Saturday, June 12, 2010
I was thinking yesterday about 25 pounds lost. Which led me to think that this isn't my first 25 pounds lost. Which led me to thinking about what I've done to get here and just how far I've come. (Warning: This is long, and is likely just part one of my "story")
My youngest son was born on April 5, 2002. I'm pretty sure I had broken 400 pounds by the time he was born, and I felt horrible. I was lazy and confused and angry about life in general. Nothing turned out the way it was supposed to. When I was a junior in high school I was preparing for a wonderful college career. I knew where I wanted to go (University of Toledo) and what I wanted to study (computer engineering). I was going to have a bright future. I felt secure in my ability and intelligence and I was ready to get a wonderful and great paying job, buy a house, marry someone who loved me and had the same beliefs as myself, have children and raise them in bliss.
Instead, this "good little church girl," who had made it to the regionals in Bible quizzing of all things, found herself pregnant just before her 18th birthday. I screwed up. I screwed up several times, caught up in the feeling of "someone loves me, I must do whatever it takes to keep that alive" and I broke vows to myself. And then I had to tell my mother. My heart was broken and so was hers. But we dealt with it. We managed. I opted out of the big, fancy college thing and, instead, I applied for community college. I gave birth to my son, Logan, and I was confused again. Life had suddenly gotten so ....big and important. Still, I managed.
I moved out of my mom's house and in with my boyfriend, sure that I was going to do this independent mother thing without screwing everything up. I tried going to classes (which started just weeks after the birth of my son) but after a while I realized that Music Education was not what I wanted to do. I couldn't play the piano and I didn't want to study music anymore. I hated that music was such a serious thing now. I missed having fun with music. And I knew that I would never make the money I needed to fulfill the dreams and goals I had in my head. So I cried a lot and dropped out. I told everyone that I *would* go back, no matter what the statistics said about people like me.
But when I dropped out, the downward spiral began. My life was a living hell. I was sad and angry and upset all the time. All the time. Boyfriend and I fought all the time. Within years, I was pregnant again. I thought about aborting this one. I couldn't take another child and there had been a break up between boyfriend and I and a horrible transition guy that made me regret the past year and wonder of the origin of the child. At the clinic I met with every belief system I ever had and faced the prospect that I would be going against everything I had ever said I believed in. I didn't abort him (thank God!) and boyfriend said at the restaurant later that day, "I guess we should get married, then." We did get married, but I thought his heart wasn't in it.
Depression set in that next year. In 2002 I was told by a CPS worker that I was suffering from PPD, and I believed her. I was disconnected from life. I spent days in bed. I ate and drank whatever I wanted. I did very little to even exit the house, let alone "exercise." I ballooned to nearly 500 pounds and my family voiced their concerns. But they didn't understand. I didn't care what I weighed because I didn't care about life. I didn't want to live any more. Until someone said to me, "You want to leave those boys without a mother?" and it clicked. One day I simply woke up.
I went to the doctor about gastric bypass surgery and weighed in at 466.6 pounds. One year. That's what they told me. My insurance required me to go through so much testing it could take one year to get through this and possibly get surgery. Whatever, I would do whatever it took. And I had learned from my mother's support groups that those who failed did so because they thought they could eat whatever they wanted after surgery. So I vowed to slowly take on the diet I would be forced to follow after surgery. And I went through all the testing for naught, because my insurance company dropped the surgery while I was going through all the testing they required for the surgery. (I *hate* insurance companies!)
I had two choices. Give in to always being fat or try to do what I could on my own. I chose the second option. I found an online group called "Losing and Loving It" and I stuck mostly to similar meals throughout the day. I did Walk Away the Pounds in my apartment living room three times a week. I went from not even able to complete the 1 mile workout to being able to do two or three miles. I used to drive each week to a doctor's office downtown where my sister had set up for me to weigh in on their huge digital scale. And I spent many a 30 minute drive home crying because I only lost .5 pounds that week. Or super excited for a 2 pound lost. I lost the weight VERY slowly, and by the time we moved I was down 80 pounds. Within a few VERY slow months in the new home, I lost the last 20 and I stayed there for one week. I seriously saw the century mark and somehow lost faith in my ability to do any more than that. I went on maintain mode instead.
I tell you all this so that you understand that I am not some insanely motivated person who woke up this April and decided to lose the weight and is somehow now always on. I understand the tools now, and I'm learning more and more through all of my SparkFriends. I don't exercise every day because I love it. Sometimes I do it because I remember what it was like to not move and be slowly dying in that bed years ago. Sometimes I just feel strong or encouraged by the people here. Sometimes I guilt myself into it, and I go through the entire workout yelling at myself in my head and calling myself fat and telling myself I'll never do it, all while I'm working out.
