9/21, my personal day of terror I'll never forget

9/21, my personal day of terror I'll never forget
While the world remembers the tragedy of 9/11, for me, my personal day of terror is 9/21. I’ll never forget this day because it is a day I was beaten so badly while pregnant, that one month later on 10/21, my daughter was born with a black eye, just like the one I had. Long... Read more »

I need "big girl confidence"

I need "big girl confidence"
At the expense of pissing off a whole bunch of women, I’m going to say it: I need “big girl” confidence, or #BGC, a new slogan I’d like to create to empower women of all shapes and sizes. I’m sure you may be wondering what #BGC is. Well, BGC is something big women have that clearly... Read more »

I think I need Facebook therapy

I think I need Facebook therapy
Facebook. The place to go and post pictures, keep up with family, and reconnect with old classmates.  It’s the all around new form of communication and socialization with any and everyone. It’s all fun and games until it becomes toxic. In many ways, that is what Facebook has become for me. When Facebook first came... Read more »
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Wait...I'm becoming a vegetarian? How did I get here?

Wait...I'm becoming a vegetarian? How did I get here?
Never in a million years did I ever think I’d stop eating meat. Why would I? It’s just something we do as Americans. I can remember being a little girl standing on a chair with my grandmother cleaning chitlins, something I thought I’d eat till the day I died. Even when I became a fitness... Read more »

School, it ain't like it used to be. Where are all the books?

School, it ain't like it used to be. Where are all the books?
Today marks an exciting day on my road of advanced education and learning. I am proud to say that I have begun a new course to add to my fitness repertoire–the exciting and important field of Nutrition.  I got all my emails from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and in seeing all the links, decided the... Read more »

