Sunday, May 31, 2009


So I have posted 19 blogs in May and the anal control freak in me just needs to make that a round number so I am posting one last blog to make it an even 20.

This month has been blogtastic actually. I have had almost 800 views and now have over 100 fans on my Facebook page. Thanks to everyone who has been sending people to my blog and to all the new folks who have started reading it this month. I still have the friends and family mentality when writing so its very cool to get comments and questions from people I did not go to high school with or share DNA.

Anyways....feel free to comment here and I do take requests so if there is any topic you would like me to address feel free to shout it out.

Get to the good stuff

I know I know, my little career ups and downs are very entertaining but I can hear you all screaming :::now tell us the GOOD stuff, tell us about THE BOY:::::

First off (and he will be oh so excited to hear this) I am officially upgrading him from "new boy" to "the man in my life" cuz he is def not a boy- he is all man!

He has been awesome to me. I must admit I went a little "ohmigoshaboylikesmeandhehasn'trunawayyetandthatisnewtome" crazy. Kudos to him (and I mean MAJOR kudos) that he didn't freak out and just bail on me. If he had it would have totally been my fault. BUT he didn't and he hasn't and wonder of all he is still in the picture.

I gotta tell you he is pretty awesome. Smart, funny, cute accent, smart, gets me, witty, worldly.....I could go on and on. (And I am not just saying that cuz he is reading this). I honestly feel lucky to just have met him as a person and as a new friend.....everything else has been a bonus. And I do love me a good bonus!

I had to apologize to him for going from first date to picking out china patterns and while he was super cool about it, I gotta think he was relieved when I had a moment of clarity Friday night and kinda snapped out of my haze. Not that I am not still all twitterpatted about him....I am. And I do love this part. The talking until way too late. The fact that he is a blank page and everything he says is fantastically interesting to me. He was talking about rocks and I was enthralled....seriously. He makes them into art and I think that, well not to be obvious but, that rocks. hehehe

Its way to early to make any predictions about how this will go. Excruciatingly early in fact but what I like is how comfortable and easy it is to be with him and talk to him. I am trying to hold myself back from what may seem like fishing for too many compliments but it has honestly been so long since I have connected with someone like this I just really am a bit stunned that someone I like likes me back. So when I ask him what he likes about me....I really am not looking for my ego to be stroked (although its a bonus) I really really want to know.

Emotionally speaking, I feel like those plants I see at Walgreens that look half dead cuz even though they are right there out in the open no one has thought to water them in ages and they are bone dry and half dead. Every look he gives me, every compliment, everytime he says something interesting or something that implies a reference to something he is thinking about us doing in the future....its like watering my emotional soul (ok, I know that sounds -way- over the top but feeling like this is new to me so back off!) And it really doesn't take that much to make me perk up and come back to life.

I must have seemed to him like a stray dog you give a little kibble become their instant hero and they will follow you anywhere. Normally when I meet a guy I am pretty guarded and aloof...which works out well cuz when 24 hours later they have disappeared its no big deal and I can move on cuz I invested nothing in them......But I don't feel like holding back now- even a little bit and I think its because of the kibble I got. He started right off by giving me some attention and affection and that was the first few drops that made me perk up and want more. (damn, I am mixing my, just roll with it for me) It didn't take much but at every step I have just gotten more and more of what I need. To even get a taste of something solid and stable and consistent.....god, that is all I have wanted for so so long. My prayer for years has been to just have someone in my life I could count on. That's it. Simple.

I just have to wonder though.....all the years I have spent hiding. Even when I was dating actively (ohhhh and I do mean actively- those stories will be the sequel to this book once it is published- trust me there are some good ones!) it was empty. It was just sex because if I couldn't get a guy to love me or care for me I could sure as hell get him to fuck me and that was close enough. I have used sex as a substitute for affection for so so long and the truth is I would rather lie in a man who cares about me arms all night much much more than to fuck him.

Sometimes I think I rush sex to hide from getting vulnerable. How many people talk about sex as power and control and maybe I do that....hmmmm. I think I might do that more than I had considered before (look at me working stuff out as I write, welcome to my process and why this is the best cheap therapy ever!) I may very well flip to sex kitten mode to protect myself from feeling what I am feeling for someone. Damn it has just been so long since I have cared about the man in my bed (sad I know) that I haven't spend much time thinking about it. Interesting.....

It is freaking me out more than I would care to admit to think about the future. I am just so used to being denied (time to unpack some emotional baggage) even with some of my core, most significant relationships there has been such a take away of emotion. Think Lucy and Charlie Brown.....this unconditional love is offered but when I run up to the football to kick that emotional touchdown it gets yanked away. Time after time after time. Is it any wonder that I am scared to reach out and really let myself go? I want to believe and I have to say with this particular guy I look up and I see blue sky with no clouds and I don't feel even a hint of rain in the air (and being from the midwest, we can always smell a storm coming) BUT.....what if he pulls away just when I am ready to let go? Can I trust myself? The question isn't can I trust really has nothing to do with him in many ways. It is all about can I trust myself to really let go and be vulnerable and give my heart to someone. NOT that we are there yet.....this has plenty of time to grow and be what its gonna be but even thinking about opening up to him makes me wonder if I will ever be able to truly let go and open myself up to anyone.

It reminds me of the 5 foot trust fall I did. I had to climb up on the platform and look at my team and tell them "I trust you" then let myself fall into their arms. I never doubted that they would catch me. I knew they were there and they would be there for me. What I didn't know if I could do- and what had my knees turning into jello- was I didn't know if I could let myself fall. Just leting go and letting myself fall the hardest part, being caught was the least of what that process was about for me.

I guess at the end of the day I am just thrilled to even feel safe enough to ponder these thoughts and questions. This is 10,000 times better than the last 5 guys I have dated combined (god that is pathetic to say) and its only been a week. But I gotta say....I think I have many many weeks ahead of me with this particular man.

And to him I say....thank you for making me feel so special so far and I hope I do fill in your gaps as beautifully as you have filled in mine (which sounds kinda dirty- hehehe). why I document my life

Attention hollywood....your shows are getting predictable and lame. Why not inject some new life into them by borrowing some content from a fresh new face on the scene? Meet Tracey, she is single, ambitious and is really trying to make something of her life.....and yet it all goes wrong in some very right ways! Follow along with her life- you'll laugh, you'll cry. Is she more Ally McBeal or Ugly Betty? Let your viewers decide while you buckle up and enjoy the ride.

(deep cleansing sigh)

I TOLD you that you can't make shit like this up? Hollywood take note indeed. If my life was a sitcom it would be canceled because there is no way the audience could believe in all the twists that happen in my storyline.

So let us back up ::beep, beep, beep::: (that was my back up siren like on those big trucks-heh)

Not sure even where to begin actually and honestly at this point I don't want to make being "let go" (so much nicer than fired) into a big thing cuz when I look back a month, a year from now it is going to be such a tiny blip on my scale it will barely be worth remembering.

That being said, this does need documented for the TraceyTimeCapsule so here we go...

I guess I am just not that overly sensitive to weird vibe in a place. I tend to overlook them because I just don't see the point and my philosophy has always been to just get my shit done and not worry about how to play the game. I don't like weird little rules and I really don't like the "this is how -we- do it" thing. I do my job how it is supposed to me done. Period. And since I work in sales there really is no magic formula to get things done. It is contacts plus relationship building plus time equals sales....assuming you have a product or service people want to buy.

The product/concept I was selling is brilliant but here is the issue, you can't close deals on a brand new innovative concept in less than 3 weeks. I won't bore you with the details of the product and how unrealistic the expectations were- just know that they were- but the issue is there is they basically plug in random bodies and if there is no immediate production I guess they boot you.

It's the worst business model ever and I can see why the company is not taking off much faster. As a business professional it is sad for me to see because I keep running into these companies with fantastic potential to do amazing things but they miss the mark when it comes to how they deal with people.....and folks, its people who make the world go round.

