Thursday, December 04, 2014

Quietly Returning...

I never purposely stopped blogging.  At least I don't think so.  I now think that it was likely the protective part of my psyche telling me to let things go and focus on me.

For a long time I fell into the same boat as a lot of bloggers.  I had a pattern, blogging connections, readers and comments.  I worried about how many readers I had and where I was getting my readers.  I had a list of things to talk about that were relevant to my blog.

But here's the thing, I started blogging for me.  And somewhere in all of that I lost me.  I wasn't speaking to myself, not was I speaking for myself.

I could update you with this massive post, but instead I'll say this.  I'm going to start blogging again.  For me, about me.  If it resonates with anyone else, great.  If I never have another reader, that's ok too.  The blog is returning to me.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Breast Cancer and Mastectomies Are Not Pink Ribbons

Here's the thing.  Cancer and mastectomies and reconstruction surgeries are scary.  I get that.  And when you talk to people about it, their first instinct is to comfort you and reassure you.  So somewhere along the way, people create these groups and agencies and networks to support women (and men) going through this.  They developed plans to help out, things to say to support and ways to help out.

But having DCIS, going through a mastectomy, reconstruction and subsequent surgeries, isn't a big pink ribbon.  It's not being glad that it's 'over'.  It's not getting on with life and being glad it wasn't cancer/glad I'm alive.  It's just not.  Not for me and not for a large group of people out there.

My scars are ugly.  They're never going to be pretty.  But they tell the story of who I am and what I've gone through.  The fact that I went through this emotional roller coaster and it wasn't cancer, isn't comforting.  It's just not.  It never will be.  I'm not over it and won't be over it for a long time, if ever.

I understand that people around me feel uncomfortable and they say and do things in the hopes of making me feel more comfortable and in turn them more comfortable.  But honestly, it makes me feel worse.  Like I should just sweep everything that I went through under the rug, don't talk about it and move on...pretend it never happened. 

Guess what?

I had DCIS.
I had a 62% chance of breast cancer in my life.
I had a mastectomy.
I had reconstruction that resulted in big dark ugly scars.
I had a nipple & revision surgery.
I lost most of both of the revised nipples.
I'm not secure, safe because cancer is gone.
I deal with the repercussions of my choices daily.
I'm not comfortable in my skin currently.
I'm afraid to exercise.
I'm afraid to be happy.
I'm afraid to have the rug pulled out from under me again.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fed Up

Firstly, I have decided that I am a documentary junkie.  If I lived a bit closer to the little theater in Minneapolis, I'd be there 3-4 nights a week to see every documentary they have. 

Have you heard of the movie FED UP?  It's been on my radar since I heard about it about a month or so ago.  I've been waiting for it to play here so I could go see it.  Pete and I went last week and I wavered.  It seemed a bit counterproductive to eat popcorn while watching a movie like Fed Up.  So I brought some water and Pete got a soda.  But you'd be surprised how many people had popcorn and soda!

The movie touches on the lives of 3 kids who are obese and the struggles their families go through to try to regulate their weight.  In the middle, it give some horrifying facts about low fat, low sugar, sugar free and sugar.  I wish I had brought a headlamp, pad of paper and pen to take notes.  There was such good information.

The thing that struck me the most was that the sugar industry is mirroring the tobacco industry, almost to a T.  Tobacco denied issues with cigarettes for so long, in the public, in their internal paperwork and to congress when asked.  In the end, they were forced to admit that they knew for years how destructive it was.  The sugar industry is at the place of denial.  They deny how addictive sugar is, how bad it really is and just how much sugar is ok for humans. 

I left with a renewed goal of kicking my sugar habit and be more observant of how much sugar I really eat.  Have you ever really looked at a food label?  Ever notice how sugar is the only listing that doesn't have a daily percentage behind it?  It's all because of the sugar industry and how much control they have at his time.  Did you know that adult women should limit their intake to 6 teaspoons a day?  Do you know how much is in a soda?  15.  Ever try finding a greek yogurt without sugar?  I spent an hour and 2 stores trying to find one that was healthy and had no sugar.  Sugar is pervasive and my struggle with it is real. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Today And Only Today

Last week, I thought a lot about where I am and where I want to be.  I thought about how mad I was at myself for getting to this point.  I thought about how it's different trying to live like this again because I know the difference of being healthier. 

