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Starting Over is Never Easy

Saturday, June 01, 2013

I'm serious this time. I've said that before, haven't I? Well it's true this time. I've said that too. So what makes this time any different?

I am doing my exercise whether I want to or not. Most of the time it is "not". I used to love to exercise and now I hate it. I don't like to sweat. I don't like my heart racing. But what I really don't like is the shape I have let myself get into. I am back to where I was 5 years ago. That's not progress. I can't claim to be a fitness freak if I'm not doing anything about it. I can't even tell people that I'm exercising for fear that they will look at me and think either "she needs it" or "yeah RIGHT!" I am not going to my high school reunion (40 years) next month because I am just too ashamed of what I have become.

What I do like is that I have a space all my own, that I use as a gym. I can move things around in there if I want to, and no one will care. I can go out there and no one will bother me. I can get into the exercise dvd or just sit there and meditate. I like how I feel when the exercise is over with. Yesterday, I did 60 minutes of P90X Arms and Shoulders, with 20 minutes of Ab Ripper. That's pretty good. Today I was only able to complete 30 minutes of P90X yoga due to severe storms moving in. That's 30 minutes more than I have been doing in the last few years, so I will say it's okay that I haven't done more. Tomorrow is Legs and Back, and that will be tough. I won't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Okay, Scarlett. You've started over, so give yourself a pat on the back. You can't beat yourself up forever. Besides, you have to do this so you can succeed as a PTA in school. You have to do this so you can wear cute clothes. And you have to do this so you will be able to move freely in your own body. Take it one workout at a time, one meal at a time, one sleep at a time. You'll get there. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLDEAGLE143 6/4/2013 6:31PM

    Thanks, Dave! I know about happiness being a choice. Whenever I would go on a job interview, I would say that I'm a happy person and that I want to stay happy. Now I just wish others would LET me be happy! emoticon

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PIR8DAVE 6/3/2013 7:16PM

    I am glad that you are better and are able to start over and do well. I am happy for you! Good to see you back. All the best! Keep up the good work. Point to Ponder: "Be happy. Be yourself. If others donít like it, then let them be. Happiness is a choice. Life is not about pleasing everybody."

Honorary Mayor of Sparkaritaville emoticon

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Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend, Our Beloved Shelby

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our dear darling kitty was put down yesterday. She passed away at 3:51pm on October 18, 2010. Although it is a time for grieving, I want to remember Shelby with all the joy she gave us.

Shelby came to us through the Humane Society, just a few short weeks after we had to put our older cat, Ginger, down. At first, I brought home a white cat with black spots and named her Lexie. Lexie was playful, and we needed to have a healthy, playful cat in the house after tending to Ginger's ailing body for so long. The mood in the house lightened a little, but Steve was still suffering Ginger's loss, so I went back to the Humane Society looking for a brown tabby to bring home.

Once at the Humane Society, I went to the cats and saw a big cage with about 10 cats in it. There were several tabbies, and for some reason, this little, very thin cat stole my heart. They called her "Twiggy" there because she was so thin. She had a small head with big round eyes that looked a little startled when you looked at her. She had lived on the street, which was why she was so thin. I took to her immediately and named her "Shelby" right there on the spot, vowing that she would have a new life to go with her new name, and never have to forage for food again.

When I brought Shelby home, I let her out of the carrier, and she ventured out very cautiously. Lexie came bounding over to her and began to lick her up one side and down the other. Lexie was thrilled to see her. They got along famously and became great friends. Steve came home from work to see a brown tabby, just like Ginger, except for the long hair on the tail. He took Shelby in his lap, sat down in his recliner, and seemed to be more comforted now that there was a brown tabby in the house again.

Shelby went on to grow and eat as if she would never see food again. She spent many hours at the table, begging for scraps, and there were many times when she would tap Steve on the back as he was eating, as if to say "Hey! Don't forget about me!" Steve told me last night of the times when my back was turned, when he would say, "Shelby! High Five!" and she would raise her paw up to touch his hand. She would "bark" at birds she saw out the window, but when we let her into the backyard, she would skitter toward the door, afraid she would be left on the street again. Her trips to the backyard were infrequent because I didn't want her to be afraid.

Shelby loved Thanksgiving and was always in attendance when I was cutting up the bird. She got her fair share of the little pieces and loved every single minute of it. She would follow Jason when he had cereal, as she knew he would put his bowl down for her, with the last bit of his milk in it. She lapped it up eagerly. Shelby grew to 20 pounds, and we were happy to see her enjoy herself so much. At one point, we started calling her "Speed Bump" because she was so big and laid in what seemed like the middle of everything.

