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Can I do this?

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 6/28/2013 10:42PM

    Baby steps will get you there. Believe!

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AMANDANCES 6/27/2013 10:45PM

    I believe you can do this! You are such an inspiration to so many people -- never forget that! We know you can do it, and you know WE can do it, so let's do it together!!!

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RACEWELLWON 6/27/2013 3:12PM

    I believe you can do this emoticon . Seems to me that anyone that has the courage to survive cancer and to keep going in life with a positive attitude as yours can conquer this life changing journey ! Yes , I can understand completely what your refereeing to back in the day . Even now that I gone from 261 to 150 I am still muscular the difference is that now I accept myself for who I am . Beautiful , fun loving individual that realizes that One Size does fit all . You can do this - Do not be afraid !! Hugs Karen emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/27/2013 3:13:13 PM

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BERTAS_JOURNEY 6/27/2013 2:50PM

    Isn't it funny how other people can read us?? It's always been easy for me to have confidence in others but not in myself. Why is that ?? I notice that I'm way nicer to those around me than I am to myself.

When I see people who are heavier than I am, I wonder how they can look better in their clothes than I do. I'm sure they are self-conscious as well but they don't let their insecurities show. I'm fairly well at hiding mine but I can't tell you the last time I wore shorts inside, much less outside of the house.

You can do this. Picture yourself on the other side... routing & cheering you all the way from you (myself included) are now. Good Luck and know that we are all cheering and believing in you... emoticon

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Meditation on a weekend morning run.

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?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISAINMS 6/28/2013 12:09PM

    A 5k for your birthday would be a fantastic celebration! Great job on motivating yourself out of bed and out the door -that's a big chunk of the battle. Enjoyed going on the run with you!

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RACEWELLWON 6/27/2013 12:47PM

    I think that 5k would be a lovely gift to yourself. Just for doing it - no need to be first - I have complete confidence in you !! I was wondering if you have considered a brace for the left ankle - the slip on kind with Velcro ? I use one on my left ankle as it tends to give out . I could visualize your entire journey , nice. Karen emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/27/2013 12:47:46 PM

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AMANDANCES 6/26/2013 8:23AM

    I love your descriptions! So accurate!! Now you've made me motivated to go out and run in the mornings :)

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MSLZZY 6/26/2013 7:32AM

    You didn't mince words in your evaluation of physical pains and mobility issues but got outside and went for a run anyway! Hats off to you for getting it done. I like to avoid mosquitoes too. They think I am the main entrťe LOL!

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How would it feel to send all my big clothes to goodwill?

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?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMANDANCES 6/21/2013 8:27AM

    I went through my closet the other day and realized I had stuff in there from COLLEGE (which I doubt I even want to be thin enough to fit into) and stuff that looked like it came from my grandmother's dresser. I am committed to getting rid of any item of clothing that doesn't make me feel FABULOUS! Tim Gunn says we only need 10 things in our wardrobe anyway, right? LOL. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! We are NOT going to sit by and let you get away with ANYTHING other than success!

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WALKINGCHICK 6/18/2013 4:31PM

    Right there with ya honey! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PURPLESPEDCOW 6/18/2013 3:49PM

    I have just gone through my closet and gotten rid of anything that doesn't fit or feels good. It might help if you box them up and store them for a year. Then after a year of not needing them, you will feel you are able to get rid of them. It does take courage.

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JAMBABY0 6/18/2013 3:12PM

    Me myself I am a clothes hoarder! It was really hard to give up my "fat clothes" and if it wasn't for hubby there is NO WAY I would have been able to give them up! However I did keep 2 or 3 things that I wore at my biggest. and when I feel like I need to eat things that are bad or I get upset and want to head to the fridge I go to the drawer where I put these things and sometimes I just look at them and other times I have to put them on, this is a great help to me! Good luck on your journey and just think when you are done with this journey all the clothes you will be able to buy that at one time you only dreamed about, you can do this, remember YOU ARE WORTH IT

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LISAINMS 6/18/2013 3:07PM

    It was hard for me to let them go. But I finally looked at them and thought, "I'm not the person who would wear those frumpy fat clothes anymore". And I had to stop fearing that I would be that size again. I made a permanent change in my life and had to let go of the things that tied me to the old me.

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MSLZZY 6/18/2013 2:55PM

    I'll be here. It took me forever to rid myself of clothes that no longer fit and I have been at this awhile. In December it will be 5 years. Let go of the fear and the stress and move on. If it will make you feel better, only give away part of the extra items.
You won't be overwhelmed and it may become easier in time. HUGS!

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JTREMBATH 6/18/2013 2:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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My Spark Manifesto

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 6/19/2013 11:24AM

    Better to be in the driver's seat than the back seat any day!

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LISAINMS 6/18/2013 3:39PM

    Drive on!

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Saving my own life

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?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMANDANCES 6/21/2013 8:27AM

    Awesome! emoticon

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DARLENE556 6/16/2013 2:35PM

  Wow, thanks for sharing a wonderful story! emoticon You are emoticon

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AVANDREA_ 6/12/2013 8:32AM

    You are awesome! and your mom rocks! :)
emoticon emoticon

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LISAINMS 6/11/2013 2:58PM

    Wow, good for you Survivor Girl! We all need to keep doing more to continue supporting breast cancer research. Our lives depend on it!

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NEWTINK 6/11/2013 1:39PM

    Such an inspiring story you have .. emoticon emoticon

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