Let me say that again.  Before, weighed more and ate horrible and although I wished I was healthier, I was okay to a certain point, living like that because I didn't know any better.  Now I know how awesome to feels to be in great shape.  I know how euphoric it can be to exercise hard and see results.  I know how much more energy I had when I ate better.  I know the difference.

But, it occurs to me that I am somewhat like an alcoholic, only with food.  I have lived so long with the habits that I developed as an unhealthy young adult and adult, that the easiest thing for me to do in times of stress, hurt, anger, to return to them.  It's familiar and easy and calming.

But I know better.  I know much better.  And when you know better, you should be doing better. 

So today, and only today, I plan to:  choose to eat better, choose to move more, choose to destress when needed.  Tomorrow is another day and another chance to make good choices.  One day at a time.

Friday, May 09, 2014

So where am I at?

After all that has gone on, where am I at?

Honestly...and I am going to be honest here...

I weighed myself today and I'm 226.  My lowest ever was 188 and I was hanging around 192-195 for the first 6 months of 2013.  I have 1 pair of work pants that I can get on, but they're so tight that I'm uncomfortable by the end of the day.  I have 2 pair of jeans that fit me.  I have 5 or 6 shirts that fit for wearing out.  But mostly I wear yoga pants and old YMCA t-shirts. 

I developed planter fascitis in my left foot.  So running...nope.  Walking...nope.  Some days, by the end of the day I can barely walk on it.  I'm trying to use the store bought inserts and being aware of my foot ware and doing the exercises I found on the net.  The gym has been non existent.

Eating.  Sigh.  I am full out sugar addicted again.  FULL OUT.  Pete has done so well with his weight loss and is hovering at 162-167 with a really fast metabolism.  He makes cookies about twice a week and keeps them on the counter.  I try not to indulge and honestly he would stop if I asked, but I don't want my stuff to impact him.  I try to have a green salad with lots of veggies and some protein in the form of hard boiled egg, cheese or tuna on it for lunch every day.  So that's on target.  But I'm not hungry for breakfast since I'm not at the gym and I struggle with what to eat.  Dinner I'm pretty good also.  It's the snacking.  Licorice, cookies, cake, PB cups...snacking.

I still have days where I question the choices I made.  There is a huge movement that says that doctors are 'pushing' mastectomies for people like me, when they're not really needed.  The instance of cancer deaths is down, but there is testing that shows that the type of pre-cancer that I had, doesn't often turn into full blown breast cancer.  The difference for me, is that I had the family history and the 60% chance of it actually going to cancer.  Sometimes it's hard to look past the what ifs and just be at peace with my decision.  The choices that I made had such an impact on so many aspects of my life and impacted Pete too.  And I need to stress that he is supportive of whatever choice I wanted to make, but that's not to say that there were some negatives that came with it.

I'm so freaking frustrated with myself!  My body image is bad again.  I don't want to shop for clothes, that's why I haven't bought very much bigger things.  Shopping isn't fun.  In fact, I've walked in several stores, only to walk back out again because I don't have the mental fortitude to dig in and start trying on clothes.  Not only have I gained weight, but my shape has changed again.  I realize how small my hips had gotten when I lost weight.  They're back to being big and it makes finding clothes really really hard (crying while writing this and thinking about it).

I've come to realize that what worked for me before in losing weight, isn't going to work now.  And I'm pissed off that I have to figure out a new plan.  Pissed.  But sitting here and bitching about the whole thing isn't going to change it, is it?  I need to figure out that plan.  Soon.

Monday, May 05, 2014

A Sharp Left

April 23, 2013:  the day I had a biopsy and learned that I could have breast cancer.  The day that my lift too a sharp left turn in a world of rights.  I posted about it: Fear is real, but honest. Praying.

April 23, 2014:  I knew it was coming.  I had fleeting thoughts about it in the weeks leading up to that day.  But each time I'd think about it, I tried to dismiss the thought.  The day came and I got up and worked, just like I usually did.  I was behind, had a few things I was juggling, but worked.  I found myself starting into the screen at times and felt unsettled, almost like I was dreading something.

