Friday, February 29, 2008

Marching Orders!!!

Last night I had my audition with the Baltimore Marching Ravens. Well - I made it!! I am now one the newest members of the Marching Ravens!!! Mark time mark!!!! Yeah!!!

I arrived at the Baltimore Ravens Training Complex at around 6:30 on Wednesday night. I had seen bits and pieces of it in the news and in the newspaper. I didn't realize how huge it really was. When I arrived I had to check in at the guard station. My name was on the list so I was allowed past. After I pulled away from the guard station I saw it!! It was gigantic!!! I had to stop my car! I was in awe of the sight in front of me!!!

I was told that I had to go to the Field House. I'm looking at the gigantic maze of buildings in front of me thinking "Where is the Field House? Which building is it?". I saw bright lights to the left of the building and decided to "Go toward the light!!". LOL I went toward the light and , sure enough, there I was at the Field House.

I went inside and just stood there with my mouth open and my eyes wide!! There, in front of me, was a gigantic indoor football field. I stood there thinking "Wow! Ray Lewis has practiced here! Todd Heap has practiced here! Jamal Lewis has practiced here!!"

I went over to the man that I recognized as the Marching Ravens president from his pictures. He welcomed me and had me fill out some paperwork. Then he had me go over to the uniform station and be fitted for my marching uniform. I was thinking "Wow. This man sure is putting a lot of confidence in the fact that I'll pass this audition!". So - I got fitted for my uniform!!

After uniform fitting, I went to another table and was issued a Shako (marching band hat) and a beret. Then I was introduced to the man that was conducting the audition!

This is when the nerves set in. It was me, another girl who was auditioning for the flute line and the guy who was auditioning us. He introduced himself (I was so nervous that I don't remember his name - LOL). He then asked who wanted to go first. The girl I was auditioning was a 15 year old girl who was probably more nervous than I was and she said "She can go first!" and pointed at me. So I went first.

He asked me what I was going to play for him. I told him I had three pieces ready. He told me to just pick one. I chose "The Star Spangled Banner". I must say - I played it pretty well! He stopped me after four lines. That scared me. I thought "Uh-oh! He didn't even let me finish! Was I that bad?". He then had the other girl, Jessica, play her audition piece. She was fantastic and he stopped her after 2 lines! I relaxed a little bit after that. Then the auditioner had us play some scales. After we played our scales he congratulated us and sent us over to meet with the band president.

I went over to the band president, John, and he welcomed us to the Marching Ravens. He gave us a little pep talk and then invited us to listen to the drum line and some of the brass sections that were rehearsing. I must say - the Marching Ravens has an impressive drum line!! They were awesome!!!

I also got to talk to Jessica, her brother and her father for a while. I left the Ravens Training Complex feeling like I had accomplished something major! I was excited and proud of myself!

I have rehearsals every Wednesday night now. I have my first parade on March 16th - a St. Patrick's Day 1 1/2 mile parade! I can't wait!!

So - here ya' have it! I'm now officially a band geek!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Becoming a vegetarian

There's a news story out there now that has really affected me. It disturbs me unlike any news story has disturbed me in a long time. The news story that I'm talking about is the mistreatment of the cows in California. I keep seeing the images and hearing the story and it really disturbs me!

It has disturbed me so much that I am seriously considering becoming a vegetarian. I've talked to my vegetarian friends about this also. I'm doing research on being vegetarian. I think it's a lifestyle that I could adapt to.

I have decided that if I become vegetarian I will continue to eat fish, eggs, cheese and dairy. I would give up beef, chicken, pork, turkey and such. I am going to talk it over with my shrink first. I'm in therapy for an eating disorder and want to make sure my shrink agrees with my decision before I implement it.

It's a huge lifestyle change but after seeing what I've seen the past few days it's one I can live with!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Distorted Self

I just finished watching a movie on cable that really got me thinking. It was one of those Lifetime, feel good movies. This one really hit home though.

This movie was about a teenaged girl who was overweight. She was in her senior year in high school. It showed her being bullied and teased by a lot of her peers. She was nominated as a joke for homecoming queen. Well - her friends and she all got together and she ended up winning homecoming queen. The movie showed her trials and tribulations after being elected homecoming queen. One of the statements she made was that she didn't "deserve" to be homecoming queen. She felt that because she was overweight she didn't deserve the "honor".

You see, this girl is a lot like me. I sometimes feel that I don't "deserve" things in life because I'm struggling with my weight. I beat myself up over the smallest things like not eating the proper foods or not exercising when I should.

Why is it that we equate weight with deserving things in life or self-worth? Is it society that has done this to us? Or, is it us doing it to ourselves?

Society plays a lot into this equation. Recently I saw Marie Osmond on TV saying that she had lost 40 pounds. She had said that if she hadn't lost her weight she would have died an early death. In the next sentence she said that she went from a size 14 to a size 6. Wait a minute - size 14??? Isn't that what the average, normal American woman wears? Why is it that she considered size 14 morbidly obese??? Where is she getting this information???

