Friday, May 29, 2009


The older you get, the more you witness the world changing. Wow, the world has changed in my 36 years. I think the biggest change was brought about by the internet. We used to spend hours in libraries researching topics through books, magazines, microfiche (darn right, baby!), assembling bibliographies, footnotes, citing references, and using the now antiquated library card catalog system (do they even have those anymore?). The library was daunting to me. Being quiet was never a problem for me, but I became quickly bored in there. I couldn’t stand to sit and read endless excerpts in hopes of finding that perfect quote or perfect info. I never studied well—I don’t still well unless it’s something I’m just very “into”.

When I was a child, we had a full set of encyclopedias at home, and a full set of the Childcraft How & Why Library. The Encyclopedias were not very modern by the time I reached high school. But those Childcraft books were awesome. For years, we perused them. One book had nothing but poems and riddles. One book, my favorite, was a book on making things like paper hats and paper sail boats. Lots of crafts to keep a creative child busy. It was my personal volume of self entertainment.

My sister reminded me of those the other day. Somewhere along the line, they were sold or donated or even trashed. I don’t know their fate. But they were awesome. And I see they are still in publication.

Their price tag these days is rather high, but I can’t help but think on the amazing usefulness. Maybe when my niece gets a little older, I will invest in a set of them for her to play with.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I hate to sweat. HATE it. As a child, I was never involved in sports. I did take softball one year, which was a joke. I had no interest in it—it was just convenient for my parents to put my sister and I in the same sport and on the same team, so they wouldn’t have to split their time between activities. With my sister’s success in sports year round, there was no time or money for my own interests. I wanted to be a ballerina, or a gymnast, or a pianist. But outside of that one instance, I have never been outdoorsy or athletic or anything like that. I’ve tried, trust me. I have yearned to be. But I hate bugs. I hate heat. I hate drinking water. I hate to sweat.

Therefore, I have never been one to sweat. Sweat is nasty. It stinks. It’s sticky. It’s uncomfortable. It turns my face bright red for a good hour. It leaves a rash on my chest and arms. And when I get truly, deeply heated, I get swollen glands in my head that are very obvious to anyone who sees me. It’s not pretty, and it takes at least a day to go away. Sweating brings me anxiety. Being hot brings me anxiety. Maybe because I have no control of the sweating. Maybe because it’s been such a foreign thing to me.

My workout routines in the past lasted until. . . . well, until I started to really sweat. Then I would quit. So my workouts were never intense. Now, seeing a personal trainer has me sweating within 3 minutes of beginning our workout. I don’t mean a glisten. I mean a heavy sweat dripping on your cheeks from your hair kind of sweat. The kind where you take a cold shower, and get out only to find yourself still sweating. The kind where an hour later your face is still bright red and people think you are sunburned.

After meeting with my trainer several times now, I have found myself more accepting of sweat. I have grown more comfortable with it. This weekend I mowed my lawn, used the weed eater, and sprayed for weeds and poison ivy. It took me 2 hours in the sun. I usually only work an hour in the heat and take a break. But this time I plowed through. Why? The sweat didn’t bother me as much. I was OK with it. And yes, it was pouring off of me.

I was at a friend’s house this weekend and his air conditioner was not on. This was Sunday afternoon, on a hot day. I walked in and the stuffiness and heat hit me between the eyes. My first instinct was to leave. And I realized the anxiety that being hot has brought me. I went into anxiety mode, and I didn’t want to be there. But I stuck it out and it was all fine.

Now, I remind myself that it’s a purging. My body is releasing unnecessary chemicals when I sweat. It’s a sign that I’m doing something good for me. Even if it is sticky and wet and stinky. It’s a good thing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grandpa's Legacy

I am half Davis, and half Deckard. What does that mean? Davis’ are stubborn and Christian and try to do good and go to church. Deckards are ornery, sarcastic, and have lots of attitude. Yup, I’m half and half.

My mother is one of 10 kids, and her father is still living, but in the hospital with a broken hip. He can’t hear well, has no teeth, has weak knees, and needs glasses. However, up until now, he only took 1 pill a day—for cholesterol. He worked out daily on an exercise bike or a rowing machine. He’s still strong mentally as well. Have I mentioned he is almost 92?

