Boggle the Owl

I wrote a blog for work that I love… but it was shot down because of certain reasons. It was written with love so I am going to just share it here instead. I hope you enjoy it. I’m sorry that I never got the chance to speak with Aria Heller but if she reads this – thank you.

Boggle the Owl Brings Encouraging Messages

Boggle the Owl, a caring, thoughtful cartoon character, was created in 2012 by artist Aria Heller as a gift to her friends who were having a bad day. She wanted to create something to cheer them up. From the first cartoon, “Please don’t be too hard on yourself today,” Boggle became a poster-owl for positive mental health messages.

Heller, who had no experience with cartooning, created Boggle as a one-shot cartoon but the encouraging words of the owl resonated far beyond just her friends, with more than 105,000 reposts. People had found something they needed in this little owl, and many of them sent Boggle personal messages about their struggles. Heller began using Boggle to respond to readers with concern, love, and affirmation and sharing her own stories of mental health challenges. The response was thousands of people linking, reblogging, and writing to Heller about how Boggle’s words affected them profoundly, and in some cases even saved their lives.

While Boggle is no longer active online, the hopeful messages still strike a chord today. A quick Google search turns up numerous images and messages on a variety of social media platforms.

Recent celebrity suicides have garnered a lot of attention and commentary as the “why” someone would take their own life. Many public comments were expressions of dismay, worry and hurt while others were angry and called victims “weak” or “selfish.” The positive, practical, hopeful message from Boggle the Owl seem an important part of the discussion. Many resources are available including resources from APA, from the National Suicide Hotline, the Crisis Text line and many others.

“A cry for help,” is one of Heller’s most popular and strongest message. It even adorns the walls of some therapist’s offices.

Heller described her experience with Boggle to Comic Alliance in 2012: “These people who write in, who are often so depressed, and so self-defeating, and so self-loathing, are getting advice from a cartoon character… who is caring, and kind, and only wants what’s best for them. It makes it so that the things Boggle says can get through to them, when they wouldn’t if I were the one saying them… They know Boggle can be trusted, they know Boggle really means what he says.”

In her cartoons Heller consistently stresses the importance of reaching out for help—to a psychiatrist, a therapist or other health care professional. If you find that you are in need of a psychiatrist, you can use the APA Psychiatrist Finder to locate one near you.

 

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Been a minute…

I know I haven’t been as consistent as I’ve wanted to be on here. I feel like I mentally compose blogs all the time and in the rush of my day I’ve posted them in my mind and kept going. I know that mental posts don’t help others and I really need to schedule into my day blog time – which I am doing right now.

My boss has asked me to write more blogs and I need to practice my writing skills here. My coworker is an excellent writer and editor, but I feel like my writing is subpar and she has to edit the hell out of everything I submit to her.

Sigh. Kate Spade committed suicide. Trump is still president. I am still fat.

Daily realities. Possibly an alternate timeline. I feel topsy turvy since 2016. I know all the epithets thrown at anyone with a liberal point of view. I get it. I won’t write more. I’m just stating my frame of mind. Because, though my personal journey is to lose weight, I feel depressed and anxious a lot more than I ever have in my entire life!

Look, I don’t go about my day cowering in my office but there are moments of sporadic anxiety that pop in and say ‘Sup?’ intermittently within any given day. There are times when I look at my Jenny Craig food and program and groan inside. (My God this program is too damn expensive!) I get low when I read about suicide, politics, #metoo, and so many things that affect our day-to-day. I know people will say to just brush it off and go about your day and focus on important things… but… these are important right? To someone even very close and personal.

I took a mental health trip to the midwest for Memorial Day weekend. I much needed escape to the quiet. Nature. Friends. I crave that peace in my daily life. I feel like another part of my emotional eating issue comes from caring about things I can’t control. I think that’s why many people turn to religion. I get it. I’m very spiritual myself so giving things up to someone else to worry about makes sense. At least for now.