I had to run and errand and instead of eating lunch, I decided to get that done.  I bought things for dinner at the grocery store and returned home.  If Pete noticed that I was quiet, he didn't say much.  I tried to crochet after working, but that feeling of anxiety returned.  My heart races and I feel like I could jump form my skin.  As if jumping around or off a wall or something, would lessen the feeling I was having.

I started dinner and asked Pete to help with shredding potatoes.  I got dinner in the oven and tried to relax.  But that anxiety, it's like a dark shadow that follows you and avoiding it doesn't make it go away.  The timer went off and I took the dinner out of the oven.  Only instead of putting it on the stove to cool, I accidentally put it on a burner that had been turned on previously.  The glass pan got hotter.  Just writing about this, reliving it through getting it out; it's all giving me more anxiety.  When I set the pan aside, I called Pete in and he washed his hands for dinner.  Water must have dropped on the pan and it exploded - everywhere. 

That was it.  I immediately started crying and couldn't stop.  It was such a cliche thing to happen - the pan exploding and my emotions exploding.  But it got them out.  Pete didn't understand why I was crying until I explained it to him.  I tried so hard to just avoid the feelings and thinking about it.  When what I should have done is hit those feelings head on by talking about them.  By getting them out in words or even recording myself talking.  Valuable lesson. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

21 Days - Day 1

I mentioned a bit ago that it takes 21 days to build a new habit.  21 days/3 weeks and you have a new way of doing something.

I think I've lost a bit of the confidence I had when I weighed less.  I'm a bit less outgoing and sure of myself in all aspects of my life.  Pete asked me about this because I've started saying "sorry" lately for things that I think I'm doing wrong. Stupid things like apologizing for taking Pete's super cold water from the fridge.  Dumb!  After I do it, I mentally recoil; I want to take the words back.  Pete and I talked about this over the weekend.  I think what it comes down to is that I have to take control of my life again.

You know that piece of advice that says to list the negatives/positives in any decision to get the best answer?  Well, in this case, I see the negatives outweighing my life now.  I see how I have less energy, I'm worn out just doing normal stuff all day, my skin and hair look less healthy, I'm hungry all the time for sweet things, my clothes don't fit, I'm not as mentally ready for each day, I sleep badly...  I could go on and on.  The positives?  Can't really think of any...other than I don't have to try each day.  And that, that is sad.

So today is day 1 of 21.  My first hurdle is getting up at 4:45am.  Yes.  I'm currently awake and have been for almost an hour.  I didn't go to the gym because even though I had a great day yesterday, I was dumb. 

1.  My almost 12 year old neice, Alison, has the same shoes I do!  2.  She loves my dog as much, if not more, than I do.  She really comes over to spend time with him, not me.  3.  We made a dessert that she found on the internet.  4.  I made sweet, smokey, chipolte BBQ sauce.  5.  We took the dog for his first run in the fields by our house.

I loved the time that I spent with my niece yesterday.  It was cool that we had the same shoes.  But I got those shoes at Costco for $19.  They're cute with bright colors and laces.  I got them to replace the Ryka walking around/shopping/going out tenny shoes that I've had for almost a year and are worn out.  But they have no support.  None.  So walking around on them all day is ok.  But going for that walk?  It killed my feet.  Killed.  I was hobbling yesterday.  So no gym today.  But I'm up, awake for the day and that's half my battle.  Tomorrow...the same thing, only gym. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bloggy Motivation

Last month I read Prior Fat Girl's Blog about accountability.  She poses a good question:
Every once in awhile, I think to myself that I should find an accountability partner. Someone to help keep me on track. But if I can’t be accountable to myself, what is that saying?
At first, I thought the same thing!  I mean I'm an adult and it's my life all of this impacts.  So if I can't be accountable to myself about getting healthy, what does it say about my need/want to do so?  But I keep coming back to the fact that I want an accountability partner.  I even asked for one on Facebook - telling people to call me out if I hadn't posted about surviving a workout at the gym within 24 hours.  What I got was people liking the post and some saying they don't know how far to push me in a call out.  And in the end, no one called me out.

What it comes down to for me is that I need an accountability partner(s).  I need someone to call me out, to ask me how I'm doing, to check up on my goal progress.  For really, if I could do this all on my own, I'd be doing it and have done this all in my 20s and not waited until I was hitting 40 to figure out how to be healthy.

