Friday, October 14, 2011
Yesterday I got my hair cut. It was symbolic of a new me. My life has changed significantly and I want to embrace the changes positively since it's something I had no control over. I do have control over what I do going forward.
One year ago, when Janet was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I started growing my hair out in order to donate it. It seemed like a small thing but yet I wanted to do something to help someone who lost their hair from chemo. During the following 12 months, there were SO many times I wanted to give up on it. I hung in there and mostly just threw my hair into a ponytail or bun when it got so long I couldn't style it properly. I kept telling myself, "don't quit".
I should have done more research ahead of time. I looked into Locks of Love and found out later that they only make wigs for children. Pantene Beautiful Lengths makes wigs specifically for adult women with cancer; however, they don't accept hair that has been permanently dyed. Locks of Love does accept colored hair and their only requirement is a minimum of 10 inches. I was happy when the ponytail that was cut measured exactly 10 inches. I mailed it out today to Locks of Love and feel satisfied that my donation will make a child feel better about themself.
Here's the before:
Here's the after:
(All my emotional stress of last week manifested itself in a giant cold sore!! I'm afraid it also came with soothing myself with food - I need to grieve fully and put an end to using food to numb my feelings. I will work hard at that.)
Haha, not so pretty after Zumba! Here's my new haircut after my workout last night:
The ladies made a big fuss when I walked in the door - one of them said I looked 10 years younger - YEAH!
By the way, I am coping okay and getting on with healing after my sister's passing. I go through waves of sadness. I talk to Janet constantly! I've had to go to her house twice this week to help her husband go through her things. That was more difficult than I can express.
Honestly, I feel as though the past 12 months of uncertainty and watching her suffer and struggle off and on were the most difficult. My faith has comforted me to know that Janet is now in a beautifully serene and peaceful place, free of pain. I miss her laughter, her smile, her voice, her hugs, her support, and all of the many things we always did together. There is a huge void that I need to find a way to fill. But I also feel amazingly peaceful inside in knowing that she has never really left. She lives in my heart and in my mind. All our memories are alive. I have an angel and I know she is still looking out for me and loving me dearly.
These are the flowers I had sent to the funeral home, and her husband told me to take them home - they're sitting on my coffee table now and later on I'm going to have a silk/dried floral arrangement made for the basket:
They say time heals all wounds. I will keep going.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Janet fought a hard battle with pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed the end of Sept. 2010 and passed away last Sunday October 2, 2011 at 4 a.m. She died peacefully, with her husband and her son by her side.
She dealt with her illness with bravery, dignity and grace. She was so much more than a sister to me and my whole world has changed. She will always be alive in my heart. I love her so much and will miss her sweet smile and gentle laughter all the rest of the days of my life.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I haven't been using the site much lately. I haven't made dropping weight a priority and that's the honest truth. The good news is that I've been maintaining for the last 2 months. The bad news is that I'm maintaining at 190. I'm not sure what it'll take for me to get my mojo back. I know I haven't given up.
The biggest positive, and the thing that I believe has kept me from gaining, is my decision to try out the Zumba classes held in my town. I've been curious about it for some time. I wasn't sure if someone as heavy and I am could do such an intense workout.
One Tuesday afternoon I just make a choice. I walked over to the fitness center (5 minutes away) and just showed up. All by myself. I didn't know a soul there or what to expect and I have to tell you I was scared and nervous! I was lost a lot of the time while everyone around me seemed to know the steps. It started at 7 pm and goes for an hour. I felt exhausted and looked at the clock....7:15!! OMG how will I make it to 8:00! I thought I'd better pace myself and didn't do all of the high impact jumping. At 5 to 8 when the cool down music started, I was relieved. Drenched insweat, I felt great. And I felt proud. I did it! I felt the fear and did it anyway.
After the class, my instructor commented on how brave I was because rarely does someone come the first time alone. And she said that she loved looking back at me because I was smiling the whole time. I'm hooked now and there's no turning back.
I'm lucky that I have always loved exercise. I've never been athletic or sports-minded, but I always did calesthentics, aerobics, and walking throughout most of my life. I love music also, and listening to my ipod is one of the main motivators for me when I go out walking. The Zumba music is fantastic! One of the first things I did was search for all the songs on iTunes and download them on my ipod. Now I walk to them too and probably look like a fool because I'm walking with extra spring in my step and a lot more swagger! I smile the entire time I'm walking too.