Ok, so here is the brass tacks of what happened. I was trying to build a new territory, making dials and trying to get some conversations going. I was keeping my head down and just doing my job. Some of the guys would talk to me but not many- and I didn't mind. They started talking about how many people they have seen come and go (about 40 in the last year easy they said) and how they have these weird rules that they hold people to but don't always let people know what those rules are. Weird, but whatever. Then Friday afternoon rolls around and people start saying goodbye, one after the other heads start rolling and some says that this happens each payday. They look at the books and they decide who to cut.

As a new person this made me a little nervous but again, in sales you totally get used to it so no big. Then they asked for me.....

The 2 newly promoted team leaders marched me into the back conference room and told me they hadn't seen the activity it takes for someone to be successful here so they were letting me go. Now at this point it really doesn't matter what else is said or done because the decision has been made but I did get my point and feelings across for what it was worth. Stupid business decision, no support, unrealistic....blah blah blah. Not that it will change anything and again, this will be a blip on my screen so I packed up my shit and came home.

The bad part was just the wounded pride. I mean, they came after me and gave me a solid base. They recruited me and that always is a boostto the ol ego. I knew I could really be a heavy hitter there so for them to not see it and want me gone?? That stings....then there is my ever present block of not wanting anyone (you guys) to know I had once again fallen off my pedestal. That really sucks. Just when you feel something coming together and you feel like you have hit a new level the rug gets yanked out.

So friday night sucked. It was talking to a few key people- like my partner who brought me onboard in the first place- who all just wanted to "fix it". I was hit with all these people whipping into action mode and while it is GREATLY appreciated that was the time just to wallow in the suckiness of it all and not fix it. Not that second anyways.

And wallow I did, all night and then yesterday I forced myself to get out of bed and get my ass to yoga and just get centered. It helped. I could breathe again.

So I ran my normal weekend errands then got home and called my old boss at TriStaff (the place I originally left and was there for 1.5 yrs). He finally texted me back last night and I asked to come back and he said no problem.

Ta da

I am employed again.

If nothing else kids, let this be a lesson about never burning a bridge. My company has always been great to me and I left on as high a note as I could and was told when I left there would always be a place there for me. So that is that....

All in all just another loop-de-loo on the roller coaster that is my life and this one I won't even remember except as a weird story I will tell at parties.

But would this make an excellent 30 min show?? Oh Hollywood....I am ready for ya! I'll start working on material for my next episode now!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The New Boy

So yeah, you may have noticed I have been a bit twitterpatted today. Oh the highs and lows in my life...after having a very downward spiraling start to the weekend I had lunch with my bestie (can 30 somethings use that term??) Patti and she helped me lift the fog a little. She was a great date (even though she didn't put out- hrumpft) and I felt much better after. So much better that I decided to stick my toe back in the dating pond and I dusted off my online profile on the dating site I have been sorta kinda not really using.

So I got online and was perusing profiles when I saw this quirky, medium cute guy and I am a big fan of those things and yadda yadda yadda we emailed, we spoke (once I get em on the phone I can close the deal- I am gooood on the phone) and viola I had a date for Monday night (pic is me right before leaving for said date).

***btw, this truly will be a FB fan only post cuz either in a fit of brilliance or an act of stupidity I sent him the link to my blog so he is reading it all tonight (gulp)

***I changed my mind- fuck it if he is a keeper let him see it all right?? (hi!)

So we meet at a place near me (Biltmore Fashion Square) and had a healthy dinner (no small feat). It was my suggestion, I should say my second suggestion cuz the first place I picked was closed for the Holiday- he called ahead to make sure (awww).
We talked easily....he is super smart, as in he graduated high school when he was 13. He is Canadian and has duel citizenship. Oh...and he works for the airline and can TRAVEL FOR FREE! Hellloooooo dating perk! He has already promised me many "adventures" and told me I need to get my passport (he wants to take me to Asia- wait, there is no white slave trade there right??)

So the convo flowed then we walked around the mall (he grabbed my hand right away- bonus points!) and then we sat to people watch for a bit. You can usually spot the random quasi-celebrity at this mall but I gotta say I wasn't looking to sharp for celebs my attentions were def focused elsewhere.... like on his lips. At this point I gotta say I am nearly trembling from the chemistry and me not being one to wait I just had to leave over and kiss him. So I did.

God, is there anything better than a great first kiss? I ask you....


Then today has been a flurry of fun texts.....(deeeep sigh) may have noticed that I have never EVER posted about a guy (btw in a Canadian accent that would be "a-boot" hehehe) this early in the game. I usually wait for the trainwreck to happen before I give the post mortem and god knows I could be putting a MAJOR jinx on this (and feel free to point that out later- I am sure some of you will) but I have never been this hopeful or felt this good about a new guy before. Not in a long time, many never. There is huge crash and burn potential here but I have decided I am just gonna go with it and see what happens and enjoy the feeling.

I do love this feeling....where it is all shiny and new and I get that woosey flashback thing happening when I remember how he touched me or how his kisses feel.....Mmmmmmmm. And god knows I have been wrong about this before but I think he digs me. I really do....and doesn't THAT fucking rock?

So yeah....that's the update. And now I am going to go write my name hyphenated with his all over the cover of my Trapper Keeper

ARE YOU HAPPY NOW FRAN???? heheheh ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I hate this part right here

Not that anyone has noticed but I am in the midst of a classic Tracey move which is hidding in my condo and burrowing as far under the covers as possible until "it" all goes away. Not that I have a bleeding clue what "it" is other than "it" is huge and scary and is gonna get me if I let even one toe out from under the covers.

I really really hate it when I get these spells. I just curl up like one of those worms....this might be a better analogy if I knew what those worms were called but they were all over the place when I was a kid. They were little and green and if you touched them they would instantly curl up into a tight little ball. That is the visual I have of myself, I just can't curl up into a tight enough ball right now.

I knew I was in trouble Friday afternoon. I just felt like I was swimming through sand. It was so hard to move and I swear I could barely keep my eyes open for the drive home. I was in bed asleep by 9am and when my alarm went off for yoga at 7am I just couldn't get out of bed. Couldn't do it. Even though I knew I'd feel so much better if I went. I felt like I was drugged. So I turned off my alarm, rolled over and slept until noon without moving a muscle.

I stayed in the haze of being half asleep pretty much all day. I stumbled around in my stupor and just sat and thought about all things negative. When I get in this head space I just can't snap out of it. I spent all day hating my body and everything else about myself. I feel like it- my body- has totally let me down. I hate how it looks and I hate how I am killing myself exercising and its not doing any good. Even when I lose the weight I still won't be done and I might never be done. Its exhausting thinking about it 24/7....and I do. Its all I think about. And then I think about how not that much has changed in my life. Yeah, I have lost this weight, big fucking deal. I still sit at home alone most nights. I didn't drop a few pounds and suddenly become the number one girl on everyone's guest list. So why did I do all this? Yeah I am more "active" but even the active stuff I am doing I am mostly doing by myself.

And 90% of the time I would tell you the half-lie that I prefer it that way. I think when I really look into the truth mirror I have to admit that I only say that because I once again don't want anyone to know how lonely I am most of the time. You get used to being alone. You create a whole "this is ok cuz this is my life and how I want it" facade but the truth is I want someone in my life. I do, with all my heart and soul I am lonely and need someone in my life.

But how can I expect anyone to love this body? Seriously. People are vain and want the whole package and even though I have worked so fucking hard I still look like a freak- ironically maybe even more so than when my skin fit me. It's the illusion that I am not that big until I strip in front of the mirror and it looks like the 418lb me has just melted. I want to smash the mirror most days. I want to scream at it. It's not fair, I have worked so hard and where is the payoff? God....I just need to know how close I am to the finish line. I am strong. I can keep going and keep pushing on if I just knew how mush farther I have to go but I am so tired.

Like with the weight training I started. I know where my limitations are and I can already see where I have improved. It's like doing a maze and seeing where you are blocked but then spying the path that path that will get you out. I can see that with the training but even if I tone up 1000% there will still be this dead weight holding me back. I hate it I hate it I hate it and there is nothing I can do to fix it. If you want to really know the truth since I am spilling my guts here .....I am so afraid of the surgery I will need. People die in surgery having much more routine proceedures than what I need. Worrying about that is putting the cart waay in front of the horse at this point but I think about it pretty much everyday. I did all this because I want to live the best life I can not to get to my goal then lose everything.