With pressure like this that you see on TV day in and day out it's no wonder that we beat ourselves up over this issue. It's no wonder that we equate weight, or what size we wear with self-worth or self-love.

We have GOT to stop the insanity. Weight does NOT define who we are or how worthy we are of love and respect both from ourselves or others. Weight does NOT make us a good or bad person.

We are all beautiful no matter what we weigh. We are all worthy of love and respect no matter what we weigh. You do not have to be a size 6 to be loved.

So, in closing, let me say this. Look at yourself in the mirror. Learn to love yourself and respect yourself no matter what you weigh or how overweight you think you are! It's a hard lesson to learn even for myself. You are worth it!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Just a Nut Looking for a Squirrel....

Back in 2001 I was just starting to emerge from a time in my life that I now refer to as "The Dark Ages". I hadn't dated in about a year. I thought I was done with relationships. I had been used and abused by men and had had it. I had pretty much decided that if I wasn't married again by the time I was 40 that I wasn't going to get married again or even date for that matter.

I was at my all time highest weight - 350 pounds. I felt like no one would want me and that I wasn't worthy of love at that weight. Boy - was I ever wrong!!

At the time I was volunteering for a fire department as an Emergency Medical Technician. In the firehouse world anyone who volunteers for a fire department is known as a "squirrel" and the fire station is known as the "squirrel house".

In July of 2001 I thought that I would place an ad on I was just doing it for fun and didn't have high hopes of meeting anyone. I answered three ads. One guy never answered me back, one guy emailed me for a couple of weeks and when I suggested talking over the phone didn't answer me and then the third one took two weeks to answer me. I had pretty much given up on him. The title of his ad was: "I'm Just a Nut Looking for a Squirrel". He emailed me and apologized for not getting back to me sooner. He had been on vacation and this was the first he had been on the computer in two weeks. We emailed each other for a couple of weeks and then he suggested that we started communicating on the phone.

I was nervous the first time I talked to him. We talked for 3 1/2 hours that first night. We hit it off extremely well! It was like we were the same person but yet different at the same time. We had so much in common it was scarey! We talked on the phone for 2 weeks and then he suggested that we meet in person. He asked me what I looked like. I thought "Uh-Oh!! He's going to find out that I'm overweight and then it's going to be over - just like all the other guys!". I told him what I looked like and that I was very overweight. His response was that it didn't matter - I was beautiful to him no matter what. He liked what was in my heart and liked the person that I was. He loved me unconditionally!!!

We went on our first date on August 27th, 2001. He saw me and it was love at first sight. He told me I was beautiful!! I was smitten from that moment on!! We dated for almost two years and on June 30th, 2003 we got married!!!

That's right - the man I'm talking about is my wonderful husband, Bob! I love him so much. We have had our rough times but we always come out stronger and more in love. I love him more each day. He is my everything!!! He taught me that if he could love me for who I was and what I was then I should love me for who I am and what I am.

So - he's my nut and I'm his squirrel!!!

Happy Valentine's Day, Bob!! I love you!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Addiction. What exactly is addiction? Well the American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary defines it this way:

American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary -
ad·dic·tion (-dkshn)n.
Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control.

So now that I have the definition, what exactly does this mean? What does it mean to me? "Dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control"? Hmmm.... let me think about this.

I have an addiction. My addiction is not readily accepted by society or the medical profession as an addiction. I have an addiction to food. There - I said it!

Reading the definition of the word addiction puts my addiction into prospective for me. It helps me understand that I do have an addiction, I am not using the word "addiction" as an excuse and I am NOT going crazy!

My addiction is a hard one to control. Food is readily available to me no matter where I go. I'm not looked down upon no matter what I eat or how much I eat of it. I'm not arrested for dealing it, I'm not fired for having it with me at work and if I have food in my car and am pulled over by the police I'm not taken in for having it in my car.

I try to control my addiction but sometimes the urge is to strong to control and I overeat or eat the wrong foods. I struggle every day with my addiction.

"Hi! My name is Beth and I'm a food addict!".

There I said it! Maybe now I can do something about it. I'm sure trying.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

You call me a loser like it's a bad thing!

Well - I finally got the nerve to face the scale last Saturday. It wasn't good but it wasn't as bad as I thought. Before I got on the scale I had decided to get back on program starting Monday. After I got on the scale I decided that I should start right then, right now - why wait? So I got back on program on Saturday.

I struggled through the week. I took it one day at a time. I'm here to say that taking one day at a time has been successful for me this week.

I weighed this morning. I guess Saturday is now my weigh in day. I got on the scale and was pleasantly surprised to see that I am down 5 pounds!!!! Yeah me!!!

5 pounds! WOW!!! I think a lot of it is water weight but, hey, 5 pounds is 5 pounds. It's five pounds less than I weighed last week!

I am now inspired to go on to week 2. To take it one day at a time for another week! I'll let ya' know how it goes!