The Summer of 1977, after thirty years it's still the summer I'll never forget

The Summer of 1977, after thirty years it's still the summer I'll never forget
As a kid, who doesn't love summer? You get to be out of school and have what feels like an entire eternity to do nothing but sleep in, then get up and play all day, and back in my day, make sure you made it in before the street lights turned on. I absolutely l-o-v-e-d summer. My grandmother stayed with us when I was little and she was the best person in the world. She's been gone now for almost thirty years and yet I still remember her phone number and just want to drive to Chatham to see her right now.  My God, how do we survive grief? That is yet another one of the mysteries of life, but I digress... Nevertheless, as I was saying, I loved summer as a kid. My friends and I would jump rope ALL DAY LONG and there was nothing better than getting penny candy from the corner store and playing double Dutch. My life was good and perfect. One year though, I went away to summer camp which had to be run by Amish people because we were out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania and the biggest source of excitement we had out there was being forced to swim in the lake with snakes. I hated it! The women didn't shave their pits and they had big bushes under their arms and while they weren't Amish, it was actually run by Christian Scientists, we had nothing extravagant. It was all these kids from all over the place with me and my little black cousins being chaperoned by all these white Christian Scientists. Can I tell you something though? It was one of the best experiences of my life. Four of us from my family went but only three of us survived.  My other cousin who was a girl like me, well, she insisted someone from the family come and get her and she went home early. I think we were 8 or 9 years old, and the camp was four weeks long. It really did feel like eternity, except, I learned so much and will never forget the captivating beauty of the stars out there at night. I remember learning that God had a promise for us just like the promise He made to Abraham and that my life would be blessed. I was a hopeful, excited, spirit-filled child. I knew God loved me. One of the best activities we did was making candles.  I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever done in my life.  I learned to make all kinds of shapes and sizes in glass jars and I packed them up to bring them home to my family to show what I'd learned and what a big girl I'd been. [caption id="attachment_3432" align="alignright" width="300"]My candles were like these. I've never made candles since. My candles were like these. I've never made candles since.[/caption] As soon as I got home from camp though, I knew something was "rotten in Denmark." I didn't know anything about energy and what it meant when there was tension in the air, I just knew it was there. I didn't know what the problem was but there was no big party for my return like the kids on the Disney channel got. I was just back home and happy that perhaps I'd still have a chance to swim in my backyard in what I thought was the biggest pool in the world, which was one of those old school pools that took hours to fill up, but for me, was my paradise, with one exception: I can't even remember if I swam anymore once I got home. What I do remember is this... It was a Saturday morning. I was happy. I had eaten a bowl of Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms (had to be those because they were my favorites) and I'd carefully placed all of the candles on the table.  I've always been an early riser so I got up before everyone else and put my handcrafted trinkets out for everyone. I don't know or remember what set who off, all I know is that my father was mad. He and my mother were arguing. She was crying and I was in the next room hoping they'd stop. I went into the kitchen where they were hoping my presence would dissipate their anger, only to see my father holding my candle like it was a foreign object he'd never seen before. I don't know if it was because it was ugly or odd or different or what, but my father took it and just smashed it into the floor. I just stood there in disbelief. I said,
"Daddy I made those for you,"
but he was too mad or shocked or I don't know what because he took his forearm and just went right across the table and violently smashed them all to smithereens. To this day I don't know why he did that and no one has ever apologized to me. My father has been dead and gone now for twenty-three years but now my mother lives with me. I can't even begin to try to explain how bizarre and surreal it is to have her here in my home now with so many unresolved issues and so many words left unsaid to things in my life I've yet to understand. Eventually she left my father and we moved to Hyde Park, where her boyfriend thirteen years her junior would molest me for my entire teenage years. We have never discussed this.  I used to think I needed validation or vindication for closure but now today I know I don't. As crazy and as painful as it was or may seem, my father's action of sweeping his arm across the table and smashing all my little prized pottery pieces and candles is what I've had to do in the spirit for so many past hurts and disappointments. I'm not exonerating him but it does me know good to keep a record of wrongs to hold over anyone's head. He's gone. My grandmother's gone. And my mother is here. All I can do is love her and forgive myself. [caption id="attachment_3430" align="alignleft" width="300"]God is the ultimate healer. I am a witness. God is the ultimate healer. I am a witness.[/caption] It has been a painful and long journey to get to where I am today and while I still have so many shattered pieces of my soul that seem fragmented and disconnected, I know God is holding me together. I think the real miracle out of all of this is that today I can say I still love summer. I love being a mom of six daughters and I love taking them to the pool and watching them make things with their hands and telling them what remarkable works of art they've made. The fact that I can still jump rope just delights me and shows me there is hope and a life after abuse, heartache, and shame. I am not a perfect woman but I do love the Lord and thank Him for keeping my mind when depression and suicide and devastation came upon me. The fact that I am still alive after all I've been through is truly a miracle. Today I am able to take my kids to the park and pool and swim with them and just float on my back and lie there peacefully looking up at the clouds remembering what all I've been through and how good God has been to me.  And then, when nighttime falls and the crickets start signing, I go out and look up at those stars remembering the promise God has made me and all His children and just breathe and take it all in. I may not be where I want to be but I'm certainly not where I used to be, and to that I can only say
Amen.
...
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Today is my 7th wedding anniversary, should I really beware the 7-year itch?