God, I just want to be settled already. I want this part of my life to be behind me and I want someone in my life who will be there for me. That's all. It is really so much to ask for? I feel like the scene in Garden State where they all scream into the ravine. That's what I want to do....I want to scream until I am hoarse then jump and hit and break everything into a million pieces until they feel as small and as broken as I feel. I want to crush my mirror into a powder so it will never make me feel bad again.

Just give me a sign, please. Show me this is all worthwhile. That I am on the right path, that there is an end to this. Please help me. please please please please......

Friday, May 22, 2009


Just a very quick post to let y'all know you can now find me on Twitter. Follow me @traceyherr

80% of you are adding me and tweeting right now......12% of you have no idea what I am talking about.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I may need a hug...or something

I feel like blogging but don't have anything specific to say so we will see where some free form thinking takes us....scary.

Actually with my new job being ALL about social media I have been thinking alot about it and that's probably why I am practically begging people to love me on Facebook and be my fans (which you can be.....there is a link to my FB fan page on the right side of this very page- see how easy I make it for you?) I know its sad and pathetic to beg but dammit love me people, love me!! It's such a vain thing to want people to be your "fans" (it's very Idol kids second week and figuring out more than 10 people know who they are and thinking they are rock gods) and yet I keep thinking about how easy it is to get something "viral", it only takes a few people blasting something into cyber space and a few others pick it up and before you know you have the video of "Chocolate Rain" emailed to you and THAT guy gets a record deal! I could -so- be that guy. Except white, and a girl and get a book deal not a record deal. Trust me, no one wants me to have a record deal....details.

Anyways so I apologize for blasting but you have to understand I will never be able to take over the world until I have more people under my evil powers.....hmmm was this free form blog a good idea? Too soon to tell. Better keep reading.

In other news I am getting into planning mode for my Boonie Birthday Bash (ooooh, I smell a t-shirt idea) it occured to me this week that some kind of planning should happen beyond me buying a plane ticket and showing up. I have my sister starting the ball rolling but the floor is open for suggestions as well as filling up my calendar.

For all you Boone folk (my hometown for those who aren't aware of the charming village that I sprang forth from- and who the hell knew they had a website??) this trip is all about hanging with my friends so feel free to plan and demand my attendance at whatever events you like and first come first serve on the schedule.

I am very much looking forward to having a party cuz (que the pity party theme) since I had a summer birthday I never ever had a big party. When I was younger all my friends were always camping (yeah, I am looking at you Wilkening's) and when I got older everyone blew their party wad the weekend before with the big 4th of July party weekend. I know, tragic.....

So needless to say the idea of a party for me has me kinda geeked out, even if it was my idea and I am planning, kinda how things go in my world. I'd wait for a suprise or let things magically unfold but the thing is....if I do that nothing seems to happen. Ever. Control freak or person who gets things done? You be the judge....

Sooooooo that's what I have for now. Wow it all kinda falls under the "apparently Tracey has a bit too much time/energy and perhaps needs some attention". Indeed that might be the case. I either need more blog readers/fans OR a boyfriend OR a drink OR to go workout s'more.

I will contemplate those choices while I wait to see who calls me first with that concerned tone of "really, are you OK?" tone first.....or IM's me on Facebook.

Btw, believe it or not today started with everyone asking why I was in such a bad mood? Oh if they could see me now.... ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I always knew....

I got a chance to do something the other night that doesn't happen all that often. I was chilling with a good friend of mine at my condo and she asked me about my past- specifically if I had been overweight my whole life. I decided that best way to answer that was to show her so I grabbed my scrap books. Yes, as we learned earlier in the Chronicles of Tracey all my photo albums feel victim to star shaped cut outs and stickers and borders. My life was scrap booked to death :::sigh::::

But, you can still see the pics even if they are all oval shaped now. And the answer to the question is yes. I was always always overweight. Chubby kid, chubby middle schooler and obese teen and beyond. Hey, alot of you were there I don't have to tell you. Someday I will invest in a scanner and upload "Tracey...the early years" but suffice to say they show the same round cheeks and bright eyes and tubby little girl.

I know I am getting to the point where people are expecting me to say "don't you wish you would have done this years ago?" And the answer is- of course. In a way. But here is the truth and I have never ever told anyone this before....

I always knew I'd lose the weight.

I knew it.

I knew it as sure as I know my name that someday....and god knows I did not know when, where or how but I just knew in my heart that someday I would be ready and it would click. I guess that is why I was as content as I was being so heavy for so long. I know that is why I am not that person who has tried every fad diet and yo yo'ed my whole life. Before now I can't say that I ever put an honest effort behind a diet plan.

I have such vivid memories of my mom going through all those crazy diets. Coming home and the house reeking of cabbage soup (ack) or seeing her starve herself only to one day just drop it all and dive back into a bag of chips. She was a trend follower and yo-yo'er big time and I never saw the point. Until you find that one thing that is gonna work for you... why bother? I remember doing some exercises as a kid and her involving me in some of her diets and I remember liking doing it but it never stuck. There was never any logic or consistency to it.

I guess I just was biding my time until the planets aligned and everything came together. When I tell my story now people automatically assume it was directly because of my brothers death that I decided to start but that wasn't it. Don't get me wrong, it obviously has influenced my life greatly and has given me the motivation I need to push through when things get tough. I was already about 90% of the way there when Troy died. I had already done my diligence and research and found the plan I wanted to try when my world exploded. I was already standing on the edge of the diving board with my toes curled over the platform just waiting for the strength to jump. After Troy's death it took a few months to get my feet back under me to get back to that jumping off place again and this time there was no hesitation I just ran and jumped off and started the year long journey that has brought me to this place.

Thinking back on my lifetime of being overweight I guess the one thing that keeps coming back to me is fear. I was so afraid of getting started. That is 90% of it.....just getting started is so so hard. I don't mean half assed getting started cuz we all know what that is like. If you start something and aren't really committed to it and half ass it all the way there are no real consequences of failing because you were never really in it to begin with. That is the real difference.....because if you commit to a major life change and really really dig in and pour your guts into it the consequences are literally life or death. As much as I was complacent about my weight I knew without a doubt I was killing myself- and my depression (my demons) were ok with that. I wasn't ok with that and for whatever reason this is the time that I decided was right for me to flip that switch and change tracks forever.

I don't think anyone in my life (with one extremely noteable exception) has a glimmer of a doubt that I will ever go backwards. It won't happen. Will not. Ever. Period. And that is because I am passionately committment to this new lifestyle and when I get focused NOTHING can stop me.

Trust me for years and years I found better things to do everyday than to workout by myself so its not because I am trying to please anyone else by doing this. You wouldn't know if I half assed my workout and honestly you'd probably make excuses for me if I did report that I was "taking it easy". See? It's so easy to get out of something you aren't locked into a committment....and people will help you which actually kinda sucks. We all deserve people in our life who will call bullshit on us when we try to flake out of our committments. That's not a lack of compassion or understanding its quite the opposite. It's respecting that person so much that you are honest with them when they can't or won't be honest with themselves.

So I put it to you dear readers, feel free to call bullshit anytime you see me losing the faith and feel free to join me if now if your time to shine.

Fabulously Flawed

Am I the only person who has started thinking in "status updates"? At any given time of my day I have a mental subtitle of what I would type as my FB status at that moment. I think it is a pure gift that everyone does not express those thoughts at every moment. I have followed some people on Twitter who believe me, their every thought does NOT need broadcasted to the world. For me its part of my writing process- to the extent that what I do could be called writing and have anything close to resembling a process.

I will come up with a "status" if you please and if it sticks in my head and I feel like I might have something to say beyond the headline that is usually what ends up here for your enjoyment- making the big leap that anyone does actually enjoy reading this :)

This blog has tipped over to the point where I am aware that there are indeed a few people who I don't share DNA with -or went to high school or college with- that are reading this and following the crazy bouncing ball that is my life (btw, hello thanks and wlecome!). That is so cool and so weird at the same time.