Grandpa was not a lovey dovey kind of man when I was young. Grandma gave the hugs. He and grandma would argue nonstop about everything. I heard stories of his harshness with his kids and his wife, though I never saw it. But when Granny died and he felt her loss, it all changed. He hugs me when he sees me now, and when we depart company.

Lying in that hospital bed, I have seen him transition from determination to get back home, to being angry and unsure if he has any hope left. I have watched as my relatives catered to his complaints about the nurses, the physical therapist, the food, the pains, the aches, the pills, etc. My mom had expressed her fears that he’s given up, and she just felt helpless, unsure of what to say to him.

During a recent visit, he informed me he won’t walk again, and my Deckard came out:

“Grandpa, why won’t you walk again?” I asked very directly—a little miffed at his statement, knowing the doctor had told him he can walk and will walk.
“Because I can’t.”
“The doctor says you can.”
“Yes, he does. But I just don’t know, myself.”
“Aren’t you a Deckard? Deckards are mean and hardheaded. We don’t give up that easily, do we? You can’t let this beat you!”
He smiled.
“You will only be bound to this bed if you want to be, grandpa. It’s going to take work, but you can and you will do it.”
“OK, then.”

Maybe I was too abrupt. But I wanted him to know that he’s not a lost cause. His kids won’t stand up to him, because they fear and respect him as a tough father. But I do not know that man. I only know my grandpa who doesn’t show weakness and who is always sure of himself. I’ve never been so direct at him, and he seemed to like it. And since I had already shown an unusual boldness, I decided to broach a subject I’ve been afraid to ask about for years:

“Grandpa, I wanna hear about World War II.”
“You do? Why?”
“I want to know what you did. Where you went. Why you joined the navy.”

He looked a little taken back, and then he went deep in thought. Suddenly, the memories rolled off his tongue. As he spoke, he forgot his aches, and stopped complaining about pains. He chided himself for forgetting names from 75 years ago. He would take pauses to make sure he wasn’t confusing 2 different stories. And as he spoke, I began to massage his feet. We joked that we had a barter going on. As I massaged, he spoke. He exercised his arms and showed me how strong he still is, and I provided resistance to make him work harder. He began moving his legs and feet for me. It was like he had a purpose—to leave his legacy. I left on cloud nine, with stories in my head and realizing that this was as good for me as it was for him.

The next day, as I arrived, I found the buzzards (relatives) circling, and he was complaining again about the nurses, the pain, the physical therapist. I was immediately deflated.

But when I reminded him of our good discussion the day before, he began telling his stories again. He would say, “Write this down!” And I would scramble for a pen to get details down. He told the same stories from the day before, only this time with more detail as he was able to recollect more of the past. And the complaints ended. The pain was not an issue. The stories were the focus.

And this time, some of his kids were present, listening in awe and wonder. My Aunt Ruby kept looking at me in awe. “I’ve never heard this stuff! But I always wondered! Please write it down!”

And so, I’m compiling his stories. I’m recording history through his eyes. I’m in awe of the opportunity to do so. Sometimes we have divine moments, where we know we are at a certain place at a certain time for a reason. And this was one of those.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kristi got her groove back . . .ish

I went roller skating last night. It was probably 6th grade, which was 25 years and 150 lbs ago, that I last roller skated. I had taken skating lessons in Ponca City, and loved it. I could skate backwards, go in circles, and I had my own roller skates. I also had street skates so I could skate in my neighborhood. I spent my Saturdays at the skating rink. I would go to a lesson, order a mini pizza (mmm, grease) and a huge pickle, and skate until it was time to leave. I remember the way my feet felt when I put my tennis shoes on after a few hours of skating. The comfort was wonderful.

Recently, a coworker and I had been discussing our old roller dreams. I was then invited to go skating with my friend Darren and I pounced on it. He told me it’s hilarious and will give me flashbacks.

Last night, I walked into Skateland, overwhelmed by the smell of stinky shoes and sweat. It was adults only night, and cheap entertainment. I selected a pair of brown, skanky, skates from their wall of rentals and laced them up (and praying they put some Lysol in each pair). I realized that the place looked much as it did many, many, many years ago. I wonder if they have cleaned the carpets since then . . . . .