So, yes.  Yes, I do need an accountability partner(s).  I need someone to support me in what I need to do, vent to about struggles and even laugh with.  Is this a bad thing?  I'm choosing to say that it's not.  It's a good thing because in the end no one can do life alone, we all need support.

So here are the blogs that I'm reading again, for support, motivation and immersing myself in the healthiness journey again:

1.  Prior Fat Girl:  there are a couple different women who blog about getting healthy.
2.  Fat Chick To Fit Chick:  Kick ass reality checker who doesn't mince words. 
3.  Skinny Meg:  She's hopped up on running and I really love how motivated she is.
4.  Operation Skinny Jeans:  She really speaks to me about the struggles and triumphs that she goes through.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do You Miss The Heavier You?

Have you seen this article?

Things I Miss About Being 300 Pounds

Weight and body image is a strange thing.  I've often talked about how I never thought I was "that big" when I was close to 300 pounds.  I always thought I was "ok"; heavier, but just ok in my body.  My eyes saw me, but never really SAW me.

As I lost weight, strange things started happening.  I didn't see myself as the thinner version that I apparently saw when I was almost 300 pounds.  Strange?  You bet.  When I was big, I thought I was small.  The smaller I got, the bigger I kept seeing myself.  So when I say that body image screws you up - I mean it.  And that's just the inward self body image.

Let's talk about the outward image that the public sees.  The image that a new person sees and immediately judges you on.  Because the little judgements we have with someone, are immediate and happen with everyone.  No matter how much you say that you don't judge someone, you do.  It's natural.  You can choose to be better about it and work on it, but everyone judges.

The more weight that I lost, the more that people in public acknowleged that they saw me.  Women would make comments in stores, either commiserating about something, asking for advice or giving me unsolicited positive advice.  Men smiled at me more, opened doors and seemed to eyeball me.  It was a really strange transition mentally.  I was so used to being the wallpaper that I had a hard time being the chair that everyone wanted to talk about.  But it gave me both a new confidence in myself to take more chances, be more comfortable with myself.  It was a good thing, even though it made me so sad for the heavy me and living as an invisible person.

Fast forward to now.  I'm 30 pounds heavier.  I have hips again and a booty and it's driving me nuts.  But the interesting thing is that I'm back to getting fewer comments from women, less doors opened by men and I feel all wallpaperish again.  Damn.  30 pounds and I'm fading back into the wall.  Strangers are fickle apparently.  Very fickle.  And my only recourse is to lose the weight again.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Birthversary

I just passed the 14th anniversary of my 29th birthday. Otherwise known as 'I'm old-er' as of Saturday. 

I think back, not to the birthdays of my youth, but to my recent birthdays. The birthdays of my youth are filled with the innocence of believing that birthdays are all about getting older. Believing that the best is yet to come and not where you are right then. Youthful birthdays are all about counting the numbers off. 

Three years ago (2011) I was smack dab in the midst of trying to lose weight on my own. I was supporting Pete in his gastric band process. I was having some success, some failure, but felt optimistic that I could be a better, healthier version of me. I remember feeling some irritation at Pete from how hard he was working and how much success he was having. Jealousy perhaps. Not that I wasn't happy for him, but I wanted the level of success also.  I remember shopping with him for his post surgery meals, trying to find everything on his list. In the same shopping trip I shopped for myself, excited to have some meals that were my favorites, that he wouldn't and at that time, couldn't. How lame. 

2 years ago (2012) I was recovering from my own surgery. I was the one shopping for post surgery meals, sore from the surgery and trying to learn a new way of eating. I remember how freaking determined I was!  Hope hopeful I was. I was committed to this healthiness journey. Pete supported me, much in the same was I did him. 

Last year (2013) I felt awesome. I was well under 200 pounds and more importantly I felt so incredible. I fit into sizes that I hadn't since collie and high school.  I loved going to they gym and had goals that were exercised based. I had muscles that showed and cheekbones and collarbones. I ate 80% healthy and craved healthy food. I remember the joy I felt at running 8 miles the first time, going up in weight at Body Pump class and sitting in my car afterwards with a smile that wouldn't quit. I remember the mental clarity, the emotional evenness and the energy I had each day after starting it at the gym. I was happy, hopefull and in a groove. 