So ....lord know I have an ego or else I could never put my story "out there" in the land of cyber space for all to enjoy. Without an ego I would never be asking and encouraging people to promote this blog to your friends and extended network to see if my story appeals to anyone else and help me grow this audience. I fully admit to this is for very selfish reasons. It is my plan to turn this blog into a book so I can pay for the plastic surgery I need and them hit my ultimate goal of looking good naked.

I don't care what anyone says- that is the only reason anyone ever really wants to lose weight....blah blah blah get healthy, feel good- whatever! Yes I want those things but they are merely a bonus of the real end goal which is to look good naked. Period.

And don't think I won't be happy to show everyone what that looks like when I reach that goal. I have nudists in my family so I ain't scared.....(ok, 2 of my ex boyfriends who read this are cheering and everyone else is saying- PASS!!) Just consider that offer to be on the table. Heh

I really don't mind sharing everything about this experience because while I was on the sidelines kicking tires that is what I needed to know. I wanted to know how you get started, what you do once you raise your hand and say "I am ready" what you do one you hit that first milestone. At what point does it get really hard? What are the challenges? What do you know about how to do this that I don't know??

Those are only a fraction of the questions I have and now that I am 210lbs down I have a zillion more....

What happens when I hit my goal? What does a life of maintaining my weight look like? What else should I be doing now? Will I ever get surgery? Will I have to live with this floppy body forever? Can I live with that? What are my options? How can I make it happen? What will life look like for me like 5 years from now? Will I ever look good naked? Will I find love? How long until this part is over? What comes after this?

OMG, I forgot to mention this before but I totally had a dream that I was on a make-over/dating show a la the Bachelorette where I had 25 guys to date and none of them knew I used to be 418lbs. It was crazy!!

So that is why my ego does this blogging thing and I am totally upfront about that but I do truly hope that everyone who reads this gets something out of it. I love how fabulously flawed people are and I believe that every single one of us has a story that would break your heart if you ever knew their tale. I am just putting mine out there. Nothing I have done is earth shattering or heroic. The only life I have saved is my own and yet I know from losing Troy the power of ripples. What I don't know is how many lives I can affect, even if its only for a moment, with my story. And its not even my story that matters, its what my story connects within each of you that matters. If anything you see or hear touches your heart and speaks to you in some way than it was worth getting out of bed that day.

Ok and now you know what a free form brain dump looks like in my world. Before I sat down at my desk I didn't even know I had been thinking about all there ya go.

Go out today and tell one person a story you have never told anyone before, see what ripples you can create.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Ok, I admitted I am a change junkie and for that I make no apologies! It keeps things interesting you have to admit. Yes, stability has its place in the world but I like my roads with a few bumps in them otherwise how do you learn and grow?

I am very happy to report that this last move I made was a very good one indeed. It just fits. I was lucky enough a few years back to be part of something that made me feel like I was fighting the good fight. That it was the good guy against the world and we were in the trenches together and we were gonna make it happen no matter what. Over time that feeling faded and the culture became something I didn't buy into but I always did, and still do to this day, believe wholeheartedly in that dream. This company feels like old times in the best way.

I see in this company the passion and excitement and the make it happen no matter what feeling. There is a cool vibe in the office that is equal parts good people having fun and hard work. The crew is clearly talented and is some of the best of the best I have seen collected together in a long time. Its a group I am proud to belong to and with all due humility I feel I fit into very well. I mean that on a skill level but as important I just feel like these are "my" kind of people. We are doing some of the coolest stuff I have seen bringing together social media and healthcare- specifically nurses and if you want to know more just check out the website . For anyone who knows me you can see how this is dead center of my wheelhouse.

I have to say I really feel incredibly lucky to have found this opportunity and I intend to make the most of other words I don't expect to be updating my resume again soon anytime.

In other realms I did start working out with my friend Michael who is a freelance personal trainer (and also a coworker again which is just damned ironic!). Last night we didn't do anything to crazy just went through some exercises mainly so he could see where I am at ability wise and what ground zero is and design a plan for me. He did confirm that I have been over training along with my body just being bored with the same thing I have been doing- which I knew. So I am going to incorporate his workout into my routine and do my cardio on off day and still do my yoga class once a week. Hopefully that will balance things out and I will see things start heading in the right direction again on the scale. I want to be under 200 by the time I come home in July dammit!!!

So all in all after that crazy fucked up shit that went down last month I'd say the the April showers really are bring me a big beautiful bouquet of May flowers and I am loving it!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I am very restless and have been all weekend. I can't really say what is wrong, if there is anything wrong at all. I just can't seem to get settled. I specifically planned a chill weekend to just relax and recharge before I start the new new job but that is the only thing I haven't accomplished. My house is spic and span. I donated another load to Goodwill. I went to the movies and washed my car. I took all my recycling in I ran all the errands and paid all the bills that I had the cash for and I have been working out in bits and pieces all day. And still I feel like a caged tiger.

My thoughts have been all over the map as well. I have been working on trying to be more accepting of my body. I feel like I am a total broken records whining about how I look so I have been making a conscious effort to focus on the positive. I guess that new pic I found really kind of threw me (the one in the white striped shirt). I never saw that pic before and it really shocked me how big I looked -it just really made me start thinking. I have been saying all along that I never want there to be an old me/new me comparison- that it is just me and I am the same person that I have always been, just a person now who has made different choices but I am beginning to wonder if that is possible. Is it possible that a butterfly can look back on its caterpillar days and say that is it the same? Ok that sounds a little Mariah Carey but you get my meaning.

Now that I am really in a struggle -cuz god knows that fricking scale is not my friend right now- it is making me think that this journey is changing me more than I realized. This is such a fight. It is such a battle and its hard. I try to honor my body and I know it will never ever be perfect. There is a price to pay for letting yourself get to be 418lbs. I can't escape that fact. I have lymphodema, I have bad knees (just ask my yoga teacher, pigeon pose is NOT my friend- owwy), I have hip issues.....that is just how it is. And now I have skin that is 10 sizes too big and it will take a miracle to get even a chunk of those issues behind me. Not that I don't have hope and even better than hope- a plan to get things done but in all reality (which I have to face) it might not happen or might not happen for years. I mean, why am I doing this? I want to find love someday and looking good naked would be nice. As much as I am proud of how far I have come I can't imagine anyone wouldn't be a little turned off by how I look. I am. Blah blah blah.....there I go whining again but like I said my mind has been all over the place.

I printed off the white shirt pic as a reminder of where I was and the pic of me ontop of the foothill as a symbol of freedom and hope. I do have hope... and determination and I will get to the end of this journey. These last steps are ungodly hard and I wish there was a shortcut I could take. I wish there was a fast forward just so I can see what the end looks like so I can keep pushing. I will anyways just cuz I know there is an end and its not so far away now. I will get there, I have to. Failure was never an option and it sure as hell is not an option now.

Mother's Day

My Grandma was fond of saying "I am a mother first and then a Grandmother". She'd say this whenever I would push back at her for an overdose of her worrying herself sick over things that would, could and did never ever happen. She would just shrug and say I am a mother and that's what we do.

This is my first mothers day without my Grandma. I hate to compare her loss to Troy's but it is obviously very different hitting all the "firsts" without her as opposed to my brother (I don't even recall celebrating mothers day with Troy...j/k). I was never ready for her to be gone from my life but I know she is where she is supposed to be and she is with the people she loves. It is easier to be at peace about her now.

But, I am still a bit sad today and will be thinking and remembering my Grandma all day....she'd like that.

Now my own Mother...

I hesitated like you wouldn't believe to write anything about my relationship with my mother. Mainly because I have tried like hell to stick to "this is my story" written here (in my blog) and while I may mention other people it is my story and I never want anyone to take what I say as the only version or even the correct version of events. It's just how I see it and my perception. I don't want to give a one sided version of a story that clearly has multiple sides.

My mother is beautiful, charming, witty and intelligent. She is a born leader and people love her. She is charismatic and every room she is in you can bet she'll be at the center of it. I love her very much......and I wish that was enough.

