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Chasing away the Monster.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The pain monster is letting go. I took a slow, short walk yesterday and can still move this morning, so that's an improvement. I was in it's grip for about two weeks or more this time.

My WISH for this point in my life is to be able to walk until I'm just too tired to walk anymore - and have no serious pain as a result. Pretty simple, hmm? Very hard for me to achieve.

I'll never have an exercise streak that's very long because the pain stops me from moving.

I'll never stop trying, either. SO THERE!


What I need to learn from this repetitive cycle, is NOT to eat more when I'm in pain. 1200 calories is what I have to stick with when I can't MOVE. It's not much and I could eat more and still lose if I could burn more calories. Hey, I guess it's good to have a project to work on, lol.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANDMAHOWLEY 6/12/2009 8:44AM

    emoticon You win the gold cup for real grit. Your fortitude - and sense of humor - are admirable. Keep on going!

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BEESPARKLE 6/11/2009 8:46AM

    emoticon Go girl!

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ROSILEIGH 6/11/2009 8:36AM

    I'm glad your pain is improving,all you can do, is to do what you can when you can,i know it's not easy but you are doing great, hang on in there.
emoticon emoticon

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Thursday, June 04, 2009


It's the hardest habit to kick.

The reason is obvious. We really do need food. It's not just in our imagination.

If you tell an alcoholic she can drink, but just do it in moderation, people will think you're really dumb or really cruel.

Instead, we tell alcoholics to get rid of every drop of alcohol in their house, in their life. Clean out all their stashes. Stay away from people and places that have alcohol. Remove it from their life completely. Why?

Because MODERATION is really hard. It's almost impossible to practice every single minute for the rest of your life.

Yet that is what we are expected to do with food. That is what we HAVE TO DO with food.

We can't remove it from our life altogether, can we? People are always shoving it under our noses. You can't watch 10 minutes of tv without seeing food. You can hardly go to any gathering of any amount of people where there is not food served. And, oh yeah, we need it to live.

You can't quit food cold turkey. (Does that make you want a turkey sandwich? Even our language is full of food.)

So why am I even talking about something that sounds so futile?

The answer is that because it's so hard to control a habit with moderation, we have to be a bit more realistic with ourselves.

We cannot let a relapse become FAILURE. We can't look at it as failure. It's just life. It's going to happen. We have to control our reaction to it.

We have to return to our program or plan IMMEDIATELY. Not tomorrow because we've blown today. Not on Monday because we've blown this week. Not on the first because we've blown this month.

We have that all or nothing viewpoint because we do count it as failure. It's just reality and we have to just keep on going.

This is for everyone who gave in to overeating this week. Including me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSILEIGH 6/4/2009 8:39AM

    I know just what you mean food is everywhere,my husband will say don't keep any unhealthy food in the house but in the next breath he will say, "hav'nt we got any cakes",or a friend will offer you some chocolate with the words "one piece won't hurt"thats if you can stop at one piece,it's not easy but we have to keep trying.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

NO PAIN, NO GAIN is what I live with.

It's not exactly how Jane Fonda meant it. I live with chronic pain from an old back injury that has come back to haunt me. It gripped me about 7 years ago and pulled me to a screeching halt.

I went from being an active, physical person, doing step aerobic classes 3 times a week and walking 4 miles a day, to totally being a couch potato. I was flat on my back on that couch a lot of the time. Lot's of muscle spasms. You've heard of muscles of steel? That's exacly how strong they feel when they spasm and cramp in your back so that you can't move.

I came home from the chiropractor one day, and reached for my garage door opener which I kept in the unused ashtray in my car. I couldn't reach it. I was sitting in the driver's seat and couldn't lean forward enough to reach the ashtray. My back muscles were cramped so tightly I couldn't move at all. For a while I thought I'd have to call someone on my cell to help me get in my house. Just one of an endless array of painful episodes.

After 7 years of this, it comes down to this - No Pain - No Gain. If I have no pain, I do not gain. When I do have pain, not only can I not move, there is instant depression, frustration and anger. I spend all my time "managing" the pain. The only thing I can do to lift my mood is - you guessed it - eat.

I have a chiropractic adjustment every other week and deep tissue massage therapy every other week. I alternate them, so I'm having one or the other every week. Insurance doesn't cover either. But insurance will get me all the free pain pills I want. Pretty silly, hmmm? I can't/don't/won't live on pain pills. So I swim when I can, and do a hundred things I've learned to do to "manage" and live with pain.

Now you can't tell by looking at me that there is anything wrong. I look healthy, and in fact I am very healthy. I have the bloodwork of Wonder Woman, my doctor always says. I'm just in pain every day. Oh well. This is my life. Lot's of people have it much worse.

I do admit to ENVY of everyone who can take long walks, do aerobics, and garden when they want. Yep, I'm jealous. My biggest desire right now is to mow my own yard, lol.

Thanks to you all for allowing me to vent. I feel better now.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDY1676 6/3/2009 10:09PM

    My prayers are with you! I also have back problems and once and a while it becomes quite painful!
Don't give up!

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    emoticon You are brave and you are not alone.

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BIRDLEGS29 6/3/2009 8:39AM

    Substitute knee for back and this blog fits me to a T! About eight years ago, the doctor told me "no weight bearing exercise" would enable me to avoid knee replacement a few years, so I parked it on the couch, and there I stayed! My envy is directed mostly at those who can still enjoy long walks. Like you, I decline pain pills, and just do what I can. emoticon

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TEA with ME?

