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GILLIANMASTERS's Recent Blog Entries

Prompt 1 - Pathway to Vitality

Friday, December 20, 2013

Well here I go, I have always been reluctant to write a blog, for fear of what people would think of me. But I came across these prompts to help deal with the emotional baggage of weight loss, and I didn't want to write in my journal where my husband or son might read it, because they don't have weight issues and don't understand, and that just makes it harder. So I am posting these here, and hope it is a safe place.

Prompt 1 - What is "your" story? Where are you coming from? How did you get to where you are? How does this story make you feel? Does it make you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like you should have somehow prevented this weight gain? What do you think caused you to gain weight in the first place? What positive things have you gotten out of your weight gain? How can you change the way you FEEL about your story so it is more empowering and motivating?

Food and dieting have always been a part of my life. As a teenager I was 5ft 10 and weighed 120lbs. I was far from fat, just extremely well endowed in the chest area. Everyone would talk to my chest and make comments. It made me extremely self conscious. As a Jr in high school my mom took me to Diet Center and said I needed to lose 10 lbs. Other than my chest I was very happy with my body, and all of a sudden I was even more self conscious. Here was my mom telling me that at 120lbs I was too heavy. That started my life of yoyo dieting. When I moved away from my mom I started to learn to be happy with my body, and everything was good until I turned 25 and married a sociopath. I didn't realize the mind games he was playing on me and how he was destroying everything in my life. It was many years later when I realized that other than my son and God I had no one. I was so isolated and lonely. I used food for comfort and the pounds packed on. When he left me 3 years ago I started losing weight and started to fell better about myself. I was actually starting to be happy for the first time in years. I met a wonderful man, but he has his issues and baggage too. Quite often I find myself taking his words or actions personally or overreacting to them, and I resort to my old reactions and my hidden stash of cookies and candy. I count the minutes til he goes to bed, so I can dive into my stash, and then I beat myself up because I know I should be treating myself better. It is such a vicious cycle. I have put on 20lbs in the past 3 months. I have been to 2 doctors (1 to check my thyroid levels - I have hypothyroidism and 1 just to see if I was starting menopause, and if that might be the cause of my emotional eating and weight gain - labs said I am not perimenopausal).

My son recently moved home and he is a trained chef, who is now getting his next degree in kinesiology and physical training. He plans on opening a business someday to teach people how to eat correctly and how to exercise correctly. I am his first guinea pig. So far it hasn't been much of a success. The first week I tore something in my shoulder and could barely lift my arms. He was very sweet and when it was healed he had me start doing all the exercises but with no weights this time. I feel stupid at the gym going thru the motions, but not using any weights. I keep making excuses not to go, I am too tired, I worked too many hours, what does it matter.....I am discouraged with myself. I wish I could find something to motivate me. I keep saying next week is a new week, and I start tracking for a day or two, then I stumble so I just quit for the week, and vow to start again next week.

I guess the thing that does motivates me is that I do keep trying. I get discouraged, but I keep trying.

Not sure if this covers all of the prompt, but it is all I can do tonight. Peeling away these layers and admitting all this is exhausting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILMISSRED79 12/20/2013 5:49PM

    I can tell that writing this blog was a really scary thing for you to do, so I'm incredibly proud of you for sharing and inspired by your courage! We're all struggling in some way or another with our relationship with food/exercise or we wouldn't be on SP. You are definitely in good company here.

You're right that it's exhausting work, but it's healing and therefore rewarding in the long-run. Don't give up! Take it an hour at a time if you have to, but hang in there. You can do this.


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JUSTME9898 12/20/2013 1:00AM

    Sit down with your son and tell him you feel odd doing exercises without weights. May be you can begin your exercise routines at home with him and then when you have built up strength and endurance more to the gym and use the weights.

Why do you want to lose weight? What is your ultimate goal? You want to live longer? - you want to live better- you want to enjoy life to its fullest - what are the things you want to do? List them, look at them often.

