My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

Category: #OMagInsiders

Missed My Radio Segment?
Tune in Now

Travel Bags With Annita

It’s not too late to tune in to Travel Bags With Annita. Listen below to my segment about hyperhidrosis, how it got me to where I am, and meeting someone in the middle of the ocean who also has hyperhidrosis!

On-Air! Travel Bags With Annita

My Life as a Puddle and Travel bags with Annita

I’m a featured guest on this radio show! Please tune in.

Join me on the radio show Travel Bags with Annita. I’ll be interviewed by creator Annita Thomas about my Alaskan cruise with Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine and how my hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) may or may not get in the way of having an amazing time. Plus, you’ll get a sneak peek about the stories I’ll be telling soon on my blog. They include celebrity encounters! Can you even?!

You’ll also hear from fellow #OMagInsiders Makes Me Wander and Single Mom Chic.

Just click the blue “Listen Live” button on Annita’s website (links above and in image) to tune in from 3-4 PM EST.  I’ll be on the second segment.

Thank you, Annita, for featuring me as a guest and letting me spread my message of hyperhidrosis hope and awareness. This was the most relaxed I’ve ever been when speaking about my condition. That’s what happens when you’ve got a good interviewer. 🙂

I’m On an Oprah Website!

I’m thrilled to announce the O Mag Insider website is now live. You can find me listed under the Writers, Media Mavens and The Complete List sections. Please head over to this beautiful site where you can learn more about me as well as meet my fellow Insider friends. Thank you to the team at O, The Oprah Magazine for all the work they did to create the site. I am honored to be part of this group!

Also make sure to check out the sweepstakes & contests page – some really cool stuff is up for grabs!

O Mag Insiders - The Inner Circle of O

Eeeee! I’m featured on an Oprah website.

 

Missed Me on the Radio?

My Life as a Puddle on Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer

Missed the live radio show? You can still listen! (Image credit: Juja Han)

Grab a cup of coffee, put your earbuds in, and sit back and take 15 minutes for yourself today. If you missed my live radio debut last week on Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer, you can listen to the archived version. My portion starts around the 18-minute mark.

I was a bit nervous doing the show, but I think that’s normal the first time we do something new, isn’t it? I strategically prepared myself and had a few paper towels next to me to absorb any drippage. Once I started talking, though, it got easier for two reasons.

First, I am passionate about hyperhidrosis education and awareness; I will do just about anything in the name of it. Because I live with excessive sweating, I know it like the back of my hand (see what I did there?) so it’s become easier to talk about it over the years.

Second, although I haven’t met Lisa the show host in person yet, her warmth and compassion shines through in her voice and her vibe. I immediately felt comfortable talking with her. She intuitively knew what to say to make me feel right at home like we’re old friends, like when she said this:

I love pioneers. Pioneers are my gig, and you’re a pioneer. – Lisa Zimmer

After the show was over, I had a moment. I cried. Cried because this stupid condition that I have and am trying to coexist with actually got me to where I am today – an advocate, a pioneer, a writer who is using my voice to let the world know that we are more alike than unalike, but that it is our differences that make us unique and give us a light to shine on the world. My light just happens to shimmer and drip.

I cried because if it weren’t for Lisa J. Pieretti and the International Hyperhidrosis Society, I would still be suffering in silence and feeling like a freak.

My life changed in April 2011 when I attended the IHHS symposium in Denver as a patient volunteer. Lisa, her staff, and the dermatologist who treated me that day understood what I was going through. They didn’t shrink back in disgust when they touched my hands and feet. I walked out of there that day – hands swollen and sore from the Botox injections – feeling like I needed to do something. Why? Because of validation.

This is how the IHHS made me feel that day:

So please, be a good sweaty friend and hop on over to Blog Talk Radio to listen to my voice and learn more about hyperhidrosis. And remember, you’re not alone in your sweating angst.

(A special thank you to the team at O, The Oprah Magazine for recognizing my passion and selecting me as one of just 50 #OMagInsiders nationwide. Through this year of adventure, I’m meeting and connecting with some wonderful people, one of whom is Lisa Zimmer. I am forever humble and grateful for this opportunity.)

Hyperhidrosis + Unlimited
Realities with Lisa Zimmer

Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer

(Update: Listen to the archived version here.)

Hi friends! I’m getting ready to make my debut on the radio this week – Thursday, May 25 at 11:30 ET! That’s right, I will be live on-air discussing hyperhidrosis on the amazing show Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer.  The show is a three-part approach: to inspire, to inform, and to empower. I will be joined by fellow #OMagInsiders Amy Boyle of Amy Boyle Photography (inspire); life coach, author and speaker Joshua Perez (empower); and the host of the show Lisa Zimmer, an emotional/intuitive educator and motivational speaker.

