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Fulfilled Living

Paying It Forward: What More Can I Do #PPD

It wasn’t for nothing that I was taken to the pits of hell after my son was born. I have been blessed with several really awesome opportunities to share my story, give advice and I’d like to think I’ve given hope to moms when they’ve needed it most.

And just maybe I have inadvertently offered understanding to those who may have been ignorant to the most common complication of childbirth — Postpartum Depression (PPD).

But I cant help but think, “What more am I called to do?” Maybe it is because of the flash of recent vain-ness as I train to compete in a bikini fitness contest ?

regardless,,,

Last night while in bed…

It takes me years to fall asleep these days and even when I do I dream so vividly that I really wouldn’t call it sleep at all, but I digress.

… Last night while in bed I had an overwhelming urge to do MORE and decided to search online to find out what more I could do with my PPD experience .

Could advocacy become a career?

I know for sure that God always has plans to turn our greatest suffering into something extraordinarily beautiful and I’m not going to over look any opportunity to work with the big man Himself.

I have an undeniable gnawing feeling in my gut that there is more for me to do. So much more!

I don’t know what is next but I have just realized my responsibility to women everywhere….

For now I plan to educate myself on all things PPD. I found a number of books on the subject on amazon. I must admit that reading those titles sent a wave of anxiety over me… Made me feel sick.
I guess I’ll always have a bit of PTSD from my experience. It always surprises me when those familiar heavy feelings sneak up on me.

All I know is that I’ve got work to do!! Some way some how.

If you or someone you know is suffering feel free to reach out to me!

Until next time Ill be figuring out what more I can do! 🙂
~Raivon Lee~
VainMommy.com
Twitter.com/RaivonL
FaceBook.com/VainMommy

Fulfilled Living, Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

You’re What We Call Skinny Fat…

That’s me. Skinny fat. I prefer to emphasize the word SKINNY!

I met with a local NPC Bikini Competition Prep Coach/Trainer earlier this week and stood before him in heels, booty shorts, as he called them and a sports bra. Because I don’t currently own a bikini…go figure?!

He told me the I have great “potential” to be a bikini competitor, I have great bone structure BUT I’m what they call skinny fat and they would need to get a lot of muscle on my body before I could hit the stage in August.

No offense was taken at all. Because, it’s true!

I am skinny fat… and I’ll take that because my entire life (from my perspective)  I’ve been FAT FAT! so SKINNY FAT is progress in my opinion! He also informed me of his pricing for competition prep.

$600 for three months: a training plan and nutrition plan.

I believe that I will forego that path currently. There is so much FREE information online that I am going to try my best to piece together a plan that will be effective for me … physically and financially.

I will be attending his posing workshops though. Posing is a big deal and I will not pass on his expertise in that area as well as competition day support. I will feel so much better having someone there who knows what the heck is going on!

I will be posting before pictures at the beginning of April.

Currently I am trying to nail down a training plan and figure out what my diet will be. “Diet” has always been tricky for me because I have the tendency to get a bit obsessive when it comes to counting calories carbs etc and I hope I can somehow avoid that all together.

We shall see!

Fit Mommy

Center Stage: The Trouble Saying Yes Is Getting Me Into

It’s 2015. Well into 2015. My new year resolution was to simply say YES.
Say yes to life, to opportunities that come my way, say yes to my scary dreams and aspirations, say yes to the little voice that says “just try it Raivon, you know you want too.”

And guess what, this is one new year resolution that I’ve stuck with. So far 😉

I’ve always thought that I was shy and maybe even had a touch social anxiety, but I’m finding that I really crave the spot light. Or should I say I thrive and come alive in the spot light.

The majority of my life I have been hiding in fear of myself, fear of the judgment of others, fear of failure etc etc.

Since becoming a mom my fear factor has slowly fallen away. I attribute that to postpartum depression. When we go to the pits of hell with whatever struggle we face. We come back stronger with a totally different perspective on life. Don’t you agree?

I came back fearless and honestly craving that rush that saying yes to life gives.

So what “trouble” has saying yes gotten me into?

A friend suggested that I audition for the Listen To Your Mother Show {tickets on sale now! Follow the link} It’s a show of live readings from moms that is held around mothers day. When she said “you’d be great for this” I thought “oh crap!” Because I knew I was going to have to say yes. I owed it to my self!