I don't have the relationship I would like to have with her and that hurts me everyday- more than I admit even to myself. I wish I could tell you why 2 fabulous women (like we are) can't seem to connect. You'd think the shared DNA would be enough .....but its not. For whatever reason it is not. I hope that someday this will change and somehow we will find our way to a solid and fufilling relationship that we both can enjoy. She has not always been the mother I need and god knows I have hurt her in ways I am sure I don't even realize. The chasm between us is deep but I have never been able to walk away. I have never for a second written off the potential to have that great relationship I need and I believe she is missing as well. That the little girl in me needs her so badly. I am (gulp) nearly 40 but I still need my mommy...sometimes I just do.

Everyday I need her. I need her love and support and so many things (this past 2 years especiially) have been so much harder becuase I haven't felt like I have had it for so so long. It is my hope with all that has happened in our lives that we can somehow find a way back into each others lives. After all that has happened it won't be easy or pretty ....there is a lot of damage that needs to be aknowledged and addressed and repaired (as best as it can) but there is hope. In my heart I cling to that hope.

So today, Mother's Day, I put it out into the universe that my wish for my mother- for us both- is to find a way to take those first steps back to each other. She is brilliant and funny but most of all she is my mom and I'd sure like to have a mom in my life again.

Happy Mother's Day Mom....I love you very much.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why Counselor Troi is my BFF and How I almost got punched by a Geek.....

In honor of the new Trek (which rocks btw, yes I do have an inner geek I am proud to say) I thought I'd dust off some Trek related gems from my past. Sit back and enjoy...

So I went to Iowa State which is a huge Sci Fi town, geeks under every rock and in every basement. And again, let me be clear in expressing my deep love for the geeks of the world. I thought geeks were chic loooong before that show with that dude from Rosanne and the chick from the John Ritter show came on....(ok, not a fan of that show but geeks in general, yes). And my first "real" job was I was the Manager of Suncoast which was a video store (sold not rented). Just to date myself my store was one of the top sellers in the region for laser discs....(hello early 90's! Glad to hear from ya again!!)

So it being a college town and a geek ridden college town my position as manager of a video store kinda put me in a position to be queen of the geeks. I sold alllll kinds of toys and movie related crap, errr, merchandise. Every see a guy blow a whole paycheck in Star Wars and Star Trek micro machines? I have.....2 of everything. One to display and one to horde for the never to come day when they would sell it cuz at some point in the future little plastic replicas of spaceships (that were mass produced) are gonna BE WORTH SOMETHING. I did try to educate the geeks that they only way their toys would be worth something is if a)someone geekier then them wanted it and didn't already buy their own 2 copies and b) -and this is the kicker- if they were ever willing to SELL IT, which most aren't. Anyways.....

Come to think of it I actually won a contest of two for my Trek Displays, wonder if I still have my collectible crap I got as a prize -it might be worth something now! hehe

Ok so how did I almost get punched by a geek? Don't get me wrong...even if he had punched me I totally could have taken him down but at the time it was kind of a scene cuz it got to be quite a yelling match on his end. I was giggling to wildly to scream back. This was one of my best customers, one of the ones who bribed me to hold stuff back for him and make sure all the stuff he got was in "mint" condition and edges weren't torn and things weren't scratched. Yeah -that- guy....he spent a ton of his pizza boy salary with me so I was willing to do what he asked. So he comes in all geeked out about whatever it was I had stashed for him and I make some kind of off hand remark (who me?) about how much I love my Trekkies.....

:::cue the sound of the apocalypse coming::::

He FLIPPED the fuck out....seriously went OFF on me for like 10 minutes.

ahem, as it turns out.....and this is VERY helpful and timely knowledge considering the hordes of Trekksters out there RIGHT NOW....its almost like this story found a wormhole and is being telecast from the past to save the present....I just got geek chills!

It turns out that TrekkIE is a derogatory term and is VERY insulting! The CORRECT term is TrekkER.....

don't get it twisted ::geeksnap:::

As I mentioned his carotid artery was nearly bursting and I was snorting into my elbow....all in a days work in my little red store.

Is that lesson learned? Cool....let us turn out attention to How Counselor DeAnna Troi became my BFF.

Clearly I am a fan of sci fi, inner geek fully present and accounted it is natural that I was curious about Trek conventions? Who isn't? You walk by the freak show you feel compelled to walk in the tent right? So there was a Trek convention in Des Moines and one of my little geeks had given me some tickets. I grabbed my stoner roomate at that the time (Jeff for those who remember cuz stoner doesn't exactly narrow anything down when describing my list of roomies....have I ever told THOSE stories? remind me...) and we went to Des Moines. I remember the theme was "The Trouble with Tribbles" and everyone was holding what looked like furballs that giant alien cats hacked up and cooing for them....(insert eyeroll).

I was a bit disappointed in that there wasn't the full costumed parade of geeks that I was expecting. I guess Iowa geeks don't have the budget for full on Klingon battle gear. Disappointing....

The keynote speaker was Marina Sirtis who played Counselor DeAnna Troi in the tv series ST-Next Generation. I am a particular fan of this series so I was happy to see and meet her. She did this thing where she told everyone she didn't like to be blinded by flashes while she spoke so she invited everyone who wanted to take any pics to come down right at the top of her speech and snap all the pics they wanted. She vogued and preened and totally diva-ed it up for them. It was cute and fun and she had the gratuitous gag reel and there ya go.....

:::::side note about Trek conventions- if you think it is all geek stuff think again. Jeff and I walked away with a dozen copies of bootleg movies that hadn't even been released yet. Those geeks got all the good stuff!::::::

So where you might ask is the part where we become Best friend FOREVER? I just met her for a few seconds and she wouldn't be able to pick me out of a gang of Ferengi!

Cut to a few years later....

I made the grave mistake of when I moved out of my mother's home I left things there thinking the Mother Storage Unit would be open to me forever. Wrong wrong wrong....once I moved out I would randomly have boxes appear on my doorstep of my stuff which my stepdad would drop off as he passed by my house on his way to work everyday.

My mother is a big scrapbooker.


And some of the thing I left behind were photo albums.

Like my other stuff these too were returned to me but in a slightly different way than I left them. Pretty much every picture I ever took now has a scalloped edge and a border and some very colorful sticker and word bubbles around them.

It's not that I don't appreciate the effort put into it all.....good god all those star shaped paper punches alone take hours. But what is difficult is when you are scrap booking someone else's life you might not get the details right.

So I am flipping through my mother's interpretation of my life- which in and of itself is fascinating- and I come to a double page spread with all these random pictures of people that is covered with stickers that read "friends forever" and "best pals". The title of the spread is "BEST FRIENDS FOREVER" in gianormus letters. Most of them are school pics (the kind you wrote LYLAS for love ya like a sis on the back of....) but some were not.....

Like, for instance, the pic a penpal sent me of Lori from Gimme Break with Linda Evans and Tutti from the Facts of Life. They are my "best buds" according to my mother.

And the lower left hand corner I see her. The pic of DeAnna Troi doing a diva pose and the sticker beneath reads...."Best Friend Forever."

So I got -that- going for me.....which is nice.

Live long and Prosper and may the force be with you.....

A look back....

That's about all I have to say about that.....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Just what I wanted

So I had my perfect day of unemployment today. It was heaven....I got up without an alarm (unless you count the frolicking children in the playground right outside my window at 8am an alarm). I got up and totally took my time getting ready for the day then I headed out to meet a friend for coffee and some people watching at Biltmore Fashion Square Mall (where the plastic people shop). Had a great time relaxing and catching up with my friend Jeremy then I scooted off to meet my friend Kammie for a lunch at La Grande Orange (LGO for locals).

For those outside of Phoenix this place is a super cute quirky restaurant with a market attached that sells tons of great wine. The store is know for wine and pastries (REALLY kick ass cakes by Tammy Coe) and the restaurant has the best gourmet pizza at night. It has a very cool new world vibe and at lunch they do salads and sammiches. Which is what we had....we got to do the big catch up and then were forced to do a bit of shopping so we could have cash back to tip the poor valet boys. It was over 100 degrees so a tip was in order- even if they do force you to valet. It's a weird location- right smack in the middle os a residential neighborhood and there is literally zero parking. So I scored myself a LGO tshirt which I added to my workout clothes collection.

