C-MERRIE11   38,901
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Shiny, pretty life

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This year has been a tough one.

My husband's dad has cancer. His grandfather has cancer too now, and his grandfather only has a few months to live. My dad had major surgery this summer, he spent 14 days in the hospital, and the night after the surgery we almost lost him in the ICU. I went back for ED treatment and was diagnosed with ptsd. And just Friday my grandmother passed away. That same day my aunt had a heart attack, she's ok, had stints put in. We are waiting to hold the funeral for my grandmother till Christmas so that my aunt can maybe be here.

On a day to day basis I am coping with the regular struggles of grad school.

I am really not complaining. Pain is so much a part of life. Pain is what we risk in life. We wager ourselves for the sake of loving parents, grandparents, having relationships, and pursuing degrees, knowing full well that grandparents may pass away one day, parents have fragile health, and school is very hard. I mean, to love a grandmother is to love someone who might die very soon. And again and again we love people, connect with people and pursue dreams.

So to flip it around:
My husband's dad made it through cancer and now we have so many more years with him. I had a chance to meet my husband's grandfather, and he is a dear man. My own father, after his surgery, will have decades more to live, and while he was in the hospital I had a chance to connect with him in a different way. My ED treatment and PTSD recovery has meant a greater sense of peace and contentment in my life. And my grandma, well, I traded this pain I am having now ages ago for years of knowing her and the legacy of generosity, good taste, humor and good eats she left us with.

That's not to say that I will only look at the bright side, rather that I realize that pain is so much a part of life, just like joy.

The pain, however, is beginning to feel like too much. I am dreading the holidays. I wish I could hit pause or find a cave where I could hide till it is all over. There is so much life that happens on the holidays, like a coral reef of human activity. And sometimes it's overwhelming.

Yesterday I copped by eating pretty poorly.

Today I am tempted to cope the same way. Especially with the guilt I feel. But that's not an option.
I ate too much because:
1. I was not feeling anything- all weekend I spent running around caring for my family in the wake of my grandmother's loss that I hadn't stopped to feel the pain myself. I ate to feel.
2. I felt the need for comfort. Chocolate can release good feelings.
3. I felt there was too much hardness, too much to do, and I wanted to escape. I used 'eating' as a way to escape dealing with the harder parts of life.

Today I commit to:
1. I commit to taking the time to acknowledge my feelings
-I feel angry. I didn't get to say good bye. There was little closure with my grandmother. Something was taken from me.
-I am overwhelmed. I am in the middle of finals. I have an exam today and tomorrow. Plus, I have two papers that are overdue and I will have to do over the break.
-I am dreading the break. We may have to go visit my husbands family and that is overwhelming.
-I feel worn out. I don't feel like I can stop to take care of myself because I feel I am already so easy on myself and because I have so much to do.
2. I commit to addressing my feelings.
-I will take the time to feel angry. When angry I will find an outlet.
-I will find ways to relax, despite feeling busy. I will allow myself to stop (so that I dont have to use food as a way to 'break')
-I will handle the break one day at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

The rest of this week I commit to these specific action steps:
1. Staying in my calorie range
2. Emailing my daily eating plan to my nutritionist each night
3. Making it to the rest of my workouts
4. Scheduling a massage (finally)
5. Taking time for my DBT exercises each day (meditation, etc.)
6. Sleeping at least 8 hours each night

Today I will:
1. Send my nutritionist my meal plan for the days of this weekend I didnt email her
2. I will schedule the massage
3. I will see my T
4. I will do aerobic dance and the mat workout
5. I will eat under 1700 calories

Today on my plate I have:
1. One final that will take three hours- I will cope with this by breathing; drinking tea; and being kind to myself. It is take home, so I can wear pajamas and use my books to help me, so I don't need to freak out about it.

I can make it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACINGSLUG 12/18/2010 10:04AM

    Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. It sounds like there is just too much going on right now. It would be nice if life had a built-in problem regulator that prevented more stress from piling on when you felt you were at your breaking point, but no such luck so far.

Your attitude through all this is inspiring. It's amazing you've been able to identify so many positives in the midst of all those sad things. I am glad to hear you've been helped by DBT - can't remember if I mentioned this, but my husband is a DBT therapist/Ph.D. student of clinical psychology. We're very pro-DBT in this house, and since I am a Buddhist it fits well with my own life philosophy. Meditation has made such a difference in my life, I can see it even in the way I interact with Dom. I'm just more calm and accepting of the way life is. I'll bet that has had a huge impact on how deftly you've handled all these challenges.

