positive. What you might not believe about me is that at one point in my life, I felt like a failure. 
At my previous jobs, I got stuck at doing something I was good at. I was comfortable and complacent. I saw myself as having a job but not a career. I equated this to failure.  
It takes a leap of faith to leave a job where you are comfortable, but, life begins at the end of your comfort zone. As you know, I had zero experience in sales and I had a very slow start. Thankfully, my slow start blossomed into a success. 
Quite simply, my marketing style is being myself. I’m sensitive to the needs of my accounts. I’m sincere by way of being authentic and honest. And I’ve been known to be a little silly! 
I no longer feel like a failure. I no longer just have a job. I have a career now. This “job” and the people sitting at this table have changed my life. 
Steve and Kim, I must extend my deep thanks to you both. Thank you for your patience, fairness and generosity. Words cannot eloquently express how much your kindness means to me and how moved I am. I also must say, you are excellent at hiring employees…!
Ladies, we say it all of the time. For a group of smart, self-motivated, type A, alpha women (who can be catty) we genuinely get along and support each other. You have forever shaped me. You are my mentors. You are pivotal women that have left an indelible impression on my life. I take a piece of you with me. 
Love cannot be explained by words, it must be felt. I feel a humble heart. My cup runneth over with love and gratitude. Thank you.”