:::total side note, it is still unreal to me that I can finally do something like that. Just pick up a shirt "off the rack" and know it will fit. Trust me, when you are a 3x you can't do that! I got an XL but after putting it on I coulda got by with a Large- imagine that!!:::::

Then I headed home and returned some calls before heading off to my movie. I have prepaid tickets that I got last year (discounted of course) BUT the catch is they are not good for new releases. I occasionally disagree with this policy and got my ticket for an older movie but totally snuck into Star Trek. I'll give it a B as far as plot goes but I must tip my hat and give them an A for casting. I will let my inner geek outta the bag for a second and admit I am a STNG fan (Star Trek Next Generation) and am a Picard girl BUT the new Kirk is totally yummy. I wouldn't mind being an alien in his world if ya know whadda I mean (and I suspect you do, and did even without the bad pun).

Then I worked out.....viola the perfect day off. It was exactly what I wanted and now I have the whole weekend to chill out and get focused for the new new gig on Monday.

And now some loose ends from updates I was not able to include before....

Vegas trip:

I mentioned that in my crazy weekend of having my sister in town I flew to Vegas for a day for meeting for my side business. It was good info but I have to admit I was ready to chew glass when they brought out the Christian singers at 11am to sing "Dream the Impossible Dream" - I was ready to claw out my own eyeballs.Remember I had been up since 4 am and the night just refused to end...and didn't until 1:30 am. On the upside I did get to meet and talk to multi-millionaires so that was cool.

Then I got up and snuck out of my mentors hotel room at 7am where she was so kind as to lend me her couch to doze on and my very good friend Steph picked me up for breakfast at the Hard Rock Hotel. We went to Mr. Lucky's and had the best spinach omelet I have ever had! And random pseudo celeb sighting we saw Evel Dick from Big Brother all hung over as hell having breakfast. My sister and I are big BB fans so this was kinda cool. My girl Jess joined us and got caught up since I hadn't seen either of them in a long long time. Oh, and Steph had the best she pulled up I was walking outside and I could see her mouth the words "OH MY GOD" as she recognized me and got out of the car to come give me a hug. I figure I have a limited amount of big reactions I am gonna get- at least from people who know me. But fear not Iowa peeps....everyone who sees me in person say there is a big difference from what you can see in my FB pics so there will still be something to look forward to when I come home in July.

Then on the plane from Vegas to Phoenix Marcel from Top Chef was on the flight. Not very impressive but that was my brushes with semi -not even close-to greatness semi celebs.

Hmmmmm, trying to think if there is anything else that went on last month that was random and didn't make it in any other blog.

I think that was it other than I got my first commission check from my side business and everyone who has ordered products from me really likes what they have got. I honestly have not had one person say they didn't dig what they ordered. If anyone has any questions about any of the products just let me know. My new obsession is the wild yam vitamin c treatment it is a topical facial treatment and since I have been using it my skin is all soft and dewy Love it! And for all the Phoenix peeps we are doing a spa on the 17th so save the date!! Email me for details....

And a matter of fact I DID just finally figure out how to use links in my blog so I hope you enjoy them :) are updated! Enjoy the weekend kids!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Change junkie

Today was my last day at my new old job- that is opposed to my new new job that I am starting on Monday. So lesse.....that makes 3 jobs in 4 weeks, yeah sounds like my life.

:::standing up::::

Hello, my name is Tracey Luann Herrick and I am a change junkie.

Shocked aren't you? Yeah, didn't think so. I knew I wasn't fooling anyone least of all myself. Truth is I have always felt a burning desire to shake things up and keep em shook. If my life wasn't the one changing I was pushing, or nudging, someone else to change. You probably don't want to take me with you shopping cuz I am the one who will talk you right into that impulse buy and help you feel great about getting the pretty sparkly new thing (especially if it really DOES sparkle).

But to me change is what life is all about. Getting out on the skinny branches of life, pushing yourself, trying new things. I go home to Iowa and I can't believe that is where I came from. Do not get me wrong- I am very proud of my midwestern roots and am proud to be from Iowa. I love the people and its always where I will call home but it is so far from where I started it almost doesn't seem like I ever lived there. I talk to my family and friends who have lived there all their lives and it baffles me. I could not imagine living there. At all. For anytime period...and I for damn sure know I will never move back (frickin snow in APRIL...oh no, I did not forget THAT). But that is me....

I just did the math in my head and since I left Iowa I have had (gulp) 11 jobs.

I was pretty stable in Chicago and in 5 years I only had 2 jobs. And I moved there specifically to get out of the one and be in a bigger pond when I was ready to make a move. And then I moved to Phoenix and lots of change began to happen. This is why my life here has been so extraordinary- so much keeps happening. I spoke with someone today who was cruising my LinkedIn profile and she commented on how "colorful" my background is....I am thinking that was code for "damn- you sure get around". Now in my defense, except for the first job I had when I got here (selling toner- tres glamorous) I have always stayed in the same industry (employment) and all my moves have made least to me.

I have to say though that it is def my fault for the hopping. I am a homeowner so as much as I get the itch to move I can't do that right now. I don't know that I want to leave Phoenix. For those who don't know or understand the culture here I have to explain because it is very unique. I have had the occasion to talk to thousands of people who live in all kinds of metro areas (big cities) and Phoenix is by far the most networked town there is. It is the biggest small town you have ever heard of and what I mean by that is, in this town it is ALL about who you know.

Take my recent experience...I was offered 2 jobs in 2 weeks by former coworkers who I maintained a relationship with even after we parted ways. These jobs weren't posted and the only way they were even available to me is because of who I knew and how I built my reputation. Period. Even in this economy I was able to swing myself back up to the top of the tree after getting knocked down a branch or 2 in weeks. And I didn't even make any calls, those jobs found me. Further, I was able to bring onboard to my old new job a good friend of mine who has been looking for 2 months and has found nothing suitable and I think I found my own replacement today who is someone I met once 2 years ago and thought highly enough of to keep in touch over the years and I am pretty sure she will be taking over for me.

I kinda feel now like my whole reason for being at my old new job was to do a little shedding of light into what was wrong (and there is a lot) and identify the talent to come in and fix it (not me). The people I was able to connect are perfect for that company and I think they will thrive there so all in all I think I left the place better than I found it even if I was only there 3 weeks (and not even a full 3 weeks at that).

And now I believe it is time for me to get focused for this new challenge. I can tell this is big because a) it fell into my lap so easily and I really really believe that when you are walking the path that you were meant to walk the universe rewards you with good things and b) I am really nervous and excited about it.

My time at the companies I have been at in the last 3 years (5 jobs) has not been my best work. It's not that I don't think I didn't do good work or was not productive and its not even that I didn't enjoy my time there. Each had their good and bad points but I didn't really plug into any of them and get really focused. And I am not bragging here kids but I gotta say- when I get focused I am good. I am damn good. And its those moments that people have remembered me for and how I have built and maintained a great reputation. My life is dotted with moments of brilliance that I store up like nuts and cash them in when I need to make a splash.

So much has happened in my personal life in the last few years. I wonder how my time at each company might have been different if events had played out differently. But we can't know that and things happen for a reason. Life is a series of stepping stones and you can only keep walking your path (just keep swimming) and build with every step you take. For better or worse this is where my path has lead me, I think its mostly for better.

Everything has lead me up to this point and now with my bulk of my personal drama behind me (quick, someone knock on some wood). I am ready to suck it up, get super focused and make this new position part of the next great chapter of my life. I will be joining some dear friends who I have been so important in my life in the past and I look forward to being brilliant once again!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One more breakthrough

I have been banging my head about hitting this wall of trying to get under 200lbs for the first time in my adult life.....and god only knows how young I was when I went over the 200 mark on the way up. I have been so frustrated and I can see how I have started to let myself slip. Tonight I skipped working out and ate a plate of Tapas. Granted, this is not like plowing through a whole cheesecake but I have been letting myself slip a little here and a little there. Nothing that I would "officially" put in the cheating bucket but I have not been as dedicated as I once was.

Hmmmmmm, let's think about this for a second.

Have a goal, get frustrated, start indulging myself with "treats" to make myself feel better.

:::warning, warning will robinson, we have detected an old pattern being repeated::::

So there is it. Those damn old habits that will never die. I didn't think I'd left them behind but I didn't realize just how close to the surface they are always brewing.