This year?  I'm different. A life altering decision resulted in a life altering surgery. I've gained 30 pounds and I'm heavier than my pre gastric band surgery. I crave sweets after every meal and my portions are way off track. The gym is a twinkle that's dimmed by my hitting the snooze button. I'm not happy physically or emotionally. My motivation is gone. 

In the last couple of days I've seen some things on Instagram about days of self love or happiness. And I'm jumping in...with a twist. 

21 Days To A Healthy Habit. It takes 21 days/3weeks to make practicing something a habit. 21 short days. 3 weeks. An hour or so a day.  My first healthy habit is just getting to the gym. I  need this habit again. It's both helpful physically, emotionally and mentally. I need this. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Oh hey, Hi.

I won't bore you with the details, but the man cold jumped ship to the wife.  So I've been spending my mornings trying to furiously work for a few hours so that I can spend my afternoons coughing up a lung while trying to nap.  Oh, and binge watching Grey's Anatomy via Netflix.

None of this has to do with losing weight, eating better or anything.  Other than all I want to do is drink ginger ale because the carbonation seems to soothe my sore throat.  I can't walk up the stairs without huffing, puffing and depositing my lung on the fifth stair.  And my idea of working out is how my abs tighten when I cough.

So, the gym is a no go currently.

And healthy eating?  Well lets just say that cooking has been Pete's job.  And Monday night he served up "Hotdog and Baked Bean Lasagna with Pepper Jack Cheese and Spicy BBQ Sauce.

Why are you laughing?  I'm dead serious.  He sandwiched all that in between lasagna noodles.  He was proud and I ate it.  2 nights in a row.

Yesterday seemed to be a corner in the illness front.  My chest loosened up and it's not a dry hacking cough, it's productive (as my doctor says).  And my head seems to be decongesting as well, as evidenced by the amount of lotion tissues I've used this morning. 

And I actually don't mind "cooking" because I took out 1/2 pound of lean ground lamb that I'm going to mix with i diced potato, a couple of carrots, some peas and stock to make a shepard (but not Derek Shepard.  See what I did there?) pie, minus the mashed tators on top.  Or maybe I'll use the sweet potato in the mixture and microwave the white potato and make fast mashed tators for Pete...

Anyway, I hope to be back at it by Monday. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Yoga Pants Did It

Where I work, we have to dress up.  I'm not talking about suits or anything, but we can't wear jeans (other than Fridays), no sweatshirts, shorts, yoga pants...  We are a unit that doesn't regularly meet with clients.  For the most part. there is one person assigned to meet with clients in the office each day and that person should dress appropriately to do so.  The rest of us either work from home or hibernate behind computers in our offices for work. 

For years I've worked to get all of us to be able to wear jeans in the office.  We wear badges to get between floors so we are identified as employees.  But I'm met with a NO response each time.  A little over a year ago, I realized that we are the only unit on our campus of 3 buildings that cannot regularly wear jeans.  And yet some people seem to wear jeans regularly and not get called on it.

Over the years, while fighting for jeans, my co-workers would comment that I should be fighting for sweatpants, not jeans.  I laughed and commented how my jeans were comfortable and I'd be ok with those and a nice top/sweater and jewelry to dress it up.  I maintained that my jeans were as comfortable as my sweatpants.

Then I had surgery.  Oh my how those yoga pants were AWESOME!  And since I never really went back into the office and started working from home after surgery, I never went back to my work clothes.  So imagine my surprise when I tried on my work clothes upon having to go into the office and they didn't fit.  I was crushed about the weight gain and I've documented this. 

So I've tried several things to get back to my healthy journey.  But in that time, I keep wearing my yoga pants.  And I'm starting to think that they are my downfall.  I can't help but wonder if my weight gain wouldn't have gotten so out of control if I was wearing regular work pants or jeans on a regular basis and realize that they were getting tighter and tighter.  Yoga pants just keep stretching and stretching. 

So I've decided that my yoga pants are to blame for my weight gain...

This post is tongue in cheek...kind of.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ash Wednesday/The 40 Days of Lent

It's no secret, I often use the pressure of Lent to give up food things or try to be healthier.  I believe that this is ok and I give myself permission to do so, knowing that a healthier me is a better me and that the spirit of Lent is represented in my struggle.