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ROXYCARIN 12/20/2013 12:56AM


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Changing my life at 47

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Yesterday was my Birthday. I kept it very low key. But made major changes in my life in the days leading up to it. I am newly single, living alone, and wanting to learn to love and accept me. I had one binge for my birthday. Can't say it will be the last one. In my mind since it was healthy food, it wasn't that bad of a binge, and I actually stopped when I felt full instead of just eating everything because it was n front of me. i have moments of loneliness, but I am not as heartbroken as I thought I would be being alone. Hate the idea of exercise, but it is the biggest change I have to make in my life. I need to find something that gives me a release for my stress and helps get my body and mind into shape. I actually picked up a catalogue from the local parks and rec department to see what classes they offered. My kid took classes, but i have never looked for myself. Think I might be going overboard, I was all hype last night to join yoga, step aerobics, and water aerobics. Today I am thinking I should probably try one class at a time, instead of going overboard and getting discouraged, then quitting all of them. I have many acquaintances, but no true close friends. The only person I have to confide in and talk to is my son. He has always been here for me, but he is starting on a new life with his future wife, and I feel the need to not be so dependent on him, so I will probably be writing my feelings here more often than naught, just to get them out. I wish God actually spoke - I would love to have conversations with him and be able to here his hopes and dreams for me from his lips. I try to figure out from studying the bible, but at times I feel I am doing it all wrong and disappointing him and myself. Well that is my rant for the day. I am sure I will be back soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENAOM1 6/18/2012 5:00PM

    Happy Belated Birthday Gillian! My back went out on me again today. I've been thinking taking yoga would help me learn to relax, limber up and become stronger. My mom joined the YMCA probably around 8 years ago. She takes the water aerobics classes which helps strengthen her knees and keeps her in shape. She also met her best friends at the Y. In addition to seeing each other at the Y, they go to lunch together or shopping or museums,etc. I encourage you to try one class then the next session either add or substitute another class depending how you feel about it. I have just started subscribing to and receive an inspirational email every day. We all have to learn to be our own best friend.

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HEALTHYIN2014 6/17/2012 11:03PM

    Happy Belated Birthday! This is a great way to share your thoughts and feeling and make new friends. Taking classes is a wonderful way to find exercise that is fun and you look forward to going. This is a great time in your life to find out who you are, what you like to do. It can be lonely and sad at times, but it can also be a time of great discovery. emoticon

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New Year, New (even better) Attitude

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Over the past couple of years I have tried many diet and exercise plans, but I always come back to Sparkpeople. This is the one that seems to work, so I don't know why I ever leave. I guess when I hear those too good to be true lines, I still want to believe them. But there is no quick fix. Took me years to get here and it will take me a while to get back. But I have gained patience over the years.

Also starting the year off with taking some classes through my church. Hopefully I will find my way back out into society again, and not hide at my work or home feeling lonely and sorry for myself for not having friends and things to do. You can't have people in your life if you don't put yourself out there and give yourself the chance to meet them.

My life continues to get better - so here's to a new year and continuing to make my life brighter and happier.


Here's to the new and improved me. Nothing is going to stop me on this journey now.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I have spent my life since Jr High using the sandbags on my chest as an excuse not to exercise. That is not to say I never wanted to exercise and do things, because oh I so did. It is just they always got in the way, so I would make excuses.

Jump forward 30 years, and I am overweight and out of shape beyond belief. I look in the mirror and I love who is on the inside, but cringe and turn away from the reflection on the outside. I joined the gym, I tried golfing, hiking, yoga and so many other things. But the weight on my chest made breathing impossible, and there were so many physical limitations I just kept giving up. No excuses, I just kept looking for something to help me get into shape and be the person that I know God wanted me to be.

My husband left me last year and I have always been a christian, but I was praying and handing my life over to God in ways I never imagined. I continued to set goals and place pictures everywhere of what I wanted to look like and accomplish someday.

I have never made fun of anyone who had plastic surgery. To me it was always to each his own, and if that is what you need t do to feel better about yourself, then I hope it works for you. And I have never believed in weight loss surgery for me, because I felt it did not fix the mental issues that caused my problems to begin with.