I know you are probably super-busy right now, and I know you're dreading the break, but I hope you can squeeze out an abundance of joy, rest and happiness this holiday season. Don't forget to take care of you!



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NEELIXNKES 12/16/2010 7:53AM

    You can make it. Hang in there emoticon

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FATBUSTER50 12/15/2010 10:16PM

    i'm glad that you have chosen to look at the positives. one of the things i've done in therapy is to make a worksheet listing negative events that happened, how i felt about them, and how i reacted to them. this helps me identify my behavior patterns and react to recurring pain in a different and more positive way. just a thought.

thoughts and pryayers for you!

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 12/15/2010 4:24PM

    I'm sorry for all the pain and stress you're dealing with right now. It never rains, but it pours huh?
By the way, great plan to cope with it all. That's the first step out of the way. Next step: stick to your plan. You can do this, baby steps remember?
Good luck with your final, I'm sure you'll do fine - and doing it in your PJs will definitely reduce the stress!
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Sleep Challenge Week II goals/strategies

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I learned from my journal:
My main sleep inhibitor is stress (things I have to do, my worries). I am going to focus on ways of emptying my mind at night so that I wind down for sleep.

This week my sleep goals are to:

One time:
1) Purchase sleep relaxer cd recommended by T
2) Purchase chamomile tea

Each Day:
1) Sleep 8 hours a night
2) "Deal with my worries" exercise/list before bed each night (blog, list, journal)
3) Then drink chamomile tea
4) Do visualizations, read poetry or listen to sleep relaxer cd (when I own it)

  


Saturday December 11th, end of week 2

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hi,

it's been a rough week, and I had to change-up my exercise plan a tad bit due to loosing my grammy. I thought I'd leave an update tho.

Here are measurements of prior weeks:

Sunday 11/28
wt. 119.4 lbs
wst. 24"
hips 35.5"
r. thigh 21"
r. bicep 9"

Saturday 12/4
wt. 119.4lbs
wst. 23.5"
hips: 35.5"
r. thigh: 20"
r. bicep: 9"

And today, Saturday 12/11:
wt. 118.4lbs
wst. 23.4"
hips: 35"
r. thigh: 20"
r. bicpe: 9"

Again, not a lot of change since not a lot of time has elapsed :)

So, I did make it to each of my workouts, up until yesterday, where instead of elliptical and TA matwork, I just did the Elliptical. And then today, instead of yoga and dance class, I'm going to go spend time on the Elliptical today and do the matwork.

This was the goal for this week:
Sunday: rest
Monday: tracy anderson cardio dance (45 minutes)
tracy anderson mat workout (50 minutes)
Tuesday: Turbo Jam Sculpt (40 minutes)
Turbo Jam Ab Jam (20 minutes)
Zumba (50 minutes class)
Wednesday: elliptical (45 minutes- normally I would do ta dance again, but i couldn't this week)
tracy anderson sequence I mat workout (50 minutes)
Thursday: Pilates (50 minutes)
Zumba (50 minutes)
Friday: Elliptical (50 minutes)
tracy anderson post pregnancy mat workout (45 minutes)
Saturday: yoga (40 minutes)
psychedelic go-go dance class
tap level I class

This is what I did:
Sunday: rest
Monday: tracy anderson cardio dance (45 minutes)
tracy anderson mat workout (50 minutes)
Tuesday: Turbo Jam Sculpt (40 minutes)
Turbo Jam Ab Jam (20 minutes)
Zumba (50 minutes class)
Wednesday: elliptical (45 minutes- normally I would do ta dance again, but i couldn't this week)
tracy anderson sequence I mat workout (50 minutes)
Thursday: Pilates (35 minutes)
Zumba (50 minutes)
Friday: Elliptical (40 minutes)
Saturday: Elliptical (55 minutes)
TA post pregnancy matwork (50 minutes)

As for my other goals, regarding school and sleep...

Sleep: I managed 8 hours each night! And except for last night, (for obvious reasons) I did a sleep goal each night and morning!

Papers: I accomplished quite a lot in terms of topic narrowing, form signing, and resource gathering, so I am pleased overall in my progress. I still have another form that needs signing and I would like to finis my symbols paper asap, but I feel I rose to the challenge.