And guess's all mental. This is the time of the game where all the tricks get pulled out and my BS (that's belief system- dirty minds!) is trying to hold me back. All those negative things and those voices that tell you all the bad stuff....when you get frustrated they get stronger. I can feel them even now as I figure this out getting a little panicked cuz they were just settling back in my brain for a long stay.

I have been so focused on the bad stuff. Feeling locked into a routine that isn't getting me the results it once was. Feeling very depressed about the fact that I still won't look that way I want to look after losing the weight without surgery. Feeling like I just won't ever hit my goal and starting to think about how if I stayed right where I am now (weight wise) would that be so bad? Certainly none of you would fault me.....but I would.

It's a struggle doing this. I'd love to paint a rosy picture and say I have all the tools and I have the plan and I gots is allll figured out. NO problem, I am on cruise control to the end.


But I think this is where it gets serious. The first 200 were a gimme. My body wanted to get rid of those pounds....but these last 50. These are the ones that count. It's a war for control of my own body. That BS I have in my head has been working out its muscles for 38 years. My new take charge of my life muscles are only a year old. I have to refocus on the good stuff. I need to start thinking about what that day I hit my goal looks like, what it feels like, even what it will taste like.

I have to clear the decks of everything I was doing (again) and shake it up if I am going to breakthrough THIS wall I have created for myself.

Did you get that.....yeah almost slipped by me to. -I- created this block. The only reason I have not lost these last 50 lbs is because of me. I created this, I need to breakthough. I don't know how to do it because I am not sure if it is possible to work harder but it is possible to change the game and mix it up so that's what I am gonna have to do.

And I'll need your help.....I learned the most important lesson of my life a few years ago and that is "it's OK to ask for help"! It's ok to let you see me hurt and battered and broken because the fight is worth fighting and when I ask for your support I know I get 10,000 times what I asked I am asking.

I need help in breaking down this last wall and getting under 200 and shedding these last 50. Help me.....I know we can do it together.

Pretty in Plaid- Jen Lancaster's New book

Hi kids-

I just have to throw out a plug for one of my FAVORITE authors who has a new book out today! If you have never read Jen Lancaster's book or her blog you MUST add it to your list right away. If you like my humor you will love love love her....

I got to meet her last year and she is as cool in person as her books- which is rare, trust me after managing a bookstore for years in my other life I can tell you most authors not so cool.

Her other books are:

Bitter is the New Black

Bright Lights, Big Ass

Such a Pretty Fat (which is the one I got autographed and she totally reconginzed me from posting comments on her myspace blog)

and now we have a new read just in time for long lazy days by the pool!

Seriously, buy it today and let me know how much you love her!

Happy reading....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's OK to have fun

We will take a brief pause in the current craziness to back up and recap my sister and brother in laws visit.

It was so great to have them out here first of all. This trip had to be rescheduled a couple of times so it has literally been years in the making. This was Toni's second time in Phoenix, the first time I flew her out for her bday and we went to see Maya Angelou speak (which was amazing- we have both read all her books) and we also met a favorite author of ours- Harlan Coben (he thinks we rock, it says so in the books he signed for us!) The best thing about them being here is they are such low key guests. They were just glad to be here and didn't need a big fancy agenda packed with tourist friendly activities to keep them entertained.They were just here to see me, go to their Rapport class (more on that later) and chill the hell out. Easy peasy.

They flew in Thursday morning. When flying out of Iowa your choices are crack of dawn or way the hell late and at least crack o dawn gives us some time to play. I picked them up and dropped off their bags at my place which they both liked. My condo is pretty roomy and is bigger than it looks on the outside. Plus they both said it "looked like me" which is good I guess since it IS me. It's my sanctuary and my cave to hide away from the world in. I set them up in my room and I slept in my office/guestroom where I have a single bed. It was weird sleeping in a different room in my own house. I do have a blow up mattress but this was much easier. Plus I must admit that I am sooo used to having my own space it makes me a little crazy to have people in my world with their stuff spread everywhere. Not that I don't love having people over but I find myself cleaning up the evidence of them being there before they even walk out the door. A little OCD perhaps?? Well, just a little....

So they get unloaded and because I didn't have a ton of time to plan I ended up deciding we could go see the Chihuly Glass exhibit at the Botanical Garden. I had already been so I knew it was cool plus the Garden is a great place to take tourist cuz it kinda proves that we really are in the desert here in Phoenix. I put on my new running shoes and clipped on my pedometer cuz I knew we would be doing lots of walking. It was a bit on the warmish side but not to to bad- mid 90's. We walked and walked and saw tons of lizards and ground squirrels and other desert wildlife. There were tons of cactus (duh) and I got to tell Dave my story of little baby Tracey who when she was 5 or 6 fell into a huge cactus that my mother had in the bathroom. Why were there cactus in the bathroom you ask? She has a cactus garden and being that is was Iowa she would bring them inside in the winter and leave them in the bathroom. Baby Tracey had decided she was gonna take a bath ALLLLL by herself and in the process of running to dive into the tub she tripped and fell and got a cactus needle glove outta the deal. We went to the emergency room where it took 3 hours to pick all the stickers out of my hand. Ok...anyone else think its ironic that I now live in the desert? Me too....

Anywho, we walked all the trails and I think my tourists liked it and then we wandered over to Papago Park (which is right next to the garden) and hiked around there a bit. This was kinda important to me because when Troy and his family came out I took them to the same spot and there is this massive red rock that you can climb up the back of and come out in this big hole in the middle of the rock. There are railroad tie steps off the back to climb up. When they were here there was no way that I could have climbed up that rock so I sat at the bottom while they climbed. I remember feeling so left out and sad I couldn't make it. So it was pretty cool when I could get to the top and sit there with my family.

All in all after hiking around both places we put in 14 miles walking. At this point it was way past lunch o clock so we headed to one of Phoenix's favorite sons restaurant- Alice Cooperstown. Yes it is a real restaurant and yes Alice does go there often. He lives in Scottsdale and the restaurant is a sports themed bar and grill with tons of memorabilia on the walls a la Hard Rock (which is just across the street). The food rocks too! I had taken my niece Sierra there when she was here to visit and she bragged about it so much I had to take her parents. I couple of years ago I had also got both Troy and Toni autographed copies of Alice's book. Just another connection. It was good food and we tried like hell to talk them outta some of their glasses but that was a no go.

Then we had a quest to go on. I have a pool in my condo and we were talking about sitting in the pool that night but Dave did not bring the proper attire. So we went to 3 stores to get him shorts. First we went to a really cool store called Last Chance where you can get designer stuff for pennies. I loaded up on some workout shirts for 3 bucks apiece. Then we went to Old Navy where I found some cool sports bags (ummm, notice how I am NOT saying "where Dave got his shorts" interesting...) and then we went to trusty ol Target where the shorts were finally procured....and I got new shorts and a cute new top. How I became the shopping diva there I am not sure. Ok, cut to later that night where I had to pry my guests away from the TV to actually go to the pool and Dave stuck all of one toe in the water. Guess you need special shorts for that. Who knew?

Next on the list was cooking class. Now my sister is an EXCELLENT cook and not. We went to the store for supplies (I hadn't been to the market in weeks) and we got stocked up. She cooked and I kinda followed along although I was really just amazed to see real cooking happening in my kitchen- way cool! She made a chicken and veggies thing which was de-lish and she got stuff to make us healthy egg mcmuffins in the am. It was the first time in a year I had anything other then a shake for breakfast. Footnote....last thing on my list for today is to do the dishes from her cooking. I KNEW there was a catch to all that domestic stuff!!

So then we hung out at the pool and crashed cuz it was an early day for them. The next day we didn't have as much time because they had to be at their designated meeting spot at 6pm. There was a snafu with getting them hotel rooms BUT it worked out in the end and we got them a room right next door to the event. We went to the Mesa swap meet which is always cool but as it is getting warmer most of the vendors have already left for the summer so it was about half of what it normally is. We wandered then headed to my sister and I's fave bookstore and had lunch then book shopped. I do not think Dave was as stimulated by this day but he was a good sport.