Jason in particular became very close to Shelby when she got big. It seemed to him that we were all ignoring Shelby because of her size, and in part, he was right. But whatever the reason, he got very close to her and she knew and loved him well. Jason would lie down on the floor next to her, and she would reach her paws out to touch him on the head. She purred her loudest purr whenever he was around her. You could hear her purr across the house. It was obvious that she loved him as much as he loved her. Shelby would find solace during a thunderstorm under Jason's bed, and as much as we didn't want to admit it, Shelby was definitely Jason's cat. They had a bond closer than I've ever seen with any of our animals, and they were best friends.

In the last couple of years, Shelby had started to pee in the laundry room but not in the cat box. We thought maybe it was because the cat box was dirty, and made every effort to clean it more often. But then she started peeing in more areas of the house and it became necessary to do away with the carpeting to help make cleanup easier. She began to lay in the cat box for no apparent reason. It was obvious that Shelby was suffering from kidney disease, just as Ginger had.

Shelby had started to deteriorate a little at a time until the last two weeks. Then her descent was rapid and could not be stopped, no matter how much love we gave her. She was drinking copious amounts of water, but began to refuse food. We gave her whatever we thought she would eat, and began to lace her water with cranberry juice and Gatorade to keep some electrolytes in her rapidly thinning body. When she started to refuse even the foods she loved, we knew she was nearing her end.

When Ginger was dying, we tried to keep her alive through force-feeding. After she was gone, I swore I would never do that to an animal again. However, this past week, it became obvious that Shelby was refusing food, and I didn't want her to die of starvation. I made that promise when I adopted her... that she would never want for food again. Jason and I began to give her syringes of very soft cat food, the kind the vet said they would give to very sick animals when they refused everything else. It didn't matter. Shelby was too far gone and we couldn't get her strong again, so we took her out into the backyard to let her lay in the sun, while we petted her and talked to her, knowing we had to make a very painful decision.

Shelby was stretched out on the grass, and her breathing became shallow. I told Jason that she was going. We kept petting her and told her it was okay to go and that we would always love her. But Shelby wouldn't let go. It was Jason who made that courageous decision, and I'm so glad he did. I couldn't do it. When Ginger was dying, I knew it was time. When Rebel was dying, I knew it was time. This time, it was Jason that knew. He saw in her eyes that she couldn't take any more pain. Shelby was suffering, and as much as I didn't want to admit it, we had to let her go.

Jason called Steve at work, who came home immediately to spend a few more moments with our beloved Shelby. A call was made to Dr. Pearce, who said they would wait for us to come. During the ride to the vet, Shelby's breathing was extremely shallow and her eyes indicated there was no one home. Steve thought she wouldn't even make the trip to the vet. But, fighter that she was, Shelby just wouldn't give up. We took her in and I held her as her breathing stopped. It didn't take long. The injection wasn't even complete when it stopped. She was finally out of pain and our pain began.

We have all cried for Shelby. We cried for ourselves. We cried for the pain she suffered, and we cried for the joy she gave us that we will never have again. We brought her back to the home she loved, to place her in a special spot in our backyard. We placed landscape stones on top of her shallow grave and will put special paving stones and a cement planter there to mark her spot. Ginger is buried nearby, as are our canaries and the gerbils we loved. We have been readying the house to be sold as soon as I finish school, but I'm not in as much of a hurry now. I would have to leave Shelby, and I'm not ready to do that just yet.

We won't be getting another brown tabby to take Shelby's place. No one could take her place. She was one of a kind... the most gentle soul I have ever known. We have 4 dogs and 3 other cats to love and learn from, and we know that we will have to know this pain another 7 times. Even as we feel the pain now, it would be wrong to close off our hearts to try and protect it from the pain to come.

My darling Shelby... if love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. Now you live forever on the other side. Wait for us, Shelby. We'll catch up with you. We'll love you forever... until we see you again.


Paczki Puta

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 10/24/2010 9:04PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You shared the story of Shelby's life beautifully. It's so hard to let our fur friends go & it seems unfair that their life span is so much shorter than ours. We have a brown tabby ourselves, 19 year old Louie. I spend a lot of time cuddling with him these days. Keep remembering Shelby and laughing at her antics. She's continue to live on in your hearts. emoticon

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0309COOKIE 10/24/2010 6:47PM

    What a beautiful blog! I am sitting here in tears. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Shelby. She sounded like the most precious gift. My heart goes out to you. I have said a prayer for Shelby, you and your family and will remember you in my prayers.

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GOOZLEBEAR 10/24/2010 3:57PM

    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious furbaby. It is never easy to let them go but also can't stand to see them suffer. I had to make that decision about my yellow lab in Dec. I love your pictures and your blog is a tribute to your precious kitty.