I feel stronger than I have since that junior year in high school. I'm still not sure of my ability to get a great job, but I'm trying to hold onto hope that there is something perfect out there for me. Something that I will love doing most days, something challenging, something that uses my skills of writing and creative thinking, something that allows me to travel, and something that allows me to make the money I need to move into a nice modest home and make a real life for my kids, instead of just getting by like we've been doing since I left my mom's house.
But one thing I get now is that it is life now, not a journey. I'm no longer living for the end. I'm no longer living for what I will be when I'm skinny and fit. Instead, I'm living for what I can do today to make myself strong, brave, bold, and ready for anything. I'm now getting really close to that century mark once more, and this time I will see it only for a week because the next week I will be below that mark. Headed to the second century mark. There is time as long as there is breath in my body, and the more I work out, the more time I give myself to reach my eventual goal. I'm learning as I go. My world is changing because I'm changing it every day. Sometimes I don't live exactly like I'd like myself to, but I chalk that up to living. Sometimes we have to celebrate or cry into a bowl of ice cream (I just make the bowl smaller now).
I'm not superwoman, I'm just learning how to make a better me.
Friday, June 11, 2010
It's FRIDAY! Which, for me, is Saturday part I. It's my chance to get things done around the house and to get outside during the day and get some activity in the great outdoors. I'm thinking we'll hit up the lake later today because it might pour tomorrow...plus I can't remember if my mom is supposed to be getting the boys tomorrow...should probably call her and find out. *lol*
A wrap-up of highlights of this week in pictures.
We tried this Roasted Red Potato Casserole. YUM! It's tastes a lot like "loaded potatoes." You can find it on SparkRecipes.
THIS was made by God! This vanilla honey greek yogurt tastes sooo good! I added a little of my homemade Strawberry jam and a little granola on top. *love*
I got this yesterday at the market. There was something weird with the blackberries, but the biggest deal was the kiwi. I tried a kiwi once in 1994. Hated it! I tried it again yesterday, remembering that i also used to hate pineapple and now I love it. Turns out I love kiwi now too. It's true - your tastes change as you age.
The Rocky song was going through my head as I considered this week how much of a fighter I've been working through this knee problem and trying Zumba again. I love it when I surprise myself!
I'm getting dimples where they're supposed to be now! Now my collarbones aren't popping out like crazy (I'm still 390 pounds), but they're making random appearances in the mirror. Love that! The other day I was showering and thought - my shoulders are getting smaller.
I have worked out so much this week that I'm feeling a rush of confidence. My self-esteem isn't a constant 10, but it's moved to a solid 8 most days. It's very cool to realize that I can do more than I thought I can!
My youngest son, Ethan. He's adorable and a mini-Mommy. (Seriously, my oldest looks just like his dad.) I think he loves that we get to do more fun things like going to the park where he can ride his bike. (One downer about living out in nowheresville is that it's hard to find a place to ride bikes...we have to drive into town or to the park or school.)
Plans for today:
Doctor appointment at 9:45am today.
Weeding the garden. (It REALLY needs this!!)
Lake. We're thinking of going out on a boat today. Also might take our new neighbors (a girl I've worked with for nearly 4 years moved in about a mile from my house) to show them where we like to go on the weekends. Maybe I'll take some pictures of it to share with all of you.
Cleaning. Our house needs some serious reorganizing. My room still isn't put together again after we had to rearrange for the new king-sized bed. Time to get things back together.
Hope you all have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Okay, so I've got this book by Prevention called "Walk Off Weight." I've had it for a while, used it a little before (I think this was where I got hooked on Yoga, thank you very much!) but never considered the back page, until now. The back page has a "Train to Walk a Half Marathon" Training Plan. Seriously. They want me to consider walking 13.1 miles? WTF, dude?
And then I got on Spark, and I read some blogs, and I started moving my own body, and I realized that this isn't out of the realm of possibility. (Does any race allow walking only in a half-marathon, though?) While this isn't in my very near future (I know my body, it isn't ready!), I thought maybe I could tweak this to match my goal to walk a 5K by the end of summer, or thereabouts.
Week One looks like this:
Sun - Easy Walk (15 minutes)
Mon - X-Train (20 minutes)
Tues - Brisk Walk (30 minutes)
Wed - Rest
Thurs - Brisk Walk (30 minutes)
Fri - Rest
Sat - Endurance Walk (3 miles)
What if I changed that endurance walk to 2 miles. I can do that right now. It's hard, but I can do it. At least keep 2 miles for the first week before I increase to 2.5 the next week, right? And maybe scale back the brisk walks a bit to start. Say maybe 20 minutes each? Oh, and the rest days...yeah, those have to go. *lol* Remember, I'm doing 30 in 30 this month. I will try to do something a little lighter those days, though. Relaxation yoga or my inStride cycle or something that isn't too rough on me. Thoughts from my runner friends? If this goes well, I'd increase the brisk walk time and the endurance mileage every 2 weeks or so.