QFC: I did most days of the quickfire challenge- I would like to 'make up' days by adding even MORE activity (does that count?)... In my book it counts :)

So, I feel I did pretty well. Next week I'll have to make a few workout adjustments, like this week. For one, there will be no Zumba next Thursday, and classes won't pick-up again until after Christmas break. SO here is my workout schedule:

Sunday: rest
Monday: tracy anderson cardio dance (45 minutes)
tracy anderson mat workout (50 minutes)
Tuesday: Turbo Jam Sculpt (40 minutes)
Turbo Jam Ab Jam (20 minutes)
Zumba (50 minutes class)
Wednesday: elliptical (45 minutes- normally I would do ta dance again, but i couldn't this week)
tracy anderson sequence I mat workout (50 minutes)
Thursday: Pilates (50 minutes)
Turbo Jam (50 minutes)
Friday: Elliptical (50 minutes)
tracy anderson post pregnancy mat workout (45 minutes)
Saturday: yoga (40 minutes)
psychedelic go-go dance class
tap level I class

At the end of next week it will have been three weeks! And then I can decide what my workout schedule will look like for Christmas break.

As for fast-break goals:
-I want to work on setting goals for Week II of the Sleep Better Challenge
-I want to do the Week II steps for that challenge
-QuickFire each day
-T-Sat I want to spend 10 minutes on the HS paper and the Bomhoeffer paper
-T-R I want to finish the symbols paper

Wish me luck!

  


Grandma- gone this morning, let's not forget her

Friday, December 10, 2010

My grandmother, Lily, died this morning.

I thought I'd write a few clumsy thoughts about her as part of saying good bye.

Lilyan was as lively as they come. She was 91, and she still managed to poke, prod, pinch, and punch everyone in the nursing home. She was feisty. Above her bed was a cartoon portrait of her with full blonde hair, a mink stole, and a martini, and the caption read 'I like boys!'

She was born in Chicago, about 90 years ago, to a part Lebanese, part french family. Her father sold rugs at the Marshall Fields downtown, her mom cooked, belly danced, and presumably attended Catholic mass. So a child of the 20's growing up in Chicagoland, she has seen a lot.

Sam Giancana, a boy friend. And it was "Uncle" Louis, that is, "Uncle" Louis 'Little New York' Campagna. Louis Little New York was not only the beloved husband of Grandma Lily's aunt, but he was also the body guard of Al Capone, he's the one that said 'You dirty rat!' Grandma grew up around gangsters and mobsters, and she grew up with that attitude. She wasn't allowed to marry into La Famiglia because they 'wanted to protect her.'

Little wild bits of history like that would sort of spill out over the years. Like that bit we found out only this year.

She would often get in trouble at home for staying out late with the boys at the dance halls, smoking.

When her husband was sick, she ran the gas station where my dad grew up. She was an independent lady. Not often were women running businesses back then, let alone gas stations. She moved on to selling furniture at Marshall Fields, becoming one of their top sales reps. Apparently she was a fashion model for a stint, which explains the closets of shoes she gave me over the years.

Her Christmas was always pink, purple and silver.

Her cars name was Buttercup.

She wore a mink coat, had a keen eye for fashion. I remember her noticing how people carried water bottles around so much now, as if it were the new fashion.

Her time around the Italians led her to be a phenomenal cook of Italian foods.

She never wanted anyone to tell her what to do, so she lived by the principle of 'no shouldas.'

What that means for me is that she would object to me saying I 'shoulda' visited her more often, I 'shoulda' called her this week. God bless her, the wild woman.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISHEI 12/16/2010 8:13PM

    What a wonderful lady she was and the memories are so great.
Never ever forget all the things she did and remember to cherish
her special qualities.
God bless you for seeing her when you could. I am sure she was very
happy to see you coming.
I loved this blog. Thanks for sharing.
Irish Ei emoticon

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C-MERRIE11 12/11/2010 9:50AM

  Thank you all for stopping by, really appreciated :)

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CAMERABABE 12/11/2010 8:30AM

    I am sorry for your loss. It is great that you have so many memories of your grandmother.

Thank you for sharing the memories with us. I am sure that she will be in your heart forever. Hugs.

