Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I have a confession: I'm not sure I'm going to be sticking with Spark or not in the near future. I feel very disconnected from the community on here in general. I know it's no one's job to be my keeper or even my friend for that matter, but I'm feeling lonely and isolated on the Spark webs.
I'm not doing so well on my journey right now. I'm stuck with a gallbladder that interferes with a decent portion of my life. I get lazy, lose motivation easily, and haven't made it out to a rally in some time. Its the people that are struggling that need the most encouragement, and sometimes (and this is my perspective only- I'm not saying this is the absolute truth for everyone) it seems like people are only congratulating and encouraging people that are doing well on their journey or who have reached their goals. Just how I see it, at least right now... Not always true, like I said.
Not to point fingers, because I know I take a lot of blame for this. I don't get to make it to rallies (I don't have a car and the buses are very limited on weekends) anymore like I used to. I dropped off the face of the SparkPeople earth for a while, so I'm sure many people just forgot about me. And I don't blame them at all. I came back after finding new motivation, a new spark... I completed the 28 Day Bootcamp, but only had a few cheerleaders on that journey (thank you for the encouragement, by the way! You know who you are!) I had a few friends add me, but then where did they go? They already have established SparkFriendships to nurture. I tried to reach out. I left comments on pages and blogs, left some Goodies here and there, huddle with my favorite team- Spark San Diego! I made myself blog a little more than I had been (which still didn't amount to much).
I feel like I put in some effort and got [next to] nothing in return. Hell, I'm not even sure who is actually going to take the time to read this blog.
I've enjoyed being on Spark. I love their trackers, not that I like tracking food, but exercise and other goals are usually worth my while. I read lots of the articles, utilize some of the recipes... I'm always reading people's blogs, but hardly ever comment since it doesn't seem to spark any sort of conversation. I feel like I don't have Spark Friends anymore. And I don't have anyone in my "real" life going on this journey (or a similar one) with me.
I feel like such a whiner with this blog. Like I'm being so negative. Like I'm accusing people of being bad friends. That's not what this blog is about. Its my honest feelings about how I really feel right now.
I can't even guarantee to always be there for someone else, either, and maybe that's the problem. Like a lot of people, life gets in the way sometimes. I get busy with homework or work or life in general and forget that there are people who need encouragement from me. I think I'd be more on top of checking in with people on their journeys if I had a little more consistent/established SparkFriends, too. If they check on me, I'll remember to check on them. And vice versa. Until, like exercising regularly or eating healthy, it becomes a habit- a part of this lifestyle change we're all trying to make.
I'm not asking to be convinced to stay. I'm not asking for permission to leave. I'm not asking for anything except a few minutes of your time to read this blog. Thank you.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
I thought since my last blog was rather a downer, not that much has changed from then, I'd post something a little more "fun" and maybe a way to get to know me a little better. I haven't been able to make it to local Spark rallies and I'm not always on message boards these days, so I get the feeling some of ya'll think I may be a "lost cause"... or maybe that's just more feelings of isolation stemming from the rest of things going on in my life. It probably is, but hard not to feel that way when blogs go un-commented, pages go un-commented, status updates go un-commented. You know how it is, I'm sure. Anyway, back to the fun stuff:
A. Age: 28
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you dislike: Vacuuming
D. Dogs: 1 that lives with my parents. He's an old guy and pretty close to the end... but, he is loved!!
E. Essential start to your day: 16oz of water immediately upon waking up.
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or silver: Silver. I've never liked the look of yellow gold on me.
H. Height: 5’ 6"
I. Instruments you play(ed): I played flute in elementary school, guitar in high school, and I'm a classically trained mezzo soprano who is seriously out of practice.
J. Job title: Erm... Student? Someday it will be Registered Dietitian. :-)
K. Kids: None, thank goodness.
L. Live: Sunny San Diego
M. Mom's name: Tracy
N. Nicknames: Jilly, Steve, Barf, G, Jirr
O. Overnight hospital stays: Just last summer of '10. My ovaries exploded. Twice.
P. Pet peeves: Arrogance, Ignorance, and Rudeness
Q. Quote from a movie: "Sweet! I like that. Because you don't have... chlamydia. And I know that. And that s--- is everywhere!"
R. Righty or Lefty: Righty
S. Siblings: 2 younger, but definitely not smaller, brothers.
T. Time you wake up: Around 9am if I've gotten an okay night of sleep.
U. Underwear: Black
V. Vegetables you don't like: Raw bulb onion and I go through fresh tomato phases.
W. What makes you run late: The bus and my own exhaustion
X. X-rays you've had: Wrist (and it's still messed up!), feet, knee, teeth
Y. Yummy food you make: It'll probably be easier to list things I've made that weren't so yummy, starting with burnt popcorn balls and rice. I also failed at making a good hot and sour soup.
Z. Zoo animal favorites: Flamingoes
Thursday, September 01, 2011
The past few weeks have been a rather difficult set to manage. I'm lucky to have friends and family who love me. But, even then, its hard not to feel alone when things go bad.