As soon as I stood in my skates, I realized – I’m not 11 anymore! Keeping my balance was tough. My anxieties overwhelmed me, but I was determined to persevere. So before I began to skate, I took in the view. Most patrons brought their own skates. You could see them adjusting the wheels before they put them on. The music was from the 80’s. All ages were there, with the typical male tricksters in the middle showing off their skating skills: jumps, splits, break dancing on skates. They would chat with each other, and then continue with the same tricks over and over and over again. I wondered if any of those men had ever been on a date………

People were skating and grooving to the music at the same time. These people were regulars, and they didn’t fit into a specific social class. They were all ages, all sizes, and all colors. After an hour of skating, one gentleman retired to a seat and hooked oxygen up to his nose before taking to the rink again. That’s what I call determination!

It took me an hour to be able to skate without holding onto the side, without worrying that the faster folks would trip me up, and without zoning into my own world of “don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall!”. Darren tried to goad me on, and I snapped, “Fat girls fall hard!” But I kept trying, as the sweat poured down my face. Immediately my feet ached. Flat feet and crappy skates don’t mix. Then my quads ached. Then, my back ached exponentially more than I have ever known it to hurt.

In the end, I was able to skate without holding on, was able to let go of the fear that someone would run me over. I never fell down! But a big inspiration was an older gentleman. He hadn’t been skating in 60 years. If he could do it, so could I! So he and I slowly found our balance, our courage, and our old skating groove.

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Saga of My Quest for Health

I went to a trainer on Wednesday, thinking I would get my free session and just do my own thing afterwards. I arrived early and put 20 minutes on a treadmill. When she arrived, she had me do all sorts of things with a heavy ball, dumbells, and the weight machines. It was constant, and I kept repeating the routines before we moved onto different ones. It was hard work, but awesome. When it was finished, I agreed to use her for 6 more sessions. I was using machines that looked too intimidating to try on my own. She pushed me.

The issue came up with my protein shake that I bought. It is soy based, but I noticed it has fructose. She suggested I go to whey, which has better benefits and less sugars. I bought one, and it is YUMMY. Not at all gritty like the one I had. I get excited to fix one! I'm not sure how the whey will fit into my lactose issue. However, my lactose issue comes and goes. And it's not a constant thing for me--I use it to replace breakfast or when I'm dying for something sweet. It has very little sugar in it.

I have been using my sweetleaf sweatner (Stevia), drinking my warm lemon water in the morning and water or herbal tea all day. Last night, I caught myself drinking an entire 20 oz bottle of water. I don't think I've ever done that. I was parched! I purchased a tea that was unsweet, and realized that I had left my sweetener at home. You know what? I liked the tea without it. Shockingly, I drank unsweet tea.

Monday was OK, but Tuesday I thought I would die if I didn't eat an entire cake and batch of croissants. I wanted carbs and sugar so badly! I admit, I had a cigarette, and have been a bad little girl (but not completely taken it back up again, but still not "good"). I was in hell. I was also crashing randomly in the day. (I found out that may have been from the protein shake with the fructose, but it also may be my body dealing with the diet change and the lack of sugars it normally gets energy from). By the third day, Wednesday, I woke up and felt great. I felt good on the inside, which I haven't felt in a long time. So the workout just topped off a good day.

My threelac came in the mail and I've taken it for a few days now. It's a powder that you down with some liquid. Not too bad, but kinda gross. It helps with digestion and eating away the bad yeast that has overtaken my stomach. I am using oxygen drops in my drinks to see if that has positive effects.

Also as inspiration, 3 of us at work began this journey on our own. None of us consulted with the other--we just happen to all be 37-40 years old and want to feel better. 2 of us are seeing trainers, and 1 is an organic food and supplement guru that let her weight and intake go south. So we are sharing body changes, emotional changes, and struggles with each other. It's great to have someone else who's a little ahead of you or who knows more than you to talk about the process with.

My diet has changed in that I 'm taking in much fewer carbs and sugars. I'm still eating plenty. Right now, this is a drastic start for me. Cutting portions will come soon enough.

