Love? 

I’m going into be honest with you… I have no idea what REAL love is , looks like or sounds like. 

At first I probably thought it was a given. You know like you’re born and your parents love you. They ohhh and ahhh at everything you do. There are hugs and kisses and gifts and smiles and happiness. And the words.. “I love you “. That’s love right ? Your whole family.. well maybe half of the family expresses love with affection and kind words, where the other half expresses love in gifts and quality time .. perhaps somewhere in the middle. Or at least I think that’s what happened. 

As time goes on, people enter and exit your life. Friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, relatives, lovers, strangers.. and somewhere in those interactions you realize that what you thought was love, wasn’t really love. 

Your mom can’t say the words but show it. Your dad shouts it from the roof top but there is no action. Your brother kinda just floats somewhere in the middle. You, your friends and family may do and say hurtful things and still stick around or disappear into the past. Confused? Me too. 

Ok so maybe society is right.. maybe love is sex; intimacy. That one on one private time. It’s special. It’s sacred. Until you get come out of the bathroom and he’s gone. Ok.. maybe let me try again with someone else. A handful of late night phone calls, I miss you’s, I only like you as a friend, what’s good for tonight, who’s your friend?, some condoms, some trust, maybe even a few “I love you’s”… and still no love. 

Am I too tall? Ok I’ll hang out with girls my height. Am I mean? Ok I’ll smile more. Do I talk too much? Ok I’ll be quiet.  Am I not generous? Ok I’ll buy that for you. Am I too fat? Ok I’ll lose weight. Am I a prude? Ok let’s bone. Am I boring? Ok I’ll take up a few hobbies. Am I ugly? I’ll get some makeup. Am I stupid? Ok I’ll go to an Ivy League. Am I too easy? Ok I’ll be celibate. 

What is it? Why don’t you love me? What do I need to do to get you to love me? How many time must I be fooled by false love? How many more times will I question my worth? How many more time will I fear the words? How many more time will I give up my body just to feel closeness?How many more nights will I go sleepless? How many more times will I cry to God that he stop playing with my heart? How many more times will I mistake love for loneliness? How many more times will I fill this emptiness with hopelessness?

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I love myself at this point. Maybe I do, but then again I have no idea what REAL love is , looks like or sounds like. 

-Candace 

No mac-n-cheese in Heaven?

“There’s no Mac-n-cheese in Heaven” my cousin says. My reply, “LMAO! I don’t know what your heaven looks like but mine definitely has mac-n-cheese!” 
I don’t really have to add that mac n cheese is the truth, but in case you didn’t know.. well now you do!
Saturday night I walk in the diningroom at my grandmothers house and am greeted by my family. We were having a Thanksgiving dinner re-do. Thanksgiving is the best holiday. All the best dishes are prepared. Mac n cheese, sweet potatoes, turkey, ham, collard greens, cranberry sauce, etc
The first comment: “you’re not going to eat?” I literally had just walked in the room. But ensured Lisa , that I was going to eat. I sat down and began to make myself a plate. I took a few spoonfuls of each dish. I was sitting next to Ashely and sitting across from us, my aunt said : Ashely what are you eating? She had a roll in her hand. I had just taken one. My aunt said: “you need to put that roll down and so does candy and she needs to remove that macaroni off her plate too, we saw your Facebook post! ” 
My immediate response was “I’m grown, don’t check me! ” my next comment was an attempt to fight back from that blow. I attempted to explain my post. I had gotten a few different reactions from people liking my status, to people commenting on separate posts– speaking to what I had just put out there, to people texting me directly to express their relateabilty. 
The situation is bitter sweet. Ok so the post… ( some context first , I’ve been battling with my weight re-gain for a some time now, a little over a year and this particular day I made an appointment with Dr. Silva to be weighed. I knew what the scale would read. I was far from delusional. My clothes don’t fit, my face is chunckier, pictures have exposed the unwanted trend. The surgeons scale has always been the official weigh in for me. I was ready to face the music. A couple weeks ago my eleven year old cousin was very frank about the weight gain. She said I looked a little fat in a picture she saw of me. That was enough right there! I wanted to bury my head in the ground. Yet, I thanked her for the rude, yet compassionate kick in the gut. Ok so moving on.. after I left the surgeons office, a wave of truth and disappointment came over me. I had another doctor’s appointment directly following so processing my weigh-in came later. 
I didn’t even realize my reaction, but when I left Ny & Co with two pairs of jeans for $80.00, I should have know something was up. Later that night, I posted this on Facebook: 
3.5 years ago I was the most fit and healthy I have ever been. Today… I got weighed by my surgeon and found out I gained 24 lbs since my last weigh-in 17 months ago… Funny thing is ( ok not “funny”) that this is my reality. That the disease, obesity is alive and well. That I will have to live with all its symptoms, side effects, gifts (the awareness) and BS forever. As much as it hurts to feel defeated, it hurts so much more to just give up and let the pain accumulate. Truthfully, I don’t know what any of this means for me and my future. What I do know is, life has to continue. There will be good days and some really bad ones. The struggle is so real and because I know I’m not alone– I want make sure others know they aren’t alone either. #whatTodaywaslike#notThegreatest #Usedtobe347pounds#cheers #thankful #staytrue#fightwithmoxey
Oh ok and then right after that, I posted: Oh and .. I put my personal business out there .. Not for pity or judgment but for awareness and education. #thisismyreallife
 I’m not really sure what it bought up for other people but for me, bringing awareness to the issues I am and have been facing. Those on Facebook have seriously cheered me on since I started this weight loss journey. In Social Work school we learned about “vicarious trauma” or “secondary trauma”or even sometimes called “compassion fatigue.” This is basically when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experience of someone else. Think about when you watch a video on Facebook or YouTube of a police shooting. Even though it didn’t happen to you, witnessing it “indirectly” actually has an effect on you. With that being said, the various reactions confirmed this for me. 
Anyway, I thought this was interesting to share in the grand scheme of things. It’s part of the journey. It’s even more apparent how this journey isn’t mine alone. My life’s purpose is to enlighten others about Obesity as a disease and to encourage the personal fight within. Inspire those to trust their God-given and renewable strength to keep going.  
Just so you know, I definitely did NOT remove the mac-n-cheese from my plate. I ate it, along with everything else I had going on and even took home a plate. Don’t judge me! lol well you can if you want. 
Oh and I know there will be mac-n-cheese in heaven! Anything else would be uncivilized!! 
– Candace 