Exercise is the easy part for me. I don't have to force myself to do it. I even look forward to it. One of the most important lessons I learned in life is how to tune into the flow. If I have to push too hard, or if something feels extremely difficult to me, I'm going against the flow and headed in the wrong direction. When it's right, it feels easy and things gentle fall into place.
For me, dieting and measuring out my food and counting calories-points-fat grams-etc. has never felt good. I've pushed myself to do it numerous times and have succeeded in losing weight numerous times. Yet, here I am still overweight. I'd kid myself into thinking "this time I'm making a lifestyle change" while all the time doubting I could keep it up forever. There's something wrong with this picture.
Each and every time I dropped weight, there was one single factor that I attribute to me success: my mental attitude. I always felt like I would succeed and nothing was going to stand in my way. I felt positive and proud about the changes I was making. As the weight started to drop, those feelings increased to the point that food did not control me anymore. I wasn't even tempted to overeat and it became easy.
So why am I still overweight? Because always there was something in my life that changed my mental attitude. It was either job stress, relationship problems, major changes in my life, different kinds of emotional turmoil. Once I gave into emotional eating, it started a downward spiral that I felt powerless to control.
As I contemplate my past history, it's clear to me that I haven't dealt with the mental side enough. The link between comfort and food needs to be broken before I can ever begin to hope that the yo-yo cycle will end for good. There's nothing wrong with enjoying food; in fact, I believe that being mindful enough to enjoy good food helps me to eat less overall. The problem with emotional overeating is that I don't actually taste the food. It's merely a means to numb out. If I would pause and stop to think about it....really think about it...I would possibly realize that the food won't make me feel better. I'll feel even lousier after I've eaten it. No amount of food can ever fill the void. My biggest problem is that I don't usually stop to think about the consequences. I go into automatic mode and it's too late when I feel guilty afterwards. That's when I vow to never do that again....until the next time.
This coming Saturday, October 1, it will be one year since I got the call from my sister that she had jaundice and had to go to the hospital for a CAT scan. That day changed my life. I've learned a lot about myself this past year. Through many days of failing to cope, I learned how to cope. Emotionally, I feel as though I've been repeatedly been dragged across a mountainside of jagged rocks. They gave Janet 6-9 months and it's been 12. She's been through so much and her will to live has remained strong. But lately she's been suffering. I can see it in her eyes that she's growing tired of all of it. She's back in the hospital this week. I have had to learn how to detach myself somewhat and not absorb all of the pain and suffering onto myself. All I can do is pray for her and release it. This past year has blessed us with many precious moments together and has given me time to process the whole idea that I am losing my sister. I know and accept that we may not have years ahead, and even the time we now have is oh so different than it used to be. I've already grieved over the loss of things we used to do together. My heart is broken into so many pieces and it'll take a while to put them back together again. So I'm giving myself a break on the weightloss front. If I can stay active, do the best I can with eating, and keep at least maintaining; well, that's all I can ask of myself right now.
Dieting will never be on the agenda for me again. Pushing hard and forcing myself to do something that doesn't feel right is no longer an option. I will continue to flood my mind with positive thoughts and images. When the time is right, it's all going to fall into place. Easily. Gently. Permanently. This, I know.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Things are finally back to normal! It's a beautiful sunny day today and it's hard to imagine things were so bad last Thursday a.m. after the torrential rains all day Wednesday and throughout the night.
After 3 days of pumping, all of the water is finally out of the cellar. We had lots of help from family on Sunday and the cellar is now all cleaned up, the wood all restacked, and most everything in place. It gave us a chance to really hoe out and clean up - not the way we would have wanted it to happen, but at least it's done and now the cellar looks even better than before.
This is what our cellar looked like on Friday, 9-9. (the water had receded somewhat - notice the water line on the wall)
DH's power drill is toast!
Our upright freezer was tipped over by the water and we lost a ton of meat and frozen food.
I'm standing on the 1st step, and on 9-8 the water was up to the 4th step.
All's well that ends well. Before pics were taken Thursday morning 9-8 and after pics taken Sunday 9-11.
wood in the cellar before
wood now all nicely stacked again!
back yard before
perrenial garden before
even amidst all the mud, my roses are blooming!
our pond before
back to normal
our furnace sitting in water
fan drying out the furnace
There are so many people and local businesses that were affected so much worse than we were. I pray that they will be able to recover soon.
No matter what the tragedy, we always rebound, rebuild, and continue on. I was touched to tears watching the remembrances of 9-11-2001. The sorrow never completely goes away, but there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow. There's always a rainbow after a storm.
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