Monday, June 01, 2009

There is something so lovely about having tea with a friend.

Sometimes it's iced tea on my shaded deck, made cozy by coral honeysuckle and crossvines growing in the trellis. The tea is spiced with my own spearmint leaves, grown right there on the deck.

Now and then, it's a cup of Earl Gray with a smidgen of cream and a lump of sugar at my bistro table in the bay window of my kitchen. More crossvine and honeysuckle grows outside that window, just allowing a peek at the tiny hummers who come to dip their unique beaks into the depths of the flowers.

Laughs bubble up there, over tea, and confidences are exchanged. A tear or two may be shed. Fun is planned and shared. Often there is a cat in the window and a cookie on the plate, but the attraction of tea time is friendship.

I have a collection of tea cups. Not one of them match. There is no "set". There are as individual and as different as my friends. Like them, the cups and saucers were chosen for the "feel" of them, the emotion they inspire, and the mood I'm in at the moment. It's a joy to match the cup/saucer to the friend, her mood, our state of mind and the "energy" of the visit.

I'd love for YOU to join me!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSILEIGH 6/2/2009 8:36AM

    No wonder they call it the cup that cheers,i would love to join you for a cup of tea.

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    What a serene way to begin one of the lovliest months of the year. Hot tea and good friends - a gift.

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SCOTMAMA 6/1/2009 5:33PM

    It was indeed a pleasure to have tea with you this morning, Karen. It warmed not only my hands as I placed them both around the unique cup you chose for me, but it warmed my soul to have you seek me out and listen as I told you my tale of woe. Perhaps someday in the not too distant future we will look back on this day and smile -- when we have both figured out exactly what it is we are seeking in life.

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THE HILLSIDE - Where I once lived.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The cottage sits high on a hill overlooking the backwaters of Stillhouse Hollow Lake. It's walls are made of the rocks that clutter the hills and fields of Central Texas. It's red tile roof is a reminder of the not too distant past, when another country laid claim to the vastness of the Lone Star State. The cedar trees, which when left to their own devices claim every inch of soil, give a unique freshness to the breeze which sweeps off the water and is passed along from branch to branch, tree to tree, until it blossoms into a swift current of wind which keeps the paneled rooms and tile floors of the small house cool and inviting, even in the Texas summertime.

Since people disdain whatever they have in most abundance, all but the largest cedar have been cleared from around the house, and chinaberry planted in its place for shade, and perhaps for the music of its rustling boughs, for cedar having no proper leaves, only creaks in the wind. The result is cool, constant shade, which crowds the veranda across the front of the house and the unshuttered windows all around.

From the picture window near the fireplace, you can gaze down the hillside, which drops a hundred feet in half a mile, and watch the colored specks that are boats, drifting back and forth across the water, occasionally disappearing into one of the many sloughs that spread like roots, anchoring the lake to the land.

Between the house at the top and the lake at the bottom, there is a small, flat clearing, carved like a step in the side of the hill. A tiny spring gurgles up through the rock and nurtures a small pond that glistens there like a mirror, giving back to the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars, an image of their own beauty.

In the field around the tank, which is Texan for "pond", coastal sprigs have taken root and cover the ground thickly, swaying gracefully in the wind, providing cover for native quail, turkey and rabbits.

The deer bring their fawns to the tank in the evening, to drink the soft, warm water, and make a snug bed in the long grass. During the night raccoons, too, come to drink, and to feel the soft mud with their inquisitive feet, again and again.

From the top of the tank dam the eye sweeps over the trees below, which cling in a tangle of knotted roots to the falling hillside, and stop at the face of a sheer cliff of white caliche, brilliant and blinding in the Texas sun. The cliff is parted from the hillside by a narrow slough that soon loses itself in the woods. In the bright, hot rock, are pockets of cooler shade, carved by wind, rain, and sometimes the swollen waters of the lake. Here, in one of these miniature caves, a great horned owl comes every year to raise her young. The soft white down of the chicks gives the appearance of furry stuffed toys with two large round dark buttons for eyes. The owls, large and small, are still and unblinking as fishermen drift below them, casting for bass. In the dark of the night the owl sweeps up the hillside and watches over the yard in front of the house, helping herself to a mouse or a rabbit, being part of nature’s balance of all creatures great and small.

I sleep in the house, knowing I, too, belong to the hillside.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUNNONE 6/2/2009 2:49PM

    Ahhhhhhh....so beautiful. I can close my eyes and picture the surroundings. Thank you for sharing.

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BEESPARKLE 5/30/2009 7:19PM

    Very nice. You wrote that very beautiful! I am retired with hubby to the river and lake.
I love the view and the love of God's country. I have a picture in my gallery I took.. So nice to wake up to and also to see the sun go down at night. I just joined tonight over the 60's. Life is so great. The golden years. If one is not too ill.

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SCOTMAMA 5/30/2009 11:27AM

    Lucy, I was enhanced by your writing style and could picture myself so easily in your setting. Did you ever consider writing in addition to your painting? What a talent you have!

Also, much thanks for adding me as your friend -- curious as to how you happened to come across me.

Hugs, Eve

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