I will be second in the lineup, so if you don’t hear me right away, please stay tuned. I love the title of the show, don’t you? If you would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be on the radio educating the world about a condition that affects 5% of the world population, I never would’ve believed you. So please share this blog post with anyone you think might like to listen. If you’re a reader of mine who has been afraid to talk about your excessive sweating publicly, here’s a way for you to do so through me. I’ll be your voice.

Details for listening are in the image above – click the Blog Talk Radio link on Lisa’s home page. Please join me in spreading my message of hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time. A special thank you to the team at O, The Oprah Magazine for selecting me as one of their 50 inaugural OMagInsiders. This opportunity has led me to Lisa Zimmer and the radio gig. #yearofadventure

P.S. Can’t listen live on May 25 at 11:30 ET? No sweat! The show will be archived and available for download.

Pinch Me! My First O, The Oprah Magazine Package

My #OMagInsiders welcome box from O, The Oprah Magazine has arrived! Let’s all take a moment and bow our heads.

#oprah #yearofadventure #ups #whatcanbrowndoforyou (sponsored)

My Life as a Puddle #OMagInsiders

Because Oprah has deemed this her Year of Adventure, I am doing the same. Part of adventure is taking risks, which I’ve been doing with my blog since its inception in 2011. I started My Life as a Puddle after my first experience with the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Validation was the catalyst for me to start being more open about my sweating condition. And isn’t that what we all want? To be seen and feel connected with others?

With that idea in mind, I put on my brave girl outfit (okay, I was dressed up for a work event that day and just left my dress on), put on a fresh coat of lip gloss, and embraced my dorkdom so that the team at O – and you, the lovely person reading this – could meet me virtually and hopefully be inspired by 1) my enthusiasm for a woman and her brand that I deeply love and 2) my willingness to put my excessive sweating front and center to create hope and awareness one drop at a time. Happy viewing, friends.

When we find the courage to share our experiences and the compassion to hear others tell their stories, we force shame out of hiding, and end the silence.

~ Brene Brown

 

See that towel over on the left? I totally forgot to use it to wipe off my sweaty hands mid-video. LOL

Hyperhidrosis and O, The Oprah Magazine #OMagInsiders

Sweaty friends, last week I got an email that nearly gave me a coronary. Let me tell you all about it, as it really made my hands sweat!

Several months ago, I submitted an application to O, The Oprah Magazine to become part of O’s Inner Circle. I’ve been an Oprah fan since I was about 10 years old. I’d come home after school and watch The Oprah Winfrey Show religiously. I own the 20th anniversary DVD collection. I cried while watching the last episode of her show. I’ve seen her in person twice – once in Denver and once in Houston. And when the first issue of O Magazine came out in 2000, I was the first person to purchase a copy from my local downtown newsstand, Woody’s Newsstand.

#OMagInsiders MyLifeAsAPuddle

I’ve saved every one of Oprah’s What I Know for Sure columns, the last page in each O Magazine. The top left is the first page from her 2000 inaugural issue.

I’ve been an O Magazine subscriber since day 1. My subscription is paid up through 2019! When it comes to Oprah, I don’t mess around. She has been a tremendous source of inspiration to me, and her magazine has some really inspiring content that helps me to live my best life.

So, last Thursday I received an email with the subject line “Welcome to O’s Inner Circle!” It read,

After reviewing over a thousand submissions, we’ve selected 50 of the most influential,  engaged, and enthusiastic fans of O, The Oprah Magazine to join O Mag Insiders: The Inner Circle of O for the next year – and you’re one of them!

OMG, you guys! I immediately started texting my best friend, my hands dripping all over my phone the entire time, to tell her my exciting news. While I’m not sure what this opportunity fully entails just yet, I am incredibly honored to be selected as one of the magazine’s #OMagInsiders. I do know that I’ll be posting on social media and here on my blog on a regular basis, so you’ll be seeing lots more about this very soon. While I will try to blend these posts together with my normal hyperhidrosis content, I may not always be able to do that.

I’m hoping this journey will manifest into meeting Oprah this year. Can you imagine?! If this happens, my hyperhidrosis will be on center stage. But I’m okay with that, because it’s a great opportunity to educate Oprah and others about a medical condition that affects 3% of the world population. As Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by my circumstances, but I refuse to be reduced by them.”

I am incredibly humbled and thankful to begin my adventure with O Magazine. Life is about the journey, not the destination, and when you pursue joy and dare to believe that something inside you is superior to circumstance, the universe will conspire in your favor.