One day I was sitting at my desk wondering what I was going to do with the $2000 in my medical flex account that I now had since my husband had left. It had to be used by the end of the year or I would lose it. I started going through my insurance companies web site, looking at things I could spend it on. A plastic surgeon came up in my search of local doctors. I was thinking lipo and so many other things to help me lose weight. I prayed to God and made an appointment.

I was so nervous not knowing what to expect in his suggestions. I explained I had some money to burn and was wondering what he would suggest I get done to help my quality of living. He took one look at my chest and said a breast reduction would change my world. I laughed and said "I thought that couldn't be done until after you lose weight?" He said that doctors such as him were changing their attitudes and that it so drastically changes the quality of life, that many patients are finally able to exercise and lose the weight they so desperately wanted to. He said because of the size of my chest (44 J) the insurance company would approve it right away.

I left there excited that I might finally get to do all the things I dreamed of, and that I could be the active, fun person that was trapped inside this body. I prayed and put it in God's hands. Boy I had no idea the journey he was going to send me on.

Well that was the first week of November. I was hoping to squeeze the surgery in before the end of the year. Due to the insurance company approvals, scheduling with the doctor and million other little things, it never happened. I spent the money on other things and kind of let the dream die.

Setting up my insurance and flex accounts for this year was hard, for the first time in 20+ years it was just me. I hesitated, but adding some extra money to my flex account, just in case I ever changed my mind about the surgery.

The first week of January the doctors office called and asked when I had, had my last mammogram. This made me nervous and I said I have one every October. They said thanks they would pull the records for the insurance company. I was confused and actually a little scared. Why did the insurance company want that info. I got my answer two days later when they finally approved my surgery. I guess they have had issues with going in and then finding cancer, and what is a simple surgery all of a sudden turns into a much more serious and completely different surgery.

I prayed to God and said OK it is approved and I have a year to get it done. When the time is right I am sure you will show me. Not even a week later I got a call from the doctor, surgeries were being scheduled two to three months out, but they just had a cancellation. Since I had waited for the insurance company to decide for so long, would I be interested? How soon I asked. The following Wednesday, this was on a Tuesday. I was in shock. I said I have to call my bosses and see if I can get the time off. I said a little prayer, then picked up the phone to start making calls. Without telling anyone exactly what I was doing, I got my District Manager's blessing, then I called Human Resources and got approved to use sick days and vacation days to take 2 weeks off (Oh my God, in over 15 years I had never taken more than 3 days at a time off). With everything approved for work, I called them back and said lets go for it.

From there everything moved so quickly. Doctor's visits, lab tests, not to mention preparing my staff to handle everything. Most people have time to plan for these things. I was doing it all on a wing and a prayer. Day of the surgery came and I will admit I was scared to death. Then while sitting in the hospital, there was a local tragedy. I was waiting for my surgeon to show up when I was told the hospital was on lock down, that there had been a shooting at the elementary school nearby. I know many people that work and/or have kids at that school. I went into prayer mode, and just sat there praying for all those I knew and those I didn't that were going through such horrors that day. A little while later they came by to say the gun man had been caught and only one person had been shot, and that the hospital was now open again and that as soon as my surgeon was allowed in, my surgery would start.

The doctor and nurses came in and had me stand up (quite the feat since I had already been drugged in preparation for the surgery). With a big black permanent marker they started measuring and drawing lines from my neck to my belly button. I was in such a daze, this day was so unreal in so many ways. Once I sat back down on the bed, I remember nothing more, I do not remember being wheeled into surgery or anything,

I awoke briefly in the recovery room and the doctor asked me how I felt. I mentally assessed my body to give him an answer, and took a deep breathe before I started talking. Wait a minute - I took a deep breathe. This is the girl that failed her CPR registration because she could not get enough air in her lungs to lift the chest of the CPR dummy. I started crying and said "I can breathe!" I am pretty sure the doctors and nurses had no idea just how much that statement meant to me. They probably thought it was just the drugs talking, but even now 5 weeks later I remember that wonderful moment when I could actually take a deep breathe for the first time since I was in junior high. It felt so wonderful and reassuring.