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 12/11/2010 2:04AM

    So sorry for your loss...Lily sounds like she was a wonderful influence on your life and such a positive role model. I'm sure she will live on forever in your heart and continue to play a part in shaping you into the person she always knew you would be. Bless xoxo

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ETAGGEL 12/11/2010 12:33AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. But just look at the fantastic memories she has left you with. She must have been quite a character! I will keep you all in my prayers. God Bless

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DEBBIEANNE1124 12/10/2010 11:05PM

    A feisty, lovely lady indeed. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Hugs
debbie

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LINDA! 12/10/2010 10:45PM

    She sounded like a lively and special lady.

I am so sorry for your loss!! emoticon

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 12/10/2010 6:23PM

    I loved reading about your grandma's feistiness and fascinating life. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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WOOBIE0902 12/10/2010 5:54PM

    Sorry about the lost of your grandmother; if I reach it to 90 THAT'S how I want to live!!!! (Already started the punching, pinching part.)

She sounds like a very special woman.

HUGS

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WOOBIE0902 12/10/2010 5:54PM

    Sorry about the lost of your grandmother; if I reach it to 90 THAT'S how I want to live!!!! (Already started the punching, pinching part.)

She sounds like a very special woman.

HUGS

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WOOBIE0902 12/10/2010 5:54PM

    Sorry about the lost of your grandmother; if I reach it to 90 THAT'S how I want to live!!!! (Already started the punching, pinching part.)

She sounds like a very special woman.

HUGS

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WOOBIE0902 12/10/2010 5:53PM

    Sorry about the lost of your grandmother; if I reach it to 90 THAT'S how I want to live!!!! (Already started the punching, pinching part.)

She sounds like a very special woman.

HUGS

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C-MERRIE11 12/10/2010 5:51PM

  Thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to read the blog :)

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ORACLE2010 12/10/2010 4:56PM

    Sorry about your loss honey.....I enjoyed reading your anecdotes about your grandma. She sounds very cool!

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future goal/workout plan ideas, before I forget

Thursday, December 09, 2010

So I set up this three week of exercise thing, but I have other thoughts of what I'll do in the future and I don't want to forget them, so I'll write it out here :) They are all only variations on a theme, but they do mix things up a bit :)

Set-up I:
Sun: rest
Mon: TA Cardio Dance and Yoga at the College, 5:15pm
Tues: TA Matwork and Zumba
Wed: TA Cardio Dance and Yoga at the College, 5:15pm
Thurs: TA Matwork and Go-Go Class
Fri: Bike 50 minutes and Pilates
Sat: TA Cardio Dance and TA Matwork

Set-up II:
Sun: rest
Mon: TA Cardio Dance and Pilates at the College, 6:15am
Tues: TA Matwork and Zumba
Wed: TA Cardio Dance and Pilates at the College, 6:15am
Thurs: TA Matwork and Go-Go Class
Fri: Run 40+ minutes and Pilates at the College, 6:15am
Sat: TA Cardio Dance and TA Matwork

Set-up III:
Sun: rest
Mon: TA Cardio Dance and TA Matwork
Tues: 15 minutes Elliptical, 15 minutes run, 15 minutes bike and Pilates
Wed: TA Cardio Dance and TA Matwork
Thurs: Firm Fat Burning Workout and Yoga
Fri: TA Cardio Dance and TA Matwork
Sat: Turbo Jam 50 minutes and TJ Sculpt and TJ Abs

Other fast-break goals:
-Not to pick eye-brows (I know..... baaad habit, with a name for it, too,im sure)
-10 minutes/day on ACE materials
-10 minutes/day practicing violin
-1 mood/log per day
-do the Quick Fire Challenge workout of the month 1/wk

Other bigger challenge goals:
-finish my Bonhoeffer paper (asap)
-finish my HS symbols paper (asap)
-finish my HS Latin American Pneumatologies paper (asap)
-complete the 4 week sleep-better challenge
-complete the stress-buster 4 week challenge
-complete the sparkpeople 28 day bootcamp challenge
-complete the healthy cooking spark challenge

reward ideas (cheeeeezy, i know)
-fuzzy sweats from the college bookstore (been eyeing those for AGES, hoping theyll go on sale)
-schedule my massages (i was given massage envy membership, and i guess ive thought to use the chance to schedule the massage as a reward, like i can earn it)
-baking different spark recipes
-using my flirty girl drop in pass to attend one-off classes :)

well, that should do it. now i got it all here for future reference.

  


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