This year, my goal is to be more mindful of why I'm eating.  Working from home, I have a whole kitchen at my disposal all. the. time.  It's not like I can only bring my breakfast & lunch and I'm out of food.  Well, I suppose I could if I locked myself in my extra bedroom/office.  But that would mean that Pete would have to lock me inside from the outside.  And that would be weird because I'd have no potty.  I digress...

I created a little note in my phone, titled...Lent.  (original!) My plan is that aside from meals, if I'm going to eat a 'snack', I need to log the time and what I'm feeling and if I still choose to snack.  I need to be more mindful about what I'm snacking on and my feelings at the time.  Snacking has been an issue for me in the past and continues to be.  This strategy really helped me in the days leading up to surgery and after surgery. 

It's the little things.  The little things that add up to big things.  Big changes and goals and dreams. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Plan and Goals

When I detailed my plan last week I forgot to talk about a big part of it.  Blogging. 

Blogging and reading blogs is such a powerful motivator for me. I think that I tend to hibernate when things are going right and that's when I most need to reach out.  I need to document the struggles that I have and go back to read them so I can see I am powerful and strong.  I need to read the bloggers who motivated me before and find new ones to share my current struggles. 

So along with the plan from last week, I plan on blogging regularly again. 

Goals are important.  Really important.  I reached out Fabulous Check Gets Fit after seeing her posts on her Instagram.  She reminded me that setting small goals to get that sense of accomplishment is important.  We all want to feel like we are making accomplishments and this is one way to do that.

My goal is to lose 20 pounds.  I honestly don't think that it will take more than about 6 months to do that once I start execising regularly and slowly returning to my healthier eating.  I hope that the gym will start helping me with body image too and regaining the muscle that I've lost. 

Along with goal setting, I personally feel like it should be connected to a reward.  Small, medium or large, just not food related.  I used to put money on the fridge that I could spend on clothes or pick out a new pan to cook with or more motorcycle riding gear.  My goal for getting to under 200 was my ring tattoo for Pete.  And I look at that infinity symbol and heart and rememeber that I CAN DO THIS.

So my goal for losing 20 pounds is another tattoo.  In fact two of them.  My fake nipple tattoos to finsh of my reconectruction.  I have the name of the tattoo artist who comes highly recommended and the money set aside to get them done.  That's my goal. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Plan (version 2, or 200)

So I've posted a few times previously about a plan or action plan.  I have a new version.  A restart.

What I know:
  • I currently weigh 224 pounds
  • I'm not currently going to the gym
  • Running is still awkward given my new body shape and anything less than running on that treadmill is frustrating.
  • I'm afraid to go back to Body Pump because of the loss of muscle and change in my body.
  • I'm eating more disordered meals and snacks.
  • I'm having issues with insomnia again which cause an inability to get up early for the gym.
  • I work from home most the time and wear stretchy clothes because none of my other clothes fit.
I've been trying to address some of these things with the following rules hanging in various places in my house:
  • No electronics after 9:30pm
  • Take vitamins and minerals daily.
  • 100 ounces of water daily.
  • No carbonated drinks.
  • 3 clean meals and 2 planned snacks
  • Gym, 3 days a week.
I've been great about carbonated drinks.  I had returned to some soda drinking at the time I had surgery and afterwards.  When I asked Pete to buy a 12 pack and he came home with a 24 pack that was gone in a week, I knew that I needed to stop.  I'm 3 weeks in.

My vitamins are on and off.  I need to place them on my work desk so that they stare me in the face every morning and I take them more frequently.

Water.  *sigh*  Some days I can't get enough and some days I struggle.  So I returned to some water additives to help.  Pete is into juicing and sometimes I add some of the cucmber or fruit juices that he makes.  Others, it's a natural ingredient crystal light with cane sugar/stevia or True Lime's BlackCherry Limeade.

Meals/Snacks are a struggle I'm fully willing to admit.  Pete is down to about 160-165 and has stayed there for about 7-8 months.  He works out enough and his metabolism is so high that he has been buying cookie dough, Oreos, ice cream, reeces PB cups and other crap.  He eats and eats and doesn't gain.  I will have a PB cup and a couple of cookies and it's all over for me.  I need to stop.  He is more than willing to not have the stuff in the house so that it's not tempting me, but I feel back and keep buying it for him.  But it comes back to my CHOICES.  I need to 'reset' my band and let the pouch above it shrink back down.  So starting Sunday I'm going to drink Pete's Body by VI shakes for breakfast & lunch and then eat a clean meal of chicken/veg or salmon/veg for dinner for a week.