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PURPLESPEDCOW 10/24/2010 3:51PM

    Your story pulls at my heart. I am so sorry for your loss, yet so glad that Shelby had a great life with you, one full of love and caring. All I can do is send you hugs and love from one cat lover to another.

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BECKYLYNNE77 10/24/2010 3:13PM

    I am sorry to hear about your cat. emoticon

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CORKYTHEMOM 10/24/2010 3:07PM

    My heartfelt condolences in the loss of your beloved cat. I am right by your side, embracing you in friendship and comforting hugs as you struggle through the heartache and sadness you feel in missing your part of the family. I'm hoping the beautiful memories that you carry will give you an inner peace that your kitty will remain in your heart forever. Let me know if there's anything I can do to bring some sunshine into your day. Hugs from one animal lover to another.

~ Monika ~ emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAWNFRNJ 10/22/2010 8:05AM

    So sorry for your loss.... furbabies are such wonderful treasures!

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

I have been posting on one member's question about why we make excuses not to exercise and thought I'd share today's workout saga with you. See if any of this sounds familiar.

Got up early and decided that I'd workout after coffee. Strike One. Then my husband got up and we decided to go grocery shopping. I'd workout after that. Strike Two. When I got home, I discovered I didn't have any workout gear to wear in the 102 degree heat. Strike Three.

So what did I do? I went into my office, closed and locked the door and stripped down to what I could exercise comfortably in. I turned on the 30-Day Shred and a very long 35 minutes and 430 calories later, I feel shredded even if I don't look it. HA! Take THAT! NO Excuses!

I'm actually finding it easier to "just do it" if I don't give myself an excuse not to. If I don't feel strong enough for jumping jacks, chances are my legs can still take on some yoga. I have so much equipment and so many dvd's that I really don't have an excuse not to exercise anymore unless I'm sick. I'm starting school in two weeks and have already come up with a way to get in a little more exercise. I'm going to wear my cross trainers to class and then when I have to wait for my son to pick me up, I'll stash my books in a locker, go to one of the buildings and do some walking. NO excuses this time. It would be easy to say I'm tired or I don't have time. But we all have the time if we look for it. When I registered for my classes, I purposely left Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays open so I can do a heavy strength training/cardio day. The other days can be a bit lighter, with yoga and balance training. LIGHTER??? HA! That's not lighter! It's tough stuff, but well worth the effort.

I know I'm rambling now... but at least my mind is thinking about how to get MORE exercise in instead of less!


Time for a Day Off

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I woke up this morning to pain in the legs, and not the kind I can work through. Two nights of insufficient sleep and some intense balance workouts are making my legs scream at the heads of the quads. So... here's the plan for today. I'm not doing anything strenuous to the legs. I may do some things around the house and wear my pedometer to track steps, but I've gotta rest the legs.

Hm. Just had a thought. Maybe I can do an upper body workout later in the day and leave the legs at home.


UPDATE: Was out in the gym hanging shelves (for my stability balls, medicine balls and foam rollers) and got dizzy. Head feels like it's caught in a vise now. My body is under attack! Staying in the rest of the day. Good idea.



MOVE, darn it!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

That's me talking to my scale. MOVE, darn it! You'd think that darn needle would budge a LITTLE, given the amount of activity I'm doing now. Patience, Young Jedi. It's a journey. A thousand thousand thousand steps. Yes, you work hard. But don't lose patience or you lose control.

My calorie count is good, nutrient ratios are perfect, workouts are done right and foam rolling is making my muscle spindles looser. But not much movement on the scale yet. I have a goal to get off 85 pounds by June 1, 2011. Now I wonder... do I need to up my cardio to 60 minutes? Hmmmm. Maybe so. But I'm burning about 1200 calories per day in my workouts.

Eh... maybe it just an off day. The needle can't move EVERY day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BZYBOYSMOM 7/7/2010 9:05AM


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AUNTCHELE 7/6/2010 11:04PM

    Check your measurements. Are your clothes fitting better? Maybe you need to include some non scale number goals to stay motivated. Good luck!

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ANIMAL_KARMA 7/6/2010 10:49PM

    Also, since you're burning so many calories, maybe you aren't eating enough? You can try reevaluating your calorie goals on sparkpeople. :) Good luck!

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LUCYLIN101 7/6/2010 10:46PM

    I talk to my scale too, lol! I also visualize the next number I want to see pop up. It always does but not necessarily as quickly as I want it too. As you say, "Patience..." emoticon

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PAHEALY 7/6/2010 10:32PM

    You are also developing muscle with your exercise. Stick to you plan, it will move in time.

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