#OMagInsiders MyLifeAsAPuddle

A quote in Oprah’s handwriting excerpted from the program I received at The Life You Want tour in Houston.

Hyperhidrosis and Oprah

Last month, I flew to Houston to attend Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend. It was amazing. While I didn’t get to be up close and personal with Oprah herself, I still saw her from the big screen as she spoke to the audience about creating a bigger and better life for yourself. Oprah gave the keynote address on Friday evening, and then on Saturday she was joined onstage by Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Rob Bell.

Before the big event that first night, I went to O Town, a pop-up town square with interactive booths. I’m glad I went as soon as it opened, because the entire thing was outside. In Houston. With humidity. Not cool for someone who has a sweating condition.

 

Entering O Town at Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend

Entering O Town at Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend

 

One of the stops in O Town was the Toyota booth. Here, you could decorate a journal using scrapbook paper and tons of accessories. The line was pretty long by the time I joined, so I had to stand in the sun for a long time before the line moved inside the tent. Once I got out of the sun, I realized there wasn’t any air flow inside the tent. Uh oh.

The journal decorating area consisted of leather couches and stools and was in the back corner of the tent, even farther away from any of the air that had managed to creep inside the periphery. I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to decorate my journal. Sitting down on the leather furniture when I was already sticky from the heat combined with sharing scissors, glue, and everything else with a bunch of other people was no bueno for my puddle life. So, I stood in line long enough to grab my journal and a few pieces of decorative paper, and then I hightailed it out of that stagnant, muggy tent, deciding I’d finish my journal when I got home and could control my environment.

The journal I was supposed to decorate but couldn't because of my sweaty hands.

The journal I was supposed to decorate but couldn’t because of my sweaty hands.

 

After the failed journal line, I made my way over to the Oil of Olay booth, where I got a mini makeover by a makeup artist. Oprah’s camera crew was there and filmed me while I was in the makeup chair. 🙂

Getting a makeover while Oprah's film crew put the camera on me.

Getting a makeover while Oprah’s film crew put the camera on me.

 

Once I made the rounds at each booth, I could tell I was getting dehydrated from the sun and all the sweating I was trying so desperately NOT to do. At least I had the foresight to snag a washcloth from the hotel room on my way out the door. I stuffed it in my purse and used it discreetly every now and then to wipe off my hands. I also grabbed a flyer from the IKEA booth, which I used to fan myself and block the sun when I was in line. It was time to say peace out to Oprah and escape to an air-conditioned restaurant for some lunch.

That night in the arena, I was fine sweat-wise and could take notes without any problems. I, of course, brought my sweat-friendly notebook and favorite pen to minimize any sweat marks and paper curling (read more about paper and pens for hyperhidrosis). I also got a fabulous handout from Oprah that I used as part of creating a new vision statement for my life. It’s important to check in with yourself on a regular basis and analyze whether your life is going in the direction you desire (like when this crazy thing happened to me). If it’s not, it’s time to re-frame your life and choose different thoughts. Your thoughts create your life.

As I went through the exercises with my favorite life teacher, Oprah, I could see where I was headed with my new vision statement (read more about stepping outside of your hyperhidrosis). While I won’t share it all here, I will tell you that it includes no longer talking to myself in the self-deprecating voice that is reserved for me; I can be my own worst enemy. How many of you have a sweaty inner monologue like I do? It goes something like this:

You’re disgusting. Look at the sweaty mess you are. You’d better apologize as soon as someone notices your sweat. You can’t do this, this, or this because of your stupid hyperhidrosis. Why did this happen to me? I’m not good enough. I wish I could be like everyone else and live in a dry world.

Sound familiar? Why do we do this to ourselves? Compare our sweaty lives to the lives of others? Act like we’re less than, freakish, an embarrassment? You, and I, are exactly enough just as we are. So sit with yourself awhile – sweaty hands, feet, armpits, groin, or wherever it is that you sweat – and love yourself through it.

Accept and allow who and how you are to come forth. Yes, we want a cure for our excessive sweating and yes, we’ll never give up hope and will keep trying treatments for hyperhidrosis. But in the meantime, stop the self-hatred. Hold your head high. You are enough, and you are loved despite the sweating that might make you think you’re less than. You’re safe here. So own it.

Here is part of my vision statement. I hope it might help you in some way.

I choose to live as my authentic self, no longer apologizing or comparing who I am to others or betraying the nudges of my own heart. ‪#‎TheLifeIWant‬

The workbook from Oprah in which I created a new vision statement for my life.

The workbook from Oprah in which I created a new vision statement for my life.

Start to walk through life palms out, hands up.

IMG_1629

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