No, seriously. What is the deal with tofu? Does anyone even eat it? I'm not against it - not at all - I'm just wondering how the heck you cook this stuff! WTF, dude? I'll be perfectly honest with you - tofu scares me as an ingredient. I like it in my Miso Soup (which I don't eat anymore -- all that sodium! YIKES!) but that's about where that ends. Thoughts? Recipes? Ideas? Agreement with my fear?
That's what I was last night. I was one tough daughter of a gun! I had the same stomach turning feeling on the way to class last night ("PLEASE don't let it happen again! PLEASE!!"), but I went in, handed over my money and grabbed a spot in the back next to a girl I would KILL to look like! (She probably thought she was fat and was probably there to tone up, but she was drop-dead gorgeous! Wish I had the balls or even the thought process last night to lean over and tell her that she was beautiful...but I wasn't thinking straight so you'll have to forgive me for the missed opportunity! If I see her again, though - it's on like Donkey Kong!)
As I said, I tried to be very careful of the knee. No jumping, no kicking too hard, certainly no turning! All in all, everything went well. I have to say, it's a little embarrasing when you're in the back and the whole class turns around and you realize they are now staring at you and probably wondering why YOU aren't turning around. But I did what I had to and I lasted through the entire hour. There were some parts in which I far exceeded several of the skinny chicks on the floor (flexibility is always one - plus the punching part -- OMG I *love* punching! And, surprisingly, the squating...I went deep into those squats because it felt good and I could. I know this helps my knee too, so I went all out on it!). I surprised myself when I asked for the time at the break and realized I'd already made it through 35 minutes!
I did it, y'all! I completed a (completely modified) Zumba class! And...shhh...don't tell anyone this but...I can't wait to go Saturday morning!! Sucks they'll be taking next week off (thought it was this week, it's next week! SUCK!)
Does anyone do this? It really looks great. Like Yoga, it has that feeling-centered-don't-really-realize-you'
re-working-out vibe to it. Anyone tried it? Likes? Dislikes? Don't cares?
What's your favorite kind? How do you take it? I'm a little bit of Truvia and lightly brewed kinda girl and I'm wondering if this defeats the whole purpose of tea, like hubby seems to think it does, or if it's actually good for me to drink tea. (Certainly better than some other things I can think of!)
Welp. That's it. Take 'er easy, everyone. Talk to you later. Truck on! Tee you later! *snort*
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Just another excuse to get some chocolate milk up in my house:
*lol* Of course, the trouble is that I would drink it before a workout, and hours after a workout, and with dinner, and with the apple pie my husband bought me yesterday. (OMG - totally forgot to tell you all this story...) So maybe no chocolate milk for me. Maybe just some greek yogurt and a slice of toast or something? Basically, the message is - refuel with carbs and protein...they're just giving the chocolate milk as an example, and probably as a way to make people feel better about enjoying chocolate milk! *lol*
Apple Pie Story, real quick... (If you haven't noticed...I'm not good at 'quick')
You all know these things, right? These things have been a weakness of mine since I was little. I always knew they weren't "good" for me, but they sure tasted good! (I may think differently if I tried one today, but when I was eating whatever crap I wanted, they tasted so good!!) One of these babies packs 470 calories and over 20 grams of fat - not to mention the 36 grams of sugar! I knew, I know these things are no good, no two ways about it.
So hubby comes home yesterday with a little brown bag from the little store down the street. This store is like the old general stores that most people think are quaint now because you never see them anymore. We simply call it Terry's, because that's the name of the fellow who owns the place. Anyhow, he and the boys went down to Terry's to do a little snack shopping while I was gone. It was a mini-celebration for the boys finishing school yesterday. We used to do this all the time (no wonder I got back up over 400 pounds!!), but I've been only buying my Vitamin water and some Fiber One bars on the off chance they have them. Every once in a while I get a Diet Rite...that's about it. So hubby comes to me with that little brown bag and says, "I got you something. I don't know if you can eat it though." I'm thinking "probably not" but I don't say anything...and then out pops that thing up there. AAAAAAAAAH! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! (Those were the sirens going off in my head.)
I chuckled I think. Hubby looks at me and says, "So..no?" And then he turns it over and says, "I suppose I could've looked at the back to see..." "It's 410 calories, right?" I interject. Nope. Wrong. Off by 60! So it was even worse than I thought it was!! ACK! I don't know what hubby did with that thing. I hope I don't have to see it again. I thought about it twice last night. Even considered cutting it into four pieces and having one piece a night for a few nights. In the end, I just didn't mention it again...and neither did hubby. He's adorable sometimes, and I know he was trying to do something nice, but he's gotta learn that he needs to show me he was thinking of me with non-food items. A nice Vitamin Water would've been great!
