Once Upon a 60 Pound Weight Loss

A couple weeks ago, I finally hit the 60 pound weight loss mark. It was another major accomplishment in my weight loss journey, so I celebrated by taking a shopping day with my Momma yesterday. We celebrated the completion of my initial challenge with a shopping trip, too. I, of course, documented a successful dress purchase and texted it to my best friend saying “I’m obsessed with this dress and I can’t remember the last time I bought something this tight that I felt good in!” And it’s true, I did feel great in that dress because I thought I looked slim, trim, and ready for a night out on the town.

 

And I did……at that point.

 

Yesterday, not only did I purchase jeans that were a 8 sizes smaller than where I was 18 months ago, but I also bought a dress that was a size 4 and almost bought one in a size 2.

L: March 2013 (17 pounds down) R: April 2014 (60 pounds down)

L: March 2013 (17 pounds down)
R: April 2014 (60 pounds down)

 

IMG_4747

This is my “OMG I just fit into a size 2” face

 

At my heaviest weight of almost 200 pounds, I never thought I’d ever be able to fit into a size 2 again. Ever. However, with all this weight loss and fitness success, I have had a flood of thoughts over questions and comments that have been asked/stated in the past several years. Some of them from peers, some from pageant judges, and some from my own family members. One in particular was asked during a pageant interview shortly after I graduated.

I answered a variety of questions regarding the 4 points of the crown, my platform, etc. Then, one of the judges asked me a question that I will never, ever forget.

“Why do you think you have a chance at winning today? You do realize there has never been a plus-sized Miss America, don’t you?”

His tone was very condescending, and his question followed one regarding my platform of “Celebrate EveryBODY: Beauty Comes in All Sizes”, which promoted eating disorder prevention. I paused for a moment, mostly because I felt the tears welling up in my eyes and the lump forming in my throat, then I calmly said:

“Yes, I’m very much aware of that. However, with all due respect, sir, before 2008 we never had a black president either. Change is a brilliant and powerful thing.”

Change is, indeed, a very powerful thing. Whether you’re changing your lifestyle, your religion, your relationship, your hair color, or even just your shoes—a little bit of change can go a long way. I’ve made many, many changes in my life in the past 18 months. For the first time in my life, I’m not going to settle for just anything. The future is bright. I better get my shades.

Here’s to the next fitness achievement. Leggo.

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You Keep Singing That Song….I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

I got bored yesterday while waiting for the Miss Indiana pageant to begin streaming online (by the way, congratulations to the beautiful Miss IU Terrin Thomas on being crowned Miss Indiana! HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOSIERS!!!) and began browsing some old music videos on YouTube. I had a flashback to high school semi-formal when I saw the music video for Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel”, because everyone would grab their date and dance ever so closely.

Newsflash, people. It’s not a love song.

It got me thinking about some songs that are played or remade to have a meaning that’s completely different than originally planned. I was quickly able to come up with several and, as a result, this beautiful little nugget of blogging was born.

 

1. “LIPS OF AN ANGEL” – Hinder

The true meaning of this song has been debated, but it sure as hell sounds like a combination of infidelity and the inability to deal with the one that got away. I have heard this song played at proms, semi-formals, and even at a wedding as a FREAKING FIRST DANCE (irony–the marriage ended as a result of a cheating husband.) It’s catchy, it’s smooth, and the singer’s voice drops panties. It’s not, however, a love song.

Unless you’re cool with the whole cheating deal.

 

2. “WHAT HURTS THE MOST”- Rascal Flatts, Cascada (Remake)

With lines like “It’s hard to deal with the pain of losing you everywhere I go, but I’m doin’ it.” and “And not seein’ that lovin’ you, is what I was tryin’ to do”, this song seems like the quintessential breakup song, right?

WRONG!

Cascada turns it into a complete techno-breakup masterpiece which, I’m sure, is the last thing Rascal Flatts wanted. If you watch the video from the original version, you’ll come to discover that it’s about a young girl who loses the love of her life in a car accident after NOT telling him she sees him in her future when he asks. Tear jerker. Not gonna lie, I bawled like a baby when I watched the video. I love this song, I love the beautiful lyrics, and I hate when people post it after being dumped.

