Thursday, June 27, 2013
At my last meeting with my dietitian we talked a lot about my successes, and a few of the things I still felt needed work. Sheís an interesting woman, my dietitian, and her choice of extreme pointed toed stilettos seems totally at odds with her hyper, slightly geeky personality (okay, so she hangs out here sometimes, and I probably shouldnít say that, but, well, sorry!)
After a bit of talking about my plans and goals, she finally stopped, and very carefully worded a question to me: ďDo you believe you can do this?Ē
I was totally taken aback. I have worked so hard for so many years on my Iron Maiden mask, I didnít think anyone could possibly see through it. I had no idea what to say. I hedged for a bit, but finally had to admit that I didnít really.
I have no concerns about meeting my next athletic goal. Iíve been meeting massive athletic goals for my entire life. Itís my weight that scares me. I started yo-yoing in high school, when I discovered that the skinny girls weighed 15 pounds less than me. I was probably carrying 15 extra pounds of muscle mass at the time, but in high school you donít know that. By the time I was 30 I was struggling to stay below 200 pounds, and still yo-yoing. I would get down to within 20 pounds of my goal, and then head right back up, and over my last maximum weight.
By the time I found myself a divorced single mom, back in college, with a toddler to take care of, I had reached almost 260. Once again I fought and clawed my way down, this time to 210. And then I got cancer. By the time I was done with treatments you would have thought I would be losing weight like crazy; the inside of my mouth was so messed up I had to smear this nasty viscous gunk in it just to be able to eat pudding. But no, the steroids saw to that. By the time I was paying attention to my weight again I was 267. Iím sure at one point I hit 270.
What basis do I have for belief that I can do this? If you're expecting a firm, self-confident answer to this question, you've reached the wrong blog. So sorry, but I just started working on this one 2 days ago. I'm going to have to rely on baby steps. So this is my first baby step:
This is my beautiful baby sister, she's an internationally known singer/instrumentalist. She believes in me. There has to be something to that.
I suppose I should mention that my dietitian also believes in me.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Saturday I decided to try running in the morning. I used to be a morning person, but I haven't been one in many years now. And besides, even when I was a morning person my joints didn't wake up for at least an hour after I did.
But on Saturday I reached over and slapped the evil alarm as soon as it managed to stir me from my slumber, as usual. Ten minutes later when it disturbed me again, I almost hit it again, but I got a grip on myself, reminded myself that at this hour the mosquitoes weren't out hunting yet, and the extended dusk that answers in this part of the world for night had cooled the air.
So I crawled out of my nice warm bed, told my screaming joints to shut up, and got on my running gear. A few gulps of water from the plastic bottle I keep by my bed, and I was ready.
My 5 minute warm-up walk was disastrous. My weak ankle kept hurting, and threatening not to support me. That finally worked itself out 30 seconds before I was supposed to start running. My knees were still complaining, but I rarely listen to them.
Finally my five minutes were up. This was going to be a 20 minute jog with allowance for an extra 2 minutes if I felt up to it. I start jogging about the way a freight train takes off from the station, with lots of noise, lots of effort, and not a whole lot of forward momentum.
The first five minutes were an exercise in anguish, as my poor old creaky joints tried valiantly to hoist my obese form over uneven ground, and yes, even gravel and potholes. I galumphed past the coffee cart in the middle of the gravel pit near my home, and around the corner to the slight downgrade to the local bouquet of roundabouts. I picked up momentum, as promised by Sir Isaac Newton, and my joints finally got over themselves, and into the rhythm of the movement.
After I got past my roundabout it was time to turn around. Back up the slight slope I had just huffed my way down, my joints didn't complain at all. When I reached the top of the hill, I decided to take a longer way and bypass the gravel pit, and all the parked cars with people waiting for their lattes. Passing another coffee cart, and on the other side of the road, my favorite coffee cart (have you ever noticed that there seem to be more coffee carts than gas stations?), I rounded the corner, and hit a nice steep downhill to...a pothole-y gravel road. Yes, I live in that part of town. Halfway along the gravel road I hit my 20 minutes. My joints hadn't taken up the chorus yet, so I went for the extra 2 minutes.
After another 2 minutes I was done. I had no more jog left in me. I had a 3 minute walk, and the mosquitoes were out for blood. Somehow I couldn't find it in me to care about the mosquitoes. 22 minutes is a personal best. Even when I was young and skinny and fit, and skied all day, all winter long I wasn't a runner, and I couldn't do a sustained 22 minute run.
My 57th birthday is in just over a month. For my 40th birthday I gave myself a black belt in Tae Kwondo. For my 57th maybe I can give myself a 5K run. Wouldn't that be something?
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
That's the question Sparkcoach asked me today. How would I feel? Oddly enough not so great. How many times in my life have I released those fat clothes, only to have to buy a whole new set in another year or two?
Frankly, the idea scares me. I don't want to have to do that again. I want this to be it, the final, once and for all, never go there again, last time. I just want to be healthy.
Promise you'll all be there to help?
Monday, June 17, 2013
First off, let me say that over the years Iíve discovered that where my health is concerned, a womanís gotta do what a womanís gotta do. So, just so weíre clear, my apologies to all those Spark Motivators who may be getting tired of total strangersí friending them. Yes Iím doing that too. I wonít stop anytime soon.
To anyone who sees this as a compliment, youíre welcome. Yes, I find you and your story motivational.
This is my second go at SP, and I am not just d_cking around; itís this or bariatric surgery. Even if I go for bariatric surgery, itís still this. Youíre stuck with me.
On the up side, I can sometimes be a kick to hang with. On the potentially down side, Iím pretty d___ed driven.
I know itís traditional to welcome newer people in, but I prefer to define my own space. So, welcome to my world. Itís great to meet you. May we all get healthier together.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
This Saturday was the Alaska Run For Women, an annual 5 mile walk/run to benefit Breast Cancer research. My mother and I have been doing this event together since the mid '90's, when she was a recent survivor and I was doing it in support of her and all the other women out there who have survived the same ailment.
Fast forward 10 years to the summer of 2005. I had done the Women's Run with a friend because Mom was out of town. A couple of months later I was unable to complete the last few miles of my annual 100K bike tour; I had simply run out of energy, which was unusual enough to worry me. That fall I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Unlike my mother, my cancer was highly aggressive, and had spread from nothing to stage 2 within a year. I went through 2 courses of chemotherapy, totaling 6 months, and 5 weeks of radiation treatments.
That summer I walked the 5 miler with a scarf covering my bald head and leaning on my diamond willow walking stick which would be my constant companion for some years to come. I was now eligible to wear the special survivor's cap.
I had also learned first hand where the money for that event went. I had gotten some of the "goodies", and believe me, they were a comfort. If I had gotten this cancer in my 20's, I probably wouldn't have survived.
This year, 8 years after my diagnosis, I was able to walk the whole course unaided by the stick, which I gave to my father last year. I even ran the last quarter mile to the finish line. I was in pain, but what's a little pain compared to immobility?
I had plenty of excuses to give up. I will never do that.
Oh, and my mom? She ambled in at a pleasant, comfortable walk, head up and smiling. She's 82.
Who knew all those years ago when we started this, that the lives we were saving were our own?
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