My financial situation took on an odd change(s) recently. I've made some changes to try to fix it, but I still struggle with it. Some of these changes have left a few members of my family feeling betrayed (not by my actions) and I am left feeling guilty and like an even bigger loser than I already feel. This has also left a sort of rift in the relationships of my close family members. I feel guilty about that, too. And deeply saddened that this is all happening. The end result has been a state of depression and constant stress for me. I don't think there's a way I can rectify the situation unless I were to be miraculously employed full-time, complete with full benefits, and a good car already paid for was thrown in for good measure. Since the rest of the situation isn't my fault, its not my place to try to 'fix' things. And attempting to do so would probably worsen my stress and sadness.
As I struggle to maintain control of myself and emotions, I'm still dealing with this gallbladder thing. I had an appointment with a surgeon that went well... I suppose. It was really more of an informative thing more than anything. I was given adequate details of the procedures of the surgeries (laparoscope and traditional), as well as what was involved in recovery, potential complications, etc. This appointment included a hand-drawn diagram and the use of a chart. Very thorough, indeed. A test was ordered for figuring the function of the gallbladder. I was injected with a radioactive tracer to see the gallbladder. Then I laid under a camera that took multiple pictures of my gallbladder for 30 solid minutes. Then they analyzed it. I got the results of that test today while I was at work. Luckily there were no customers in the store at the time. Turns out my gallbladder is functioning within the "normal" parameters (something like 74 or 79%) and in order for it to be considered a dud it had to be functioning in the 'hood of 30-35%. I was so disappointed when I heard the news I immediately burst into tears. If my gallbladder is functioning so well, why am I in so much pain? Why have I had to continually eliminate foods from my diet (like red meat, oatmeal, peanut butter, carbonated or bubbly beverages, raw hearty vegetables...) because they cause me so much pain when I eat them? Why is it that when I'm already in pain no painkillers help relieve it? That does not sound like a gallbladder that is functioning "normally" to me. Luckily, I get to plead my case to the surgeon. I hope I can persuade him to remove it anyway.
Because of this pain, I feel so stuck and stagnated in my life. I feel like I can't move forward because I don't want to start something I'm going to have to stop or pause to have a surgery/recover. I want to finish up my AS in nutrition so that I can start on the stuff I need for the Master's Program I want to apply for. I don't want to take too many classes in case I have to pause/stop and won't be able to catch up in time before the semester ends. I feel like I can't get another/better job because I don't want to start it and then "Oh, um, sorry, I need to have surgery. I'll be out for a few weeks/months." I don't want to start the Master's program because I have a schedule to stick with when it comes to that. I have 24 months to complete the degree and THAT'S IT. Unfortunately, that schedule isn't conducive to having surgery. I can't take time off.
And another big thing is because of the pain and my limited eating, I don't feel like I'm able to take in enough food to properly fuel a workout. I want to hit the treadmill again, I want to do another bootcamp or take a class, or something. But, if I'm undernourished and tired (and depressed) all the time, I can't expect to gain anything from working out except fatigue. And probably soreness. I was so happy on my path to good health and weight loss. I dropped a pant size. I'd like to drop more pant sizes. But, at this point in time I feel like I'm stuck. Completely unable to do any kind of exercise. This is not a position I want to be in either.
A few other things have just compounded my feelings lately, and simply for the sake of getting them off my chest, here they are: 3 of my closest friends have left San Diego (2 for a long, long, if not permanent amount of time; the other for several months). Its made me happy for them and their opportunities of course, but super sad that they aren't going to be a regular part of my life anymore. I cried [hard] when they left. I'm still sad about it. Also, my glasses finally fell apart completely last week. They were being held together by not much more than hope and some precariously placed super glue. They are almost 2 or 3 years old at this point, so I'm not surprised they've disintegrated on me. It just couldn't have come at a worse time. For realzies. I had my annual ladies' exam and that didn't go so well either. So, I've had to change my strategy some so that I don't screw up my lady bits any more than I may have already potentially. Maybe I'm being dramatic. Right now my plan of attack on this one is to do nothing. Woo! Am taking my first math class in YEARS!!! YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS!!! Its elementary statistics. I'm terrified. I'm not now, nor have I ever been EVER, good at the maths. I did my first homework assignment for the class last night... HOLE. E. CRAP. This is going to suck. A LOT. I tried to have a positive attitude going in, I'm still trying to keep a positive attitude, despite everything ever, but I'm being realistic here. This is going to be an epic struggle. I also found out that thanks to my wonderful, oh-so-useful Bachelor's Degree, I am not qualified for financial aid at school. And apparently I have too much money being "donated" to my living expenses to qualify for government aid (like food stamps).
Okay. I'm done. I feel like I'm being very negative, and hey, ya know what, that's just where I am right now. Life is not working out too great, and that happens. I'm not apologizing for it. I'm trying not to whine about it. I just feel helpless and small in this situation. But, I'm glad for the Bible verse I have written on my bathroom mirror to remind myself of the good that can come from all the b.s.
We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Rom 5:3-4
On the plus side, I got a haircut that I really love. :-)
Thursday, July 28, 2011
This is going to be everywhere, so enjoy the ride! I got some ADD thoughts today.