 

3.  “SEMI-CHARMED LIFE”- Third Eye Blind

This song used to come on U-93 when I was a kid and I’d sing it at the top of my lungs. A little bit of my childhood died when I found out what it was about…..Crystal Meth. Doing meth, having sex, and passing the hell out.

The end.

 

4. “PUMPED UP KICKS”-Foster the People

I have to admit, when this song came out I cranked up the radio. It’s catchy, but I never really listened to the words…..and then I did, and immediately regretted the decision.

Dude….we were all jamming to a song about a kid planning a school shooting.

The song was inspired by Foster’s experience with high school bullying and bassist Charlie Fink’s cousin, who survived the Columbine Massacre. Have fun singing along now, y’all.

 

5. “GUNPOWDER & LEAD”-Miranda Lambert

I love this song. I love to sing it, I love to listen to it, and I love that people think it’s a “Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned” breakup song.

One of the lines is “His fist is big but my gun’s bigger. He’ll find out when I pull the trigger.” I knew from the first time I heard it that it was about domestic violence. I assumed everyone else understood that, but then someone dedicated it to her “dumbass cheating ex boyfriend.” at karaoke. *facepalm*

6. “JAILHOUSE ROCK”-Elvis Presley

I was obsessed with Elvis as a kid, and “Jailhouse Rock” was my favorite. I thought it was about musical inmates coming together and singing about their misfortune.

Nope. Nope. NOPE! Sex behind bars. Please observe these gems of lyrics:

“Number forty-seven said to number three:
You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see.
I sure would be delighted with your company,
Come on and do the jailhouse rock with me.”

“The sad sack was a sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone.
The warden said, hey, buddy, don’t you be no square.
If you can’t find a partner use a wooden chair.”

“Shifty Henry said to bugs, for heavens sake,
No ones lookin, now’s our chance to make a break.
Bugsy turned to shifty and he said, nix nix,
I wanna stick around a while and get my kicks.”

……..sweet baby Jesus…….

7. “YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE”-Traditional (and Johnny Cash version)

This is on 90% of Johnson & Johnson baby product ads. It’s precious, and my mom used to sing it with me all the time:

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you.
Please, don’t take my sunshine away.”

Adorable, right? I didn’t know this until recently, but that’s just the chorus. The song in its entirety is actually quite depressing.

“You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear how much I love you
So please don’t take my sunshine away

I’ll always love you and make you happy,
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me and love another,
You’ll regret it all some day:

You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear how much I love you
So please don’t take my sunshine away

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
I was peeping through the bars.

You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear how much I love you
So please don’t take my sunshine away

You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear how much I love you
So please don’t take my sunshine away”

 

8. “CRASH INTO ME”- Dave Matthews

This song is, by far, one of my favorite DMB tunes of all time. I can listen to Dave for hours on end regardless of what his songs mean; the man is magic.

The first verse makes this sounds like a sweet love song:

“Sweet like candy to my soul
Sweet you rock, and sweet you roll.
Lost for you, I’m so lost for you.”

By verse 4, things start heating up:

“Hike up your skirt a little more
And show the world to me
Hike up your skirt a little more
And show your world to me
In a boys dream.. In a boys dream”

And then by the last verse, shit gets creepy. We realize that this isn’t a lovesick Romeo singing about his Juliet….it’s about a perverted  stalker/Peeping Tom:

“Oh I watch you there
Through the window
And I stare at you
You wear nothing but you
Wear it so well
Tied up and twisted
The way I’d like to be”

 

9. “TUTTI FRUTTI”-Little Richard

My grandpa always listened to the oldies station when I was a kid, and this song always made me dance when it came on. Much like Jailhouse Rock, when I found out what was behind this song–my childhood died a little more. Not only is it about some guy getting it on with a girl, but multiple girls–they both know what to do (clearly, professionals) and they all drive him crazy. “Tutti frutti, aw rooty” was not the original lyrics of the song, before it got picked up to be recorded. Here’s what Little Richard sang live:

“Tutti Frutti, good booty
If it don’t fit, don’t force it
You can grease it, make it easy.”

Folks, we all danced as kids to a song about anal sex.

 

What should you take away from this? Simple. The next time you hear a song and you think to yourself “Wow….this would be a good song for [insert occasion here]”, for the love of everything that is sweet and holy–listen to the lyrics. You don’t want to look like an idiot when people realize your first dance is a song about rape, infidelity, or a stalker. Love, Rachel.