The gym.  It's periods like now where it isn't my second home and I don't feel compfortable because I've gained weight that I struggle even going.  My favorite instructor keeps telling me it's ok and I'll find my way back.  It's people like her that make me love my local Y.  Because I'm awkward running and scared of injuring myself in Body Pump, I've decided to branch out.  I'v scheduled myself classes 3 days a week; Mondays is Water Execrise in the pool, Wednesdays is Standing Flow Stretching and Movement and Fridays I'll try Body Pump with a bar only, no weight.

That's the new plan.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

*sigh* here's the deal...

Long time no...write.  Right?

Here's the deal.  I'm sort of disillusioned with my life at the moment.  And I struggle and fight to figure out how to get back to me.  I try new things, I try old things and nothing seems to work.  I know where I want to be and what I want my life to look like and it's just not happening right now.

I heard someone recently say that not every journey has a end.  It made me pause.  It make me think.  For all the talking that I've done about lifestyle changes to create a healthier me, I think I expected my journey to end.  Not that it wouldn't be a change, but that the struggle of how to lose weight would end. 

Between October 2010 and April of 2013 I lost weight.  And this is not to say that the journey during that time wasn't a struggle, because it was.  It definately was.  There were ups and downs and detours.  But for the most part, I had a plan, I had goals and I had a strategy. 

In April I had my abnormal biopsy and things shifted.  I wasn't as goal oriented in losing weight.  I was goal oriented in finding out a plan to deal with what could be breast cancer.  The shift was needed.  It's not a positive shift, but a needed shift.  I went into survival mode.  Survival mode meant that I ended up at the gym less, ate about the same, but indluged in a few comfort foods that I had given up.  Between April and July I gained 5 pounds.  But (you knew there was a but, right?) I was okay with this.  My close still fit, I had a great/growing muscle tone and I wasn't making large shifts in what I was doing to be healthy.

My plan was to have surgery and return to the previous plan of healthy living.  And the absolute truth is that the plan did not work.  There were detours, setbacks, mental health issues and other things that derailed my plan.  So I took even more time off to deal with the physical and psychological issues.  Again, my plan was to start back with the healthy living plan once I addressed those things. 

My final truth?  The plan that worked for me before isn't working.  The healthy eating habits and gym habits aren't working.  Either because I can't find my way back to them, or I need to figure out modifications to them that work for me HERE AND NOW.  I need to find a new plan.  Here's the thing that is so depressing about this.  I can go back to what was working for me.  But I can't go back to what was working for me in April 2013.  I need to go back further to about March/April 2012.  I need to go back when I was about 30 pounds heavier (yep - ouch).  I need to resume some restristive eating to allow my gastric band to work better.  I need to give myself the GRACE to make better CHOICES and go back to what was working for me 2 years ago in an attempt to start the weight loss process again.  For that's truly what this is.  A restart after a year off.

There.  I said it all. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tap..Tap, Tap...

*insert joke here*
Is this thing on?

If you would have asked me 7 months ago how my recovery from these mastectomies would have gone, I would have told you that my physical issues would take a long time to heal.  But I never considered longer term phychological issues.  Oh sure, I realized that there may be issues with losing my natural breasts and the scarring.  But the long term issues I never considered.

Today I am off the antidepressant.  It's too early to know what my new normal is again.  I will say that going off the meds and having PMS at the same time probably isn't recommended.  I'm tired all the time, expect at bedtime.  I'm way over emotional.  And I still have no motivation.

But I worry.  I worry that my previous normal will never be the same again.  I worry that taking the meds, even for a short time, screwed up my brain chemistry already.  I'm worried that I should have been on the meds long ago and life wouldn't have been so hard.  I'm worried.

I talk to Pete a lot more now about my feelings and emotions and we connect much better on a deeper level.  I will always have the surgery to thank for that.  He is supportive and a good listener.  Even if his goal is to "fix" it all, he realizes that it's not always my goal and that it's ok just to talk about it.  But I sense some frustration that he can't fix it for me.  I'm so very sorry for that.  My heart hurts that he has to ensure that feeling of helplessness because of me. 