So, I'm seeing my trainer again tonight. Pray for me!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Recurring Dreams

I have 2 recurring dreams. Granted, the details are never exactly the same, but there are enough similarities for them to be considered the same. The first I will tell because I have had it for years and grasp its meaning to me:

I'm walking on campus at OU in Norman. It's finals time, and I haven't been to a single class. I have to pass. I can't figure out where any of the classes are. I'm panicking because I realize how I've screwed myself by blowing off the semester. And most of the time, I'm naked, and can't get clothes to stay on.

Now, I did have a few classes my freshman year of college that I rarely attended, and found myself very nervous at test time because I realized my mistake in blowing off the classes. However, I attended enough to know when tests were, what homework was due, etc. And I passed both classes. I have this dream when I am very stressed at work. I have it when I am overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. But when I'm naked in the dream, it's when I've found myself in a very vulnerable position. for whatever reason, I feel exposed emotionally.

Now to the hard one. I've had dream #1 since I graduated college 13 years ago. This next dream has only been recurring for the last 3 years, so I haven't had a chance to really grasp it yet:

I am getting remarried to my ex husband. He has come back to me, full of apologies and love and hope and I am remarrying him. But I am not happy to be marrying him. I am only doing it out of obligation--as if it's my christian duty to make that thing work that ended years ago. I resent him, but I go through with it because it's what I'm "supposed" to do. The dream I had the other night took it a step further than ever before: I was in a wedding dress. I was waiting for him at the end of the aisle. Hardly anyone was in attendance, and he showed up in jeans and tennis shoes and a t-shirt, thrilled to be marrying me again. I was embarrassed to be dressed in such a nice dress for a wedding I didn't want, when he arrived looking like he was about to do yardwork for a wedding he did want. I remember thinking, "In a year I'll have 2 divorces behind me, and to the same man! How loser is that!"

Why, 4 years after my divorce, this man has crept into my dreams escapes me. And why it's recurring just drives me nuts. I honestly believe that if he came back, the feelings I had in my dreams are the same I would have in reality--apathy and disinterest. I have no desire to rekindle anything, because there wasn't much kindling there the first time. So it leaves me wondering what it means . . . .

Sunday, May 3, 2009

From the mouth of babes . . .

One time, after learning the difference between big and small, my niece took it upon herself to label people as such. “Momma, you’re big!” “Momma, she’s small!” So one evening we were all at my mom’s house, and Tina asked, “Julia, is Nana big or small?”

What about Papa?
What about Mama?

What about Dada?

What about Aunt Kristi?
“B-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-g” She whispered as if in awe.

After I put duct tape on Julia’s mouth . . . . . just kidding. I laughed on the outside, and was sad on the inside.

Food addiction is the true problem in my family, and weight is the result. Sweets, carbs, obesity, anorexia, bulimia. The Davis’ have it all somewhere in the tree. I have had digestive issues since I was a tot, which is common in the Davis'. I only began gaining weight after a nasty breakup in my early twenties, but the gain was small until life got REALLY stressful. Late twenties brought on more stress and more weight. Early thirties brought on divorce, unemployment, and more over eating. I have 6 cousins who have had gastric bypass, if that gives you any indication of the severity of food abuse in my family.

I have been on every diet. I have a stack of weight watchers books that is embarrassing. Sure, the program works, but I lose the weight and gain more back. And so, I am realizing the need to end the “diet” thinking. I need a lifestyle overhaul.

I joined a gym last week. I get 2 free sessions with a trainer, the first being a body evaluation. I hoped they didn’t pull out calipers, because I didn’t want to have to shove them up the trainer’s ass. But they didn’t. However, I now have an accurate reading of my weight, fat percentage, and weight goals. The importance of goals is something the trainer stressed. I realized that I have never had a goal of a healthier lifestyle. I’ve only had a goal to lose weight. I have missed the whole point.

An interesting thing that the trainer pointed out is that Weight Watchers is a great program that helps you to cut your intake. But it doesn’t rid of the addiction to sugar. Instead, we find lower cal ways to get that sugar into our systems. She feels I need to address my addiction, and the weight loss will follow.

The trainer suggested, from my descriptions and experiences, that I have candida in my belly. I’m going to start taking a few supplements, working out, and eating healthier. Sure, I want to lose 100 lbs. But what I would love is to have energy again. To feel good again. To have a strong immune system again. To not feel a slave to my diet.
Baby Steps.

I’ll let you know how it goes . . .