I wrote my essay in one sitting. Signed up to audition. Auditioned. And about a week later I received the most exciting email of my life.

I … me … Raivon was cast with 12 other fantastic women! Many who are published authors {there are no coincidences ;)}

The best part is… I am not nervous. I feel like I am living the life that I was made to live. It feels like something I am supposed to do and I am honored to do!

Now for the BIGGEST trouble YES is about to get me into.

Late last year while participating in a 12 week transformation I shared that I used to obsess over fitness models and competitors. The thirst was real {did I use that that correctly? LOL} Well now I have a crazy urge to quench that thirst and become a NPC Bikini Competitor.

Crazy I know.

But it just feels like its something I have to do! I have to say YES! There is a competition here in the Atlanta area 4 days after my 30th birthday. And… I — think — Ima — do it ….

Y’all, I don’t even own a swim suit…

I have always been my own source of pain. I’ve allowed my body (image) to tear me down, lock me in and cause me to miss out on life.

In my 30th year I’m going to change ALL of that! I am going to boldly be Ravion, love Raivon, share Raivon with not only the world but with myself.

I’m taking me back!

Living a life in fear gets pretty confusing, it’s been like living with a stranger.

So for all of you who know me, I have not lost my mind … I’ve simply found myself.

I plan to document my journey to becoming a NPC Bikini Competitor so stay tuned!

I still can’t believe it!

Say YES y’all!! 

Fit Mommy, Fulfilled Living

Ramblings Of An Indecisive Mom: Is He Our Only Child?

I’ve spent endless hours debating to myself — in my head, whether we are done having children. Will Ari be my only child? This is a question that has become harder to avoid since Ari hit the two year mark. Many parents I know with two year olds are trying for there next… because we all know that two years is THE perfect spacing.

Unlike a previous post I made on this issue, there is no fear fueling my ramblings. At that time I was tempted to follow the “pack” afraid of being left behind as my friends began getting pregnant.

My ambivalence was based on external factors. Yeah, I should know better, being that this has gotten me in trouble countless times in my younger years.

But this time it is all ME.

Me, myself and I trying to figure out what we three want. Why is this so hard?

I go back and forth like a pro ping pong match.

Yes I’m done.
Maybe we will adopt.
I never want to be pregnant again.
Well maybe next time will be different.
I’d really like to sleep again.
Well it’s only for a short time.
I’d really like to sleep in the same bed with DH again.
Ari needs a sibling.
What about when we die?
I’ll regret it when I’m older.
What if Postpartum Depression is worse next time?
I’d have to stop medication before I could try again.
I’ve always thought I wanted a big family.
How will we afford private education for two or more?
We are so happy with Ari why rock the boat?

And that’s only a snippet of my internal dialogue.

Child bearing is a HUGE decision. It’s a decision that has an expiration date and for me that’s only a little over 5 years away. Although I don’t mind the idea of being an older mom, having a baby in my 40’s but still…

My One and Only.

It ^^ sounds so sweet doesn’t it? This statement leaves me feeling empowered and it feels like it is coming from a loving place.

One and Done!

That statement ^^ leaves me feeling frantic and fearful. Like I’m trying to convince myself.

So which is it for me? Empowering or Convincing?

I totally believe in saying Yes to life but also saying No!

The catch is that I must not let “fear” lead. I will no longer never say Yes out of fear and the same goes for saying No.

Why?

Because I believe that fear blocks blessings. Fear bullies me into decisions. The what-ifs cloud the moment.

Final thoughts…

What scares me most?

Enjoying life with my one angel or enjoying life with more?
Regretting life with one little angle or regretting life with more?

I know I won’t regret my children and of course I’d enjoy my children. With that being said, I suppose in the end either choice would be fine.

When I remove my foggy “fear glasses” I only need to ask myself.

What do I really want… Now? Knowing that either situation will be “fine”. Do I want to live a fine life or an exceptional and extraordinary life? The latter I’m sure.

You may ask, why do I need to make a decision at all? Because I’m a planner. Because I like to know where I’m headed. Because it help me feel like I’m in charge?

lol!

Goodness! How did you know what was right for you?

Fulfilled Living

Looking Back: 2014 In One Word!