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary, should I really beware the 7-year itch?
I remember seeing the classic fifties film "The Seven Year Itch" and being terrified of marriage as a little girl.  I thought it terrible that happy newlyweds had a chance that they wouldn't be like the Huxtables and the Bradys if they couldn't survive their seventh year of marriage.  Like hotels and buildings that skip the thirteenth floor just to be safe than sorry to avoid any hocus pocus, I never wanted to experience the 7-year itch. I thought I'd skip marriage entirely and never have to worry about such things.  I guess that's why they say, "Never say never," because not only have I already been married and divorced, today marks the first day of my seventh year of my second marriage. You know what that means...
It's day 1 of the dreaded day where you must take precautions not to fall into the proverbial pit of the 7-year itch. The year marriage couples stray. The year of boredom.
As silly as it sounds, there is all kinds of information on ways to avoid the "itch," which is a burning desire  to do something exhilarating and new and fresh because by the time you get to the 7th year, marriage may have become humdrum and a bore, so like an itch that you can't seem to scratch alone, you need someone new to get that certain spot. I'm so glad that's not my story. One good thing we had working on our behalf is that we thought today was day 1 of the 8th year. Don't ask me when or where, but somehow, we thought we already survived the 7th year...and we love it. We woke up today just as happy and refreshed, calm and relaxed, glowing at one another that we survived what others say is "the big one"...which got me to thinking.
What if we looked at all of life's major scares the same way?
I don't know how we were duped into this kind of thinking as adults, but oftentimes, we are afraid of "boogey men" that don't exist. We hear sayings and slogans and adopt them as truths for ourselves, but it doesn't have to be. You can adopt your own philosophy and truth. You don't have to be afraid of life. For example, as a fitness instruuctor, we've been taught, you are what you eat. Everyone has heard that. But no one really stresses the more important one, which is:
You are what you think.
I know people mean well, but I don't buy into all of the world's superstitions. While I don't love having a broom touch my feet, I don't believe I'm going to be cursed for life and have bad luck if it does. Forrest Gump said it best, "Sh*t happens." I also sit my purse on the floor, which drives some people crazy! But not me.  They say "A woman who sits her purse on the floor will never have money." I beg to differ. I believe a woman--or any person for that matter--who doesn't get, and stay, on your grind is the person who will be broke. It's not where I sit my purse that dictates my wealth. It's me getting off my ass that determines that. Where my purse sits is inconsequential. I'm not thrilled about black cats, broken mirrors, and all other forms of witchcraft foolishness, but I also don't let these things run my life.  It amazes me how spiritual or intellectual people can be, and yet, they buy into and believe silly BS. [caption id="attachment_3420" align="alignright" width="225"]I am proud to be a happily married woman. I am proud to be a happily married woman.[/caption] I just don't. I know that the sanctity of my marriage is determined by how I honor God and love my husband, and how I love God and honor my husband. If I can get and keep those two things together, I won't have much to fear, whether it's my 7th or 17th year. I know some people really worry about avoiding that 7-year itch. I'm just so glad it isn't me.
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful young and brilliant husband who keeps me on my toes with his incessant desire to make me happy, healthy, and wealthy, by any means necessary. We are the proud parents of two amazing twin daughters God gave us in his and hers models, plus our other four you gladly welcomed into your heart and life when you fell in love with me. It takes some kind of man not to be swayed by an 11-year age difference, and all the other many challenges we have faced and overcome. I know God has great things in store for our marriage and I look forward to 77 more years together.  Thank you for loving me through sickness and health and all the other roller coaster rides through life that we take together.  They say this is the year that couples dip off, and I'm so glad that God has given us everything we need to make and keep each other happy. You are My King. Love, The Mrs.
Thank you for sharing in our love together on this day...

When blogging gets scary: my bout with the bullies who plagiarized my work

When blogging gets scary: my bout with the bullies who plagiarized my work
I enjoy blogging and often criticize myself for not blogging often and frequently enough. Between managing my household and family of daughters plus my husband and my mom who recently moved in with us, in addition to being a fitness instructor and a network marketer, I often lament about there not being enough hours in... Read more »

From nappy to happy, the day that changed my life

From nappy to happy, the day that changed my life
I loved my long, permed flowing hair.  I used to get it done downtown at Marshall Field’s and on those days you couldn’t tell me nothin.  I thought I was fearlessly invincible. But the stylist didn’t love it.  In fact, most stylists almost always complained about my long thick hair. I hated that. I thought... Read more »
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Someone stole content from my blog, plagiarism is real!

Someone stole content from my blog, plagiarism is real!
Someone, well specifically, Chris Ford, a “writer” for a magazine supposedly for veterans, took it upon himself to take about 98% of my blog that I published May 2015 and just basically switched a word or two, and then published it as his own. Really? What was he thinking? It’s interesting because I had no idea this happened,... Read more »
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    Elana Anthony

    I am a wife and mother blessed to have six daughters who fill my home with love and laughter. My passion is writing and teaching, but most especially inspiring people to live healthy lives in my faith-filled fitness classes. My dream is to have my own faith and fitness TV show where people from all the world collectively join together on our "temple" building project of enjoying optimal health. I am a certified group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and earned graduate degrees in Writing from DePaul University, in addition to a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. I have seen and experienced the hand of God work and move in my life, and consider it an honor and blessing to be saved to serve.

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