I was able to get an insurance-like plan for folks with pre-existing conditions. I have a consultation with a surgeon on August 5th. I hope to walk away from that appointment with a date for surgery. I want this stupid gallbladder out!!! I want to eat without any kind of pain. It would be great.
I was lucky enough to be in minimal pain from food and eating this last weekend at ComicCon. I had a blast. It was amazing! I loved it. I met Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. I met the guys from Ghost Adventures. I got to see Robert Kirkman. I slept 6 hours out of 48. That was not very fun. But, what a weekend! I dunno how I could top it if I go next year.
The real reason that motivated me to write this blog has to do with a problem I'm sure we've all faced at one time or another. I'll start by saying I've read numerous articles that say having overweight friends will also keep you overweight. In my case, I'd say this has some truth to it. Right now my biggest weakness is eating out. I love to cook and am very good at it. But, I get lazy quite easily when it comes to that... I hate turning on the oven or stove because it'll heat up the house. I rarely make easy dishes- I love to create elaborate, full meals (with leftovers for meals later in the week) which require a lot of time and cleanup. My diet is rather limited at this time due to my gallbladder and its unpredictability. I'm also a big foodie, so I like to eat out and try new things. Its easy and often times I'd rather pay for the convenience of someone else cooking food for me. Like I said: WEAKNESS. I can easily decline an invitation to the movies or for a drink at a bar. I give in so easily to an invite to eat out somewhere, even if I've given myself every excuse there is: I really can't afford it, I have something in the fridge about to go bad that I need to cook, I will make better food choices eating at home, etc.
One of my best friends loves to eat out. She has uncontrolled PCOS, does not watch her diet at all, does not exercise at all, and has very little interest in doing anything about any of it. I'd estimate her weight to be about 250+... a good deal heavier than I am. We are always dining out together. She's the one person I dine out with most out of everyone. And she keeps feeding into that weakness. She's always finding new restaurants for us to try, usually with pricey, outrageous portions of food. I have a tough time making the "healthier" choice at restaurants, especially if I'm ordering a salad and she's ordering a bacon burger, ya know? That does make me feel deprived! And the healthier choices at restaurants are always pricier than the junk. She knows I'm on a quest to better health. I'm studying nutrition, for goodness sake! She knew about my 28-day exercise streak. But, still she does this.
I will admit I have not said anything about it before. How does one broach the subject? Do I tell her she's contributing to keeping me fat? Or do I try a gentler approach and tell her that I'd rather do something else than eat? She doesn't like to do the same things I do. I love to hike and kayak and be active and outdoors. That's not her cup of tea. Also, she's the one with the car, so she drives us where ever we go (to eat). What should I do? Has anyone else ever encountered this problem, and if so, how did you handle it?
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
...Or so it seems. I happily finished my 28 Day Bootcamp and wanted to keep up the momentum before, during, and after my cruise.
The week between finishing and my cruise I totally lazed it up. I didn't exercise, but kept active. After all, I was preparing for a week at sea... On the cruise itself I did manage to hit the ship's gym 3 of the 4 days we were at sea. And on land, I walked for hours on end or soaked in the ocean. Once again, kept active and mostly kept up my momentum. When I got back, I found myself "landsick" for several days- I was super dizzy and off-balance. I didn't workout at all because I was afraid I'd hurt myself on the treadmill or twist my ankle walking up a hill (my 'hood is very hilly). I LOVE to travel, but am not a very good traveler in regards to jetlag, seasickness, landsickness, etc. I also had an unusual work schedule starting immediately after I got back that I was trying to adjust to.
I was ready to get back into it once my head cleared from the fog and my schedule was solidified in my brain. Unfortunately, I have a problem and its certainly decided to worsen at this time. I need my gallbladder removed. It is full of stones. Completely full. And I, like millions of Americans, do not have health insurance. So, at the moment I'm stuck. I've been suffering from moderate to slightly-more-than-moderate pain. One night it was pretty severe. So, I haven't been eating much lately. I've definitely not eaten enough to fuel a workout, I'm barely eating enough to fuel my regular activity, but I'm terrified to eat. Anything and everything causes pain of some sort. Who wants to go hit the treadmill when your stomach has a persistent dull pain?
So, I'm stalled. I'm stalled in my fitness and I'm stalled in the next stages of my life that I'd love to be taking already! I want to go to culinary school here in San Diego, but I can't start something when I'll have to take time out, have a surgery, recover, then go back to finish. It just doesn't make sense... especially because the program I'm looking into is only about 9 months long. Then, I'd love to be looking for and starting a Master's program in Nutrition so I can be a Registered Dietitian. I feel like I need to get this stupid diseased organ out first, then I can start on the next part.
I've applied for a public insurance-type program for people with pre-existing conditions. I hope I get it. I don't want to have to foot the bill for a surgery. I'd rather do a laparoscopic surgery than a regular one, so there's more mula right there. I'm crossing my fingers and praying that this situation gets resolved satisfactorily and soon.
I leave you with my towel dog that the wonderful staff on the Carnival Splendor taught us how to do.
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