Still in a rut !!

Ok so .. Monday, I went to the gym for the first time in .. mmm.. maybe 2 months. 

Yeah it was in August when I last worked out; I took an aquafit class while in D.C. It was like yoga, but in a pool! Yasss!!  (#OAC2016 taught me some new tricks 🙂 

 In my opionion, I still look fly (takes kissy selfie lol) ..umm but I’m up 17lbs since this time last year tho. DAMN!                (My ass got fat, literally! )

Yes, a lot has changed in the past year. I don’t want to go into too many details but, the point is .. 

me + fitting my clothes from last year= fail. 

FML. I need to get it together! 

Stay tuned…

-Candace 

Soar.

When I went to this conference a few weeks back in DC ( don’t know who said it ) but “even a butterfly has to wait and dry its wings..”

As I sit here a year older, as of 4 days ago.. I find myself alone in limbo. Almost standing still.

Looking behind me revisiting what I’ve been through. Seeing things that I’m very glad are over, visions that I can laugh at, memories that make me tear up from sadness and joy. I see quick flashes of faces and hear voices. Above all I can remember how I felt. I have to look ahead because the past has actually stopped. There is nothing new happening, no changes to see. Only the same ole replaying.

Slowly facing forward, turning into darkness. Cautious and eager.

See this butterfly was once a caterpillar. Crawling and feeding on the leaves of trees. I don’t know if caterpillars know they will morph into butterflies but the way I see it is.. whatever was inside that cocoon is sticky and needs to dry. It weighs the wings down. The butterfly’s innate reaction is to spread its wings and fly, but the extra weight makes it near impossible. So it waits.

What I see ahead, beyond the darkness is hope. That there is more to accomplish, more to see. That the journey isn’t done. I’ve been upgraded from tiny feet to wings! I can cover so much ground, flying! But I’m here.. Anxiously waiting for my wings to dry. I want to soar.

-Candace

 

God, please save me from myself!

When you aren’t having any luck controlling what you think is controllable..and are focused on all that you CAN’T do..
The one thing you CAN do.. 

You can do it for free 

You can do it alone 

You can do it at any time of the day You can do it where ever you are 

You can do it for any reason or no reason at all..

Is PRAY. 
Talk to your God, tell him why your happy. Tell him why your sad. 
He CAN control it. He WILL control it. He DOES control it. 
None of this was designed by accident or to be done alone. 
#GiveItToGod #ItsHisAnyway

-Candace 

Gone..

Mom said I’m “shedding”. Growing out of my skin. 

I’m looking around and everything that was familiar, no longer holds the same shape or serves the same purpose. I’m so angry and frustrated about the pile of dead skin that lay before me! 

So many questions. When did this happen? Why is this happening? How did this happen? What can I do to stop the growth?! 

The answer is… 

Exactly. The answer is everything I do and I do not want to hear. The answer stares back at me — like a reflection in a dirty mirror.  

Yeah, yeah. Change is necessary and inevitable. 

The skin was itchy, and pale. It cracked with every smile, it softened with every tear. The skin used to be taut and vibrant. It moved with my every step and blended well with the elements. 

One would think that the new skin would automatically feel better, but it feels like a foreign object that’s laying on top of me that I am forced to accept. 

Yearning for that old thing back. Yes, that old thing that was me. 

It’s just about gone now. 

My scent is to unite with this fresh skin. Stretching so that it fits from head to toe and glides around every curve. Tested to endure the most critical of circumstances. Casting a shadow of newness. 

Resisting the transition has been painful. I should just roll around against the ground and help the rest detach. Trusting that nature will renew my strength, adjusting to the mold of the new me with cooperation and dignity. 

-Candace 

Lifting my head..to say I’m sorry. 

I feel pretty disconnected. Like someone cut the telephone wire or the bill wasn’t paid. I’m steady talking into the muted phone as if what I’m doing is really making any sense. 

I did something I shouldn’t have done and feel so ashamed. I shy away because I don’t  want to face up to the wrath of disobedience. My head hangs low, my eyes closed tight. 

I thought I was making progress only to fall three steps back. Now I’m scared to leave myself vulnerable for that kind of disappointment. 

The punishment is shame. 

Today at service Pastor said: 

Don’t think because you have sinned your relationship can’t be saved. Regardless of what you’ve done , in spite of yourself.. God Loves you. Confess your sins, say you’re sorry — you will be forgiven. 

 A prayer from the heart that is honest and most vulnerable. There is no judgement but a hope of dialogue. 

It’s time to confess and welcome the warmth of forgiveness. To mend what has been broken. To step into the light away from the shadow. To receive a hug only The Father can give. For my tears to be wiped away leaving only streaks of faith. 

Confessing takes bravery. Forgiveness renews strength.