Monthly Archives: April 2018

Intl Pageant Day – why do I do pageants?

168425-I-Need-A-CrownI needed to get into shape (or so my doctor kept saying). I’m very competitive, but not at all athletic. So why pageants? Well, Mrs. pageants generally have an age range from 19 or early 20s till….. whenever. So put my middle-aged, overweight self next to a 23 year old who just left the Miss America Organization, and well… I’ll get into shape.  I am still working on it.

It’s not easy. My entire life (up until about 32), I was skinny. We’re talking 5’7″ and less than 100 pounds. In my late 20s, I was about 110 pounds – after two kids. I never tried to lose weight. I never exercised. And I durn sure did not eat healthy.

I have some wins though – I lost about 30 pounds. I went from osteoporosis to osteopenia. I came completely off Plaquenil and Methotrexate (considered lifetime meds once you go on them for Lupus / Sjogrens). Getting diagnosed with Celia Disease made me straighten up the nutritional plan, as did having a high A1C (shows blood sugar over time – diabetic….). My A1C is normal now. If I can do this, so can others with disabilities.

So I walk and I work out (I kinda fell off the working out, sorry, David Ashley, the Pastor of Pump). I eat healthy (most of the time). I have a hard time eating healthy when I travel, although I do manage to keep exercising.

But there is something else – the reason why I keep competing. The women (and men) I have met are in general, Fantastic. They get it. They are people of strength and beauty, goals and dreams. People that work to help others. I have met very few shallow, back-stabbing, pouting, shallow, what-you-think-are-pageant-girls people. Okay, there are some, but I am pretty oblivious to backstage politics. I just like everyone. And I try to help everyone and assume others do the same.

If you’ve every wondered….why does she do this? This is why. For my own health. To encourage others. To Live Out Loud. To be uniquely and unapologetically myself. To be among strong people who are helping the world.

Lots of love,
K Royal
your Mrs. Arizona, USA Ambassador 2018

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A cat has 9 lives…

cat

Just over a year ago today, I was hospitalized for sepsis and acute renal failure – just after I had a kidney stone. It’s not the first time I have faced death and laughed in its face (okay, it’s really been more exhaustion, but laughter sounds better). Most of these have been due to Lupus and its natural complications, but at least one was not. If I were a cat, I think I would be dead already. 

 

This does tend to make cherish life even more.

As a hospice nurse, I learned a lot about living and dying; regrets and memories. My patients taught me a lot and those lessons stick with with me. Humility. Worries about family. Responsibilities. Joy. 

But somehow, when faced with it myself, I don’t think I portray those heroics or acceptance. I don’t want to go gently into that good night. I’d like to claim that I raged and raged, but found myself without the rage, as well. Having survived them all (so far), I find that I slip gently back into “normal” with a few more conscious moments of what life should be about.   

Life is messy and chaotic, fraught with emotions – both good and bad. Living is being present – day-to-day, planning, reacting, regretting, rejoicing – in things both small and tall. Life is what we make it. And if we think that facing death has an impact on us; well, it does. I thank God every day I wake up. Pain is merely a symptom that I am breathing.

People often ask where I find this unceasing energy and “perkiness.” It is not unceasing. My family can attest to that. But there is some truth in it. No matter where. No matter what. No matter when. There is always something good, because I am still there to experience whatever it is that is happening. It may not be a pleasant occasion (the death of a loved one comes to mind), but I knew that person, loved that person, and was loved by that person. That is a blessing.

So I am grateful to experience this thing called life. “Electric word LIFE it means forever and that’s a mighty long time.” No matter how long or how short a time we have on this earth, it’s a mighty long time to immerse ourselves in living. Don’t just survive. Thrive.

 

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at the Heart of Privacy

K Royal (@heartofprivacy)