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
So a while back (I don't remember how long ago it was and I don't want to look...last week I think) I was asking for suggestions for why I had gained like 2 pounds in a day. (BTW - I'm pretty darn sure it was the sodium.) Someone mentioned Potassium and I looked it up to be sure I was getting enough and see what the symptoms would be if I was not getting enough. While I realized that most of my favorite healthy options were on the list of potassium-rich foods (therefore, not likely to be my problem), I also realized that nearly every single food was something my 8-year-old son refused to eat.
Lately Ethan has been complaining that his "heart" hurts. Okay, now before you call CPS on me for not rushing him to the ER, let me explain. We don't believe in panicking when something hurts on a child. We know enough to be able to try a few things, try to figure out what the cause could be, and then see if we can do a quick home remedy. Just as I'm trying not to put junk food and crap into my system, we do not want our children to constantly be taking medication. (Plus, there's a history in my family of waiting to go to the ER - if you reread my Zumba blog you'll notice that I found out my foot was broken like a day after the injury happened because Mom wanted to see if it was just sprained or something. When the pain continued without letting up, she took me to the ER.)
Let me also tell you that I have a history of hypochondria. I can make myself feel the pain and make my body respond in a certain way. A lot of made up stomach aches as a child in order to receive the attention I felt I was lacking led to real stomache pain and issues. (Add it to the list of cycles I've been trying all my adult life to break.) But even as I write this blog to all of you, my heart has a bit of pain. It started when I began typing about my son, and it will likely end 10 minutes after I finish it - once I think of something else.
ANYWHO -- So when he said his "heart" hurt we asked him questions about what he had eaten, what he had done, what the pain felt like, etc. We then instructed him to lay down with his legs up and see if that helped. It helped. He was better in a matter of minutes. He complained once more about it to me, and again relaxing helped to settle the issue. One more complaint and he would be at the doctor or ER (trust me, it crossed my mind SEVERAL times, but he insisted that he felt better). And then I read about how potassium deficiency can lead to irregular heartbeat, and I did a silly thing then - I mentioned it to him. I told him that he'd have to start eating some more of the foods on the list I had or take a potassium supplement every day to see if that resolved his issues. I also told him the choice belonged to him alone.
For the past week now, my son has been walking around the house grabbing bananas at random and eating them. Asking me "does this have potassium in it?" and holding up an apple. I think I even caught him looking at a nutrition label the other day. And he says outloud, "I'm going to go get a banana. I need my potassium." Later tonight I will ask him if the increased potassium has stopped his "heart" problems (I also put that in quotes because sometimes when you're 8 you think one thing hurts and it's really something else...so his "heart" could be something else that he's mistaking for his heart - you know?).
But all of this has led me to realize that my son wants a healthy life. No, I mean, he really was born to be healthy! My oldest is more susceptible to peer pressure and is already highly addicted to junk food, but my youngest still has a shot. Why? Because he is conscious when he eats. He thinks about the most simple things - What does this have in it? Will it help my body? Do I even really like it? Is it good for me? Will I be hungry five minutes from now after eating this? Am I already full? Do I want seconds? Am I even hungry?
I know people say that kids are born with an instinct to eat properly and that we, the adults, the parents, the people who are supposed to be doing good things for them, teach them how to destroy their bodies and get them addicted to HFCS and other nasty, nasty things. But I guess I didn't see it until my 8 year old started eating bananas. He doesn't *love* bananas. If you offered him the choice between a banana or a sucker he'd likely pick the sucker -- or...or he might reason with you that while the sucker tastes better, the banana contains what his body needs to be healthy. That makes me a very, very proud Momma. (serious tears forming here people!)
I always worried that my kids would be fat and have to go through what I went through, what I'm still going through. And I know I don't have all the answers to make them stay healthy, I know that we're moving in the right direction. Ethan has started training (yes, he calls it training and he set goals for himself too...no, I did not direct him to do this but he has been watching and listening to me a lot!) for football season, which starts at the end of next month. He tries to remember to do 10 cruches, 10 push-ups and 10 leg lifts (and insists that his legs must be exactly 6" off the ground) every day. He always volunteers to go walking with me, and he was DYING to come to Zumba with me last Saturday. (He's going this Saturday, btw...I've decided.)
So I guess my changes have helped create a brighter future for my child. And while I knew that would happen, logically and all...it's just so nice to see the changes happening right before me. These changes are so much more important than inches and pounds lost...because I'm paving the way for a child who may not have to know what it feels like to not know your body, to feel ashamed and embarrased by your weight and withdraw from life. These are the BEST changes!
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