Sorry…

I think after losing my dog I found myself cast adrift. I’m lucky that I had a food program to follow so that I didn’t fall into an emotional eating mess. It’s been a month and half and my heart is still broken. I still cry when I think of him and my eyes still search for him when I get home. My roommates dog has been such a blessing and he gives me love and cuddles – more than I can handle sometimes. He is a beautiful little rescue pup and where I used to share my dog with my roommate – she now shares her pup with me.

So a quick update I’m about 20 pounds down. I have been working out at home with Beachbody programs. I started with Hip Hop Abs and graduated to 21 day fix. I have to say I broke down this morning after Pilates fix. My whole body is sore. I can feel every muscle. I’m fighting hard but feeling pretty beat up. I’m going to do my best to stick to the 21 days. That much I CAN DO. But I swear my brain and my body are arguing and it isn’t fun.

I have not changed clothing sizes but my clothes are looser. I have more pep in my step and I feel stronger. I feel like if someone tries to push me I won’t go anywhere. Very grounded.

So, that is all for now. I’m off to Wisconsin for the long weekend and I’m excited to eat cheese! Take care of yourselves.

Goodbye Puppers…

A lot of things going on in my life but the one thing that blew me out of the water… yesterday I lost my best friend, the greatest puppy of a lifetime, my love to osteosarcoma.  I am heartbroken and it was the worst thing to watch in my entire life. I’m thankful to have had him in my life for almost 13 years. His pain is gone and that’s all that matters.

On a lighter note… I went and spent some me time alone at Starbucks. Just people watching so that I wouldn’t sit home and overeat/emotional eat. I sat with a small almond milk cappuccino for over an hour. Thinking about life, my dog, my friends, my support system… and how I wasn’t hungry. I felt empty and emotional… but it was ok and ultimately I knew it was going to be ok.

Hug your pets if you can. They are only in this world a short time but the love they give lasts a lifetime.

Slow roll…

I was thinking about how drastic the changes have been in the past two weeks. Yet… I’ve never felt better. Wtf? How did this happen? Yesterday I ate well… even sneaked a slice of bread with my chicken tortilla soup… And I got on a bike and cycled up and down the street with my Viking goddess roommate. Have to give props to my roommate for being so supportive. I’m very thankful for her. Anyways, I was on a BICYCLE. We’re talking not since middle school… And I’m 284 pounds people. Mind blown.

I’m not going to put myself down as I would probably make a wise crack that it was humpty dumpty on a bike. But I am going to express my pride that I fucking rode a bike and competently. I’m excited to get to the point where I take my bike to the lake and ride the trails. #springgoals

My Jenny Craig coach Debbie asked me what my practical goals were for the next 12 weeks. I thought about it and I told her that I’m not expecting a miracle and I don’t dream of being a stick but I would like to be a size 16 or a size 14 and get nice clothes to wear. I’m hoping for a steady but slow roll into getting healthy so that I can keep it off and continue to feel good and have higher energy levels.

March 17 I started at 296.6. March 30 I am 283. I have an extraordinary long road ahead of me. And saying those numbers out loud make me cringe in embarrassment. How did I get here? And the only answer I have is “a slow roll of not paying attention.”

Practice Mindfulness

I tend to worry a lot. The past couple months I have been taking opportunities to de-stress and it feels like the world is ramping up the stress on me!

Meanwhile, I’m mid-week of week 2 on Jenny Craig. I’m 11 pounds down. So far the food have been great. No complaints. BUT… I’m sick of eating! No joke. I am tired of eating every few hours. I never thought I’d say that as I’ve got a turkey burger and garden salad in front of me. The struggle is real and I’m trying not to let this stress me out. Because it kinda is! My body is going through a lot of changes. Clean eating is rough on a body used to eating junk daily. There have been moments that I’m queasy. Moments of running to the bathroom to dump fast. Been nauseous a few mornings too and no I’m not pregnant. I get that I am stressing my body either way – whether I eat like shit or fast transition to eating well. So, I’m being mindful of every bite. I’m not forcing myself to finish. And for the first time in forever I know what feeling hungry feels like… and I’m eating slow and feeling full afterwards. Who knew right?

