Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I guess I will need to put up with the misbehaving ones I currently own.
I have a rare disease (Erythromelalgia) amongst other things that attack my body daily. But this one, we'll call it EM for short, is my 'monster'. It's both neuromuscular and neurovascular. It affects my limbs, and makes me feel like I have Tabasco sauce in my veins at numerous times each day. Have you ever wondered what chili sauce feels like on the inside of your body? That's my daily life.
Ice packs are a necessary evil, almost everywhere I go. It's like carrying around a little baby; except it's blue, gel filled, and wet. When those babies (har har) thaw out, I grab ice cold cans of soda if I am desperate. I have had no success with the various drug trials, so I try to eek my way through each day. And when my hands scream out with bright redness and intense swelling, I know that any activities involving my hands, like driving, opening that (now warm) can of soda, or even feeding myself, comes to a halt. When you add in the 25 lbs of depression weight that I gained over the past few years, things get frustrating.
So I just wanted to throw it out there that those home shopping shows should sell new arms and legs. Why not? This would make my life SO MUCH easier! They already sell celebrity hair extensions, fake nails, eye lashes, gel breasts and tans in a can.
Message to HSN: Sell some appendages! I am waving my credit card at you and sending S.O.S. signals with my make up mirror!
It might be a good idea to sell them in pairs too. You know, in case you ruin one and need another. I definitely don't think that selling super snazzy arms and legs (cellulite free of course) in an odd number would be wise. I mean, that's like the whole conundrum with hot dogs: 10 hot dogs per package but only 8 buns - all over again - Augh!
I'd love to pre-order some taut, jiggle free arms with slender fingers, and neatly pushed back cuticles please - sans the painful redness and swelling. Oooh, while we're at it, can my new arms come with the American Sign Language add-on, and perhaps the New York slang hand expressions? I recall secretly being jealous of Rosie Perez in It Could Happen to You for the latter item mentioned...
For the legs, I think they should have calves in a heart shape, tinted with that tan glow, and be completely free of any bumps, spider veins or bruises. Toes should look like cute little peanuts, and always soft. My add-on here would be the optional Kung-Fu kick when needed. Oh yes, and perhaps throw in that silly hat trick of being able to pick up pennies with my toes...
You see, losing weight is challenging enough; spiritually, emotionally, physically. When you factor in a rare disease that seems to just wreak havoc on my goal to get into my clothes from a few years back, the burden seems too great at times.
Although I cannot imagine a day without my chronic pain - wringing out my motivational well until there are only drops left - I won't allow myself to throw in the towel on my diseased arms and legs.
You see, I was a healthy and active gal until about 7 years ago. I clearly remember what my hands and feet looked like before my EM attacked. I remember beautiful high heeled shoes and sparkly costume jewelry rings. And I want them back fiercely - the sparkles too!
So until some factory in Timbuktu hope on board with shipments of bubble wrapped appendages to fulfill at least 1 person's custom order, I will need to make nice with my disease; and do what I can to workout, as often as possible. I will rest when my disease tells me "no", but realize that the "no" only means, "not now". I should continue to eat right, workout when my pain is low, and be thankful for those drippy ice packs to calm some of the fire.
I truly believe that I will learn form my EM, and that great success, even in weight loss, can come from the challenges before us.
Of course, you know where to find me if you happen to wander on by the shopping channel and see those little items I secretly dream of...
Sunday, July 24, 2011
And I have the 'bruises' to prove it:
*Bulging belly, grumbling out curse words in it's own language. If only Rosetta Stone had a CD for that one...
*Puffy eyelids that refuse to react to the anti-puff eye cream I slathered on them. It's not me, the eye cream is crap, right?
*Swollen kielbasa sausages for fingers, and what seems like the my entire bottom half of my body, snickering at my failed attempts to get my wedding ring and jeans on comfortably. Who swapped out my jewelry and jeans for kid's sizes?