I am done with physical therapy and therapy and, and it's just me.  And when I say that in my head and see that on this screen, I wonder again if the meds aren't what I really need.  I try to look at myself objectively as I can.  I see in my head all the conversations I've had with clients about taking their meds.  They all want to stop them because they're "fixed", but mental health is sometimes never "fixed" by a short course of medications.  I think about all the times that I directed them back to their doctors to get back on the meds that they self tapered off of.  I think about how I tell them that if they were diabetic they'd take the meds so they need to take the mental health meds.  And I wonder, is that what I should be telling myself?

Monday, January 06, 2014

What's My Plan?

Clearly 2013 wasn't anything that I thought it would be.  It's thrown me for a loop in most aspects of my life.  And while I'd love to tell you that I was "healed" on 1/10/14, 6 months after surgery, I'm not.  I'm done with therapy and feel like I have more control over my emotions.  But I'm still on the antidepressant and trying ti figure out how to get off.  I'm still in physical therapy to help build the muscles back up.  I'm not going to the gym on a regular basis.  And my motivation for anything seems to be gone.

So what's my plan?  I haven't quite figured out the whole thing.  In some ways, I'm more reluctant to plan in 2014 because of the loop that a went on in 2013.  It's as though I can't fathom planning past the next month or the next week.  Maybe the reluctance is from the abnormal biopsy and everything that happened afterwards or maybe it's from the antidepressant. 

I've been researching how to wean myself off the antidepressant because I feel like I need to try it on my own.  And while I could do it myself, others have told me that I should really see my doctor about it.  I've had long conversations with Pete about how the medication makes me feel.  No motivation, no energy, more insomnia, tired all the time, weight gain, nothing seems fun.  And while I like the fact that I'm not engaged in the running commentary in my head all the time and I'm less anxious and stressed, I think I need to be done with it.  The good doesn't seem to outweigh the bad.  We've talked about how I think I need to try it off the med and if something changes; if he sees negative changes in me, I'll go back on some type of medication.

I've thought long and hard about who I am.  The me before the medication with the dialogue in my head, driven by motivation and sometimes stress, anxious about things at times, goal oriented...  Maybe, just maybe, that's who I am and who I'm meant to be.  Even though those things were lessened with the medication, they are things that I am used to and have developed tools to deal with them.  This new me is someone that I don't know how to "fix".  I don't know how to get more motivation when I feel NONE.  I don't know how to feel highs and laughter and funny.  I don't know how to feel a bit stressed so that it drives to me be productive.  Maybe, those are all just me and I need them. 

So my plan is shortsighted for now.  Simply put, it's to get off the medication and see how I feel about it all.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Food Challenge!!!!!!!

Gah!  I'm late, late, late....for a very important date!

I'm piggybacking a food challge from 100 Days of Real Food for the first 14 weeks of 2014.  Anyone want to join in?  I created a Facebook Group to talk about the challenges, get support form others and see how we all do.  Just click the link and I'll add you!

14 Weeks of Mini-Challenges

And if you know anyone else who wants to join, send the link to them also!

Thursday, January 02, 2014


I'm currently sitting in my office at home with not one, but two sleepy puppies behind me.  Nico the wonder schnauzer that I'd talked about baby, my first born, my spoiled little office mate doggie.  And Pepper:

She's cute, right?  We're puppy-sitting for some friends; the wife has been sick and needs some rest.  Oh my gosh I could eat up this little black face and puppy breath and big paws and long waggy tail.  But...she should really be called Mayhem.

She's peed everywhere.  Just when you think that her tiny little bladder should be empty, she pees on a shoe.  She's pooed in almost every room.  She's dragged toilet paper through the hall and down sthe stairs while eating it.  She's removed stuffing from 3 animals and tried to lunch on it.  She's kocked over a side talbe full of things and gotten her color wrapped up in it, dragging it to the other room while barking.  She's escaped the snow walls Pete put in place for Nico in the yard.  She's tried to bite my nose off and suckled Pete's nose in the middle of the night.  I'm sure there is more, but that is the last 48 hours.

But then, the little cutie does stuff like sppon my dog while sleeping and all that stuff I just listed is wiped away.  Until the next time she tries to eat my earlobe and earrings.