I can not believe that there are only a few more days in 2014 …NO more days in 2014!? I have been so busy celebrating this past December that I haven’t had time to post. And I do mean celebrating. Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and The New Year! It was fun but I. Am. Celebrated. OUT! Next year we may just combine everything into one week??

Anyway!

It has been a big year for me, the one word that sums up 2014 is hands down…

Transformation

Lets take a walk down memory lane…

Once upon a time I was a meek, people pleaser. Horrified to speak up and share my true opinions. I was actually afraid to share my blog with friends and family.

2014 changed that! I put my big girls pants on and things just happened

 I shared my true opinions. Even on very controversial topics like Attachment Parenting!

I opened up and dropped the “I’m perfect” facade (which I’m sure was extremely transparent ) and Told The World that I was suffering with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, I was interviewed for two CNN articles, this one about PPD/A and I took it a step further and began doing something to Help Other Moms that were also suffering!

I Transformed! Literally, I participated in the No Excuse Mom 12 Week Transformation with great results! At least I think so 🙂

I said YES! I’ve said no most of my life, mainly out of fear and passed up many opportunities. But this year I said YES and had the chance to interview the director and producer of FRESH the documentary!

2014 show me that I can be me. 100% Raivon Lee and it is more than okay!!

If I had to predict the word for 2015…

actually…

I wouldn’t predict a thing because God takes me places that I couldn’t predict if I tried. BUT I do know that He has good plans for me, so lets get this party started!!

What is your word for 2014??? Please let me know in the comments below or on Facebook! Have a blessed New Year!

Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Fulfilled Living

Celebrating Jesus in Chanukah

This year will be our first official Chanukah! We’ve had a few dry runs as they say, but now that Ari is nearly two and able to open gifts and is able to understand (more or less) what we are sharing with him, the next eight nights will be even more meaningful!

Side Note: My spell checks doesn’t like the word Chanukah or Hannukah or Hanukah or any other way of spelling it. So please accept what ever variation comes your way 🙂

Being a Christian family we choose to celebrate Chanukah because Jesus did {John 10:22-30 & 37-42}, and because there is great meaning found in this celebration. We also celebrate Christmas but again, with our focus on Christ. Even though He may not have technically been born on December 25th his birth is something to celebrate for all time! Heck most years I don’t celebrate my birthday on the actual day but I still celebrate and I don’t come anywhere close to being the son the God!

I digress ;D…

How We Celebrate Chanukah — The Jesus Way

I purchased a wonderful Chanukah devotional (for under four bucks!!) on my kindle called Light of Yeshua – A Chanukah Devotional Guide for Messianic BelieversWe will be following it this year and I will share with you bits of its content.

We Read:

John 10:22-30 & 37-42

22 It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. 23 He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.[d] No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.30 The Father and I are one.”

37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. 40 He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. 41 And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.” 42 And many who were there believed in Jesus.

We Reflect:

What strikes me from reading the scriptures above is this:

Some people need to be told out right in order to believe things. But there is something magical that happens when we can let go and trust — that in it self is a miracle. Because its goes against our natural tendencies. It goes against our worldly human nature.

“I need to see it to believe it.” They saw, but still did not believe in Him. This shows that some things are meant to be and others aren’t, this applies to many areas of life.

Everyone is not yet a sheep…

Tonight we celebrate Miracles: The Miracle of Chanukah, the miracles that are present in our everyday lives and the miracle of Jesus. Who was sent for us out of pure Love from God.

We Light the Shamash–The helper candle with a lighter or matches. I liken the Shamash to Jesus because He is the eternal light that lights all the other candles…US! And we are the light of the world!

We Say the Blessings:

Blessed are you O, Lord, Our God, King of the Universe who has sanctified us by Yeshua the Messiah in whose name we light the candles of Chanunkah, Amen.

Blessed are you O, Lord Our God, King of the Universe who has preformed great miracles for your people, and who gave us the Light of the World, Yeshua the Messiah. Amen

We Light the First Candle with the Shamash (helper candle) and we say the following blessing on day one only…

Blessed are you, O, Lord Our God, King of the Universe who has given us life, sustained us and permitted us to reach this season.

Amen

One Gift! Ari opens his gift <3

Then we kick back, eat, play and sit in awe and gratitude, knowing how truly bless we are to recognize Yeshua … Jesus as our Messiah, and Pray that everyone will come to this wonderful realization.

Happy Hanukkah From our family to yours!

Christian Mommy