What was my downfall you ask?
I received 2 HUGE jars of European Nutella, straight from Ireland as a birthday present from a friend. And my husband bought me a HUGE carrot cake with 1"wide layers of suicide cream cheese frosting separating the layers of satan's evil cake.
Here's the kicker that is driving me batty: I knew both were headed into my home. I asked both parties to not bring me either the hazelnutty spread from Sodom or the gorgeous carrot filled cake of Gomoraah, but both would not be swayed. I also belted out an S.O.S. on Spark to my Sparkly pals AND posted my anxiety of both 'gifts' on my Spark Team. I received very useful suggestions and tips on how to deal with the trial to come.
I especially liked the suggestion that I start a food fight with the cake to ensure it would not end up in my mouth and on my thighs....
And though I felt armed for the sugar battle, I lost! I lost control of my urges, lost respect for myself, and apparently lost all sense of time since this was not a one time sugar buffet. I CHOWED on this junk for 2 days!
In the back of my mind I was thinking about how far I have come in my weight loss goals, and how fast I was not just taking steps backwards, but leaps. But it didn't stop me. WTH?!?!?
No one can be as on hard on me as I am on myself. I read this a long time ago. I know it's true. I need to regain my Spark if you will. I still have work to do, pounds to lose, respect and strength to gain.
Maybe I should take a trip back to Walgreens and waddle down that candy aisle again and remind myself that I did this parade march once, and this "walk of shame" will be choreographed into a victory dance soon. I just need to need to keep practicing the moves!
No leg warmers required...
Monday, July 18, 2011
I was hoping that they would wave goodbye to me at some point. I mean, I am starting to lose some of the weight I gained. My jeans are loose and actually button with breathing room. My shirts don't look like they need bungee cords to keep the buttons closed, and it feels awesome.
But when I wave to someone, my upper arms still wave back - on a time delay it seems.
Are they coming out for a bow on stage like a performer would for his curtain call???
I was trying to think of things with wings (ha), and then weed out the unappealing ones, since I need some inspiration; flapping wings of hope if you will. Some reassurance that these wings will not linger forever (please!).
My brain has chucked the ones below at me like bones to a dog, and I will chew on them for now until I pick one:
Chicken wings - If they weren't so ugly.
Bat wings - Hmm, blood me no like-ey.
Butterfly wings - This is a finalist, but I'd like to fly in straight lines, and not a drunken zig zag.
Angel wings - Beautiful, but my sarcasm wouldn't quite 'fit' the wings (without staples).
Buffalo wings - Sweet spicy goodness. Might be a keeper.
Hummingbird wings -Oooh, think of the calorie burn!
Ladybug wings - Cute from a distance, but not up close - ick.
Flies - We won't even go there.
I've pushed through my push ups, I've crushed my head with those skull crushers. I've done enough arm extensions over my head to land an oncoming 767 to the SFO runway nearby, yet the 'wings' remain.
And I need to tell myself to stop squeezing that excess skin as if it will pinch off like pizza dough.
So it looks like I haven't moved forward on my decision to pick a pair of wings that best suit this stage of my weight loss goals, but I will continue the hunt, and would love any suggestions you might have.
Until then, I'm signing off, and giving you my Miss America farewell wave with my Colgate smile.....................................
........oh wait............................yep, there goes my underarm waving back at you.
I'm not smiling anymore. Hrrrrumph!!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I need a gold medal! And not one filled with caramel!
Is this even possible? Did someone take over my body? Even the boot that I had been sentenced to for 3 months knew how to do the 'Walgreens waddle' on down that aisle - too many times in the past.
I practically did my own personal Soul Train waltz down Candy Lane, snapping up boxes (yes, plural) of lemonheads and dark chocolate covered anything. I would envision being cheered on by life-size gummy bears and waxy-coated swedish fish, all applauding my sugar dance.