I will say this for Jenny Craig. That is one expensive bitch. I never thought I’d be spending $200 a week for food. I think that’s part of why I’m sticking to it. Because this is so expensive but it’s more expensive to be sick and tired all the time! I’ve committed to the 12-week Rapid Results program for $16 and $100 off your foods (total over 12 weeks). I def need to find new salad dressings that meet the program. Please send me suggestions.

 

A time for change…

I last wrote on February 5, 2018. I’ve been composing in my mind ever since because my wordpress app doesn’t show my blog for some reason. It shows everything else though.

Since Feb 5, I have lost 11 pounds. It took almost 2 months, plantar faciitis and dog cancer for me to get my brain and life in order. To take the hardest look within myself and ask tough questions and really listen to the answers from my psyche.

My feet started to hurt really badly that first week of February. Like could barely walk. I wanted to cry every time I had to get up and walk anywhere. Even walking over to the printer, a cubicle over. I bought shoe inserts and wore compression socks to no avail. I knew I need to make changes.

Then my dog was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He’s almost 13 years old. They wanted thousands of dollars to amputate and do chemo only to extend his life by months. I love my pup so much. He’s been my constant companion for these almost 13 years. I wanted to dive into food face first and live in a food-coma forever at the thought of losing my best friend. I realized that food is my crutch, now, more-so than ever. Something had to give.

Image result for fat shameExcuses- I used to say- “But I don’t eat a lot!” “My metabolism is slow” “It’s my genetics- my whole family is fat!” and a number of other excuses. Now, don’t get me wrong- I have not joined the fat shamers and haters. I will never do that. I’m speaking for myself and the excuses that I gave for being the weight that I am. I would eat an entire bag of SunChips and pretend that was a “healthy snack” and continue with my day. I’d drink 3-5 cappuccino in a day and think it’s only 8 oz. so it’s not much. It is.

On March 13, I was fed up and really close to 300 lbs. Like realllllyyy close. My company had a huge public event that Friday and I went clothes shopping at Dress Barn with my tall, svelte, blonde goddess roommate. I was trying on 3X clothes for the first time in public. My FUPA on full display in every outfit that I tried on. A low lying bulge that hung down over my p—y. I put on a facade of humorous bravado and bought $200 worth of new clothes that fit me in 3X. Three. Fucking. Ex. (Not hating on ppl who wear that size. I’m hating on the size for me – because it still looked terrible on me! WTF!?)

I don’t make crazy money but I decided to make a drastic change and invest in myself. I made a spur of the moment choice and joined Jenny Craig. I had done Nutrisystem, Optavia, Dukan, Atkins, and Weight Watchers in the past and lose a few pounds but always quit and went back to my old habits. I needed something that took the thinking out of meals for the day and was crazy expensive enough that I would take it seriously-until I can sort out my brain and emotional eating. So, I met with my coach Debbie on March 17th at 8:20am and she made me write a letter to my future self. This was for any time that I was giving up or felt like I couldn’t do more. So I took the time and wrote a brutal letter to myself. I wrote my weight in the first sentence. I mentioned the 3X. And I said don’t give up on yourself ever. Remember the pain in your feet. Remember you’re diabetic. Remember most of all that YOU ARE WORTH LOVING AND BEING LOVED MOST ESPECIALLY YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOU. Then, I made a self-depreciating fat joke…

Image result for fat shame

and Debbie looked at me and said, “Don’t do that. There are plenty of people out there who will do that for you. You’re job is to build yourself up and believe in yourself.” And I sat there speechless. I was used to putting myself down to make others more comfortable in my mind. I didn’t realize that my thoughts and words were part of the problem. That was my last fat joke and put down. There really are enough people out there who want to shame me and put me down. I won’t be one of them.