Then we left for Rapport....and omg did we get turned around. The directions I had were coming from the other direction and it was just all kinds of messed up. I stopped and asked for directions twice (cuz I am a girl and can) and got totally fucked up directions then was about to give up when I realized we were a block away. The best part though was when my out of towner sister decided to take over navigating and try to direct me- which I humored her in doing and we ended up in BFE desert land. Then she started texting her daughter that I got us lost and to send help. While in her own way I am sure she was trying to be helpful her endless stream of comments suddenly went all "Charlie Brown's teachers" voice on me and I just yell at her "good god stop it!" It was just an endless stream of blah blah that what guys hear all the time??

Well we did get there in time and we got them checked into their room. Now you might be wondering what the hell is the Rapport thing all about? Rapport is Rapport Leadership International and I have mentioned them several times in this blog as being very critical to my life and who I am today. I can promise you that I would not have ever been able to go on this journey (specific to the weight loss) if I hadn't gone through the Rapport experience. I am a Master Graduate which means I have taken over 100 hours of their leadership training. I have been working my ass off to get as many of my family members through the training as well. I have sent my nieces Holli and Sierra to the teen classes and sent my brother Cory to the Leadership Breakthrough 1 class (and he is signed up to do LB2 this fall) this class that Toni and Dave did is called Power Communication.

It's hard to explain much about Rapport because its all about your own personal experience. I can tell you its about learning communication styles and you do public speaking and you go through some exercise that show you where your blocks are and how to push through them to come out the other side. All that sounds great right but a bit dry. The experience of going through this process is everything and for me, it has been the single greatest experience of my life. One I feel so passionately about I an doing everything I can to get all my family through it so we all have the same set of tools in our toolbox.

What their experience was is for them to share but what I can tell you is that I am so very proud of them both. They trusted me to go into something kinda weird, totally blind. They went of pure faith and trust in me and I know they learned so much about themselves and each other and how to push themselves further than they knew they could. Toni is my beautiful sister and has always been amazing and now she has a light in her that has been turned on and she is so anxious to share it with the whole world. And Dave, who was the X factor...he went to support Toni but I didn't know if he would open up at all or get anything out of it. Well he came through it with a commitment to reconnect and better his relationship with his daughter and to do what he can to be an even better father and husband. That is all on them and what they decided to do and I am so grateful they went and thankful they want to share what they learned with others.

A BIG thank you to Aaron and Jen....there are no words heartfelt enough. Thank you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's nice to be wanted

Crazy crazy crazy has been April's theme and since we are still in the last week of April (kinda) I guess the fates could resist one more spin of the cuckoo-crazy wheel of fortune to see where Tracey will land.

Let us recap shall we....

I started with TriStaff Group, a recruiting firm in November '07 and as of March I was still there and happy and productive. I took over as the General Manager in Nov '08 and started the healthcare division with a great partner. Things were settled and as peaceful as my life gets.....then March rolls along and my draw gets cut in half. For those non-sales folk I was 100% commission and getting paid up front for the future commissions I would earn since I had been doing well I had a big draw but once the whole office was coming out of my paycheck it wasn't enough ergo the reduction.

As happy as I was there that ripped the loyalty card in half for me and I think started my partner to worry. He has a family to support so he took a job back in his former profession. I couldn't blame him at all and that left me all alone in the office. I am a social creature and need some kinda stimulation during the day (lord if that ain't the truth!!) so I got bored. Bored plus broke means Tracey gets into trouble.....

So I put out some feelers and started kicking some tires of new opportunities. I had a couple of interviews with former clients and started getting some offers. If I, as a professional recruiter, can't land myself a gig what the hell good am I right? Well I was close to deciding on one offer when outta the blue a former co-worker called and asked if I knew anyone who knew healthcare and could develop new business.....that's kinda my sweet spot so I called her and asked her to tell me more. We talked and I ended up going in and speaking with the CEO. The company is a high level healthcare consulting firm and the CEO is amazingly talented (and British which I love, everything sounds better with a British accent....if you don't believe me drop everything and go and watch the entire series of Absolutely Fabulous a BBC series sweetie dahling). She wanted me to come onboard right away and take over the recruiting division which she plans to spin off into its own division. The cool thing to me was the potential to also learn the consulting side of healthcare so I agreed to take on the position.

That was a Tuesday. On Wednesday I quit TriStaff which I thought would mean the office would close. My boss went from we're closing to, interview this temp while we decide to, I hired a temp to, we are staying open and the temp is perm and she is going to sit in Phoenix but recruit for CA and btw did I mention I am driving out and will be there tomorrow- all in a 10 min not kidding about that! So Thursday he is there and I transition everything and the new place wants me to start on Monday because there is a big medical conference they want me at on Tuesday and Wednesday BUT I tell Jason (at TriStaff) that I will do what he needs. So he goes from wanting me to work Monday then come back Thursday and Friday to just Monday to on Friday having me come in late then we go out for lunch and him telling me after lunch he is done with me and to just go (he was being funny and kidding- kinda, either way I left).

:::are you dizzy yet?:::::::

So I wrap up on Friday and start the shiny new job on Monday. I don't have email or access to the database so I busy myself getting ready for the big conference the next day. I do that, check. Then get up at the crack o dawn on Tuesday and Wednesday to spend a grueling day(s) at this event talking to docs....not really knowing what to say mind you cuz its only my second day and no one has told me anything about anything and most everyone thinks I am there to do marketing which is -so- not my bag.

::::::Oh- fun side note....saw a few former co-workers at this event and got the oh-so fun BIG jaw dropping reaction at seeing me. Which is just cool.::::::::

Ok, so at this event blah blah and then I am off on Thursday and Friday (I know Jason was gonna have me work those days in the OG plan but as you can tell he changes his mind A LOT so I never bothered to remind him that I had those days off no matter what) because Toni and Dave are in town for vay-kay and Rapport.

:::::nother side note- they are still all bright and shiny from their PC high. New grads are soooo cute::::::

So have the family in town (which the details of is a whole separate blog) then drop them off this past Monday am on the way into the office (good god, was it just this week???). Get into the office and my recruiter gets sick and is out all week leaving me to follow up on everything. There is NO discernible order to anything. No notes, nothing in the database,no contact info for anyone. Nothing. So I spend all this week trying to put together -some- kind of system to make things trackable. My boss is hella pissed about the mess but pleased as punch that I am fixing it.

Then the phone rings on Thursday.

It is my former partner and he tells me he is recruiting me and pretty much won't take no for an answer and I need to talk to his new boss right away. Because he asked me to I would do just about anything for him so I called and spoke to his boss who was a super cool guy. He asked if I could come see them and I told him I could fake losing a limb and probably swing by Friday am (this morning). In the meantime I find out 2 other former co-workers have or are about to come onboard. So I go in this morning and am VERY impressed by the office and the energy and all around its a good vibe. I have a very good convo with the boss man and then I talk to one of the other partners. He is super zen and mellow and at one point he just when are you starting? I was like....ummm, did I miss the part where there was an offer made? He said we haven't made you an offer yet? Let's fix that and bada-bing I was made an offer. Now the convo I had with them the day before I threw out a pretty big (for me) number for what it would take to get me since I wasn't looking to move. He said that was no problem and didn't flinch a bit (damn, shoulda asked for more). Little did he know that is was a huge chunk more than what I am getting now.

So I head back to the office to wait for the offer letter (always get it in writing before you do anything kids....lesson from me to you) and start dreading tell my brand new boss I am out. I get the letter around 3 and a call from my now new boss welcoming me onboard all excited to have landed me. I weigh out when I am gonna give my notice and how much notice I am gonna give. I wait until after 5 and tell my boss I am not going to be staying and giving a week's notice.

Her first reaction is to literally collapse on her desk sobbing. Then she collects herself and offers to MATCH MY NEW OFFER and offer me 20% of the company in a partnership agreement over the next year.

Are you kidding me??

So that is where we are boys and girls. I am going to meet with my current boss and the other partner to disucss the new counteroffer and partnership on Monday......and mind you ALL of this has happened in the last 2ish weeks and add my family's visit PLUS a trip to Vegas ontop. Not to mention that the month started off with my Grandma passing away.....

Seriously? Where is the pause button?

On the's nice to be wanted :)