'Do the peppermint twist!',
'Shake it like that last milk dud in the carton!'
'Pucker up like a sour patch kid!!!'
Ouch, I feel the sugar headache coming on as I re-live it in my mind...
I have vivid memories of childhood trips to the liquor store a few blocks away, where I would spend my allowance on brightly colored boxes of tooth decaying treats. My parents would never allow these baubles of chemicals and sucrose to grace my lips, but they were always off at work, so I was safe. Even though I was going home to an empty house, I still would feel a bit paranoid about the contents of my jean pockets, so I would scarf them on the sidewalk right outside the store before walking home.
Growing up, my junk food fascination only grew as well, and I came to literally rely on drug stores, for my fix like a junkie: 3 boxes of king sized candy for $2.00? Heck Yeah! - my brain would reply. And so the pattern went on for decades.
My husband had become accustomed to the red vines lasso-like pull that junk food had on me too.
He knew that we simply could not go to the store for a bottle of shampoo. I would ditch him immediately upon entering. And where would he find me? Ta-da! Junk food aisle...
But the most amazing thing happened recently. I needed to pick up a prescription so I went to the drug store. I waddled myself down the candy aisle (in my boot), and got in line at the pharmacy window.
Let me repeat that: I went down the candy aisle and got in lane at the pharmacy window!
This was an AISLE people! As in, a long route, a pathway, and even sometimes felt like walking the plank on a pirate ship. This was not simply a mini cardboard box display of old fog-covered chocolate from last Easter. We're talking floor to eye level taunting from the sugar devil here!
I left the store with my prescription in hand, and nothing else.
This was an earth-shattering event for me. I had such the cheshire cat smile on my face, let me tell you.
Did I lose those cravings for partially hydrogenated, palm oil injected, artificially flavored snacks? No.
But thanks for a lot of self examination, support from Spark friends and Spark teams, the life-sized gummies are not screaming relentlessly in my ear.
Treats are fine in moderation, but not when they prey on you, and spin a cotton candy web around your thoughts until you choose to give in.
This has, and will continue to be a daily battle. But for today, I choose to create some healthier snacking habits.
Stay posted for some random blog in the future about how I fell off the tootsie roll wagon... ouch! Say it ain't so!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am happy to say that I have learned a lot from my short time on Spark. I have been absorbing and sharing insight with other Sparkers on how to get out of my emotional eating patterns (that I have created). I am better educated on how to work out more effectively to lose the weight (that I have gained), and have built some healthy supportive Sparkly shiny friendships to cheer each other on in this journey.
But how am I supposed to take criticism from my spouse about my healthier lifestyle?
"I liked you just the way you were".
"You're curvy, and it's nice"
"I'm not sure if I like where this weight loss is heading..."
I didn't know how to reply to those statements. Was this a test? Since I would surely fail.
I felt like a 4th grader put in front of the classroom who didn't study, and therefore failed - Lose 1 point...
Was I supposed to reply? I wasn't sure. There's an awkward silence now- Lose 1 point...
My insides want to boil over like too much soda in too small of a glass. I'm upset and my time is up - Lose 1 more point...
I wanted to remind him that I have been unhappy and unhealthy for a while, and no doubt taking that out on him at times. I should have reminded him how supportive he was during my countless failed attempts in the past. So now that I am DOING instead of attempting, he's not on board anymore?
Later, I let his comments roll off my conscience since I knew that the burden was not healthy, and would likely trigger some emotional eating - Gain 1 point...
I made sure to be open for another opportunity to have a good conversation and restate my goals, ultimately benefitting our relationship - Gain 1 point...
I have made extra effort to reinforce my love for him each day. I will not repay fear and insecurity with the same actions - Gain 1 point...
I will stay focused on the prize; become healthier, be more calm in stressful times, rejoice in happy times, be more loving all the time - Gain 1 point...
I WILL pass this test when it comes around again (and it will). Life is full of them.
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