I had never taken drugs (not even aspirin) so over the next couple of days the drugs kept me quite out of it. But I know I was telling every one that I finally knew what it was like to breathe and that I could not wait to actually try running and not have the pounding in my chest from the weight, and play golf and be able to actually swing a club at the ball in a straight line, and OMG I had always loved kayaking, but hated that when I rowed it was always a zig-zag pattern because of the girls on my chest. All these things were now a possibility. My friends, family and doctor were all laughing at me and my new found enthusiasm. I was excited for the first time that I actually COULD exercise.

Stepping on the scale after surgery was another wonderful thing. Besides the 7+ pounds they had removed from my chest, I had lost another 5 on top of that in a week just walking around the house.

I was just released this week to start exercising again and I am looking forward to it in so many ways. Contemplating all the wonderful fun things I will be able to do this summer and next winter that were just dreams a few short weeks ago.

Everywhere I go whether its church, work, out in public, people have noticed a huge change in me and it is not just in my chest area. Along with the confidence this surgery has given me. I am happy with the outside as well as the inside and it is showing in everything I do. I am happier than I have been in years, and I am looking forward to my future and whatever God brings my way. I know now that I can do anything. I just have to put my faith in God and trust that he knows what is best for me. And sometimes it may be the last thing I ever imagined. A year ago if anyone had suggested i would have plastic surgery and be happy with it, I would have told them they were crazy. God gave me this body and I would never imagine cutting into in unnecessarily. Well this surgery was necessary and I am so glad I did it.

Here's to the new and improved me. Nothing is going to stop me on this journey now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTNGRL 3/21/2011 6:25PM

    It is a wonderful feeling. To finally be able to breath and not have the weight of the world on your chest. Congrats!

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AMBUDMAN 3/13/2011 12:14PM

    I am so happy for you. emoticon

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RESULTS361AP09 3/9/2011 6:43PM

    I am so happy for you! It sounds like you have a lot of fun in store trying all those things that you were never able to do. I think maybe God had this plan for you all along and was just waiting until you were ready for it. Go out & live life to the fullest! You deserve it!!

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    Way to go - talk about winning an emotional/psychological marathon! You've started running towards good health - don't stop!!

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    You enjoy the new you!!!! There is no limit to what you can do!!!

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PINKCOCONUT 3/9/2011 1:33PM

    Way to go! I'm glad it's given you a newfound confidence to get out there and be the you you know you can be!!!

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Happy with who I am

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I am so blessed in my life. I just completed a 13 week Divorce Care class at my church to help me deal with things. The most important thing I learned about myself was that, even though the hell I have been put through over the years, God has blessed me with a forgiving heart (that in no way means forgetting). So many people in class were filled with such anger and hatred for such small slights. I am glad that those are emotions I do not have or deal with. My ex is who he is. My son and I were hurt by him. I can let it define my future, or I can accept that that is the past and move forward knowing that God has wonderful things planned for me. I choose to not live in the anger and hurt, Life is too beautiful and special to waste on such emotions and things that cannot be changed.

Love and blessings to anyone who reads this. I hope God blesses you as he has and continues to bless me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RESULTS361AP09 11/13/2010 8:36PM

    What a wonderful attitude! You can bitter & angry or take the high road. It is really hard to be so positive, but you are doing such a great job! May God continue to bless you & your son.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 11/13/2010 4:17PM

    Gillian you are such a kind and wise woman!!! You are so right not to be filled with anger and hate....this only diminishes your life. You are w wonderful person with a great attitude which shall bring you nothing but better things!!

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KARENAOM1 11/13/2010 3:48PM

    Good for you Gillian! You shut the door on your old life and have opened another door to your new life. And it is wonderful that you don't dwell on the negative. So much better to have positive outlook and attract other positive forces to you! Life is a wonderful journey. We must all go through some down times to really appreciate the good times. Enjoy your weekend!

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