JITZUROE   92,128
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What's Black & White and Red All Over?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Well, I guess that would be me in my black workout capri pants and top : )
I've whimpered and whined enough for all who read this to know that I hurt a lot, every day.

Chronic pain has crawled into my lap like an ugly dirty monster and burrows through my days, igniting a fire in my veins and muscles; increasing as the hours pass. My new nerve condition now co-habitating with my existing monster causes my already inflicted arms and legs to turn dark purple and leave all normal feeling obsolete; just buzzing and jerking with deep pain that you can feel through to your gut.

My 'low pain' portion of the day is in the morning. I read that it has something to do with the longer my heart is over my appendages = more pressure and swelling from my disease, yadda yadda yadda. Let's just say that I can sit upright just fine in the mornings. I can (usually) type my emails and do my job. But by 2:00 p.m., I am just wasted, and counting the minutes until I get home and try to elevate my legs. And it's downhill from there baby.

And it's been really tough these past 2 weeks for some reason. My bag of tricks didn't seem to be working: ice packs under my desk on my legs, consuming only cold liquids (I miss my non fat latte's!), A/C cranked at work while others around complained in their sweaters... The monster just wouldn't let up, and I was exhausted.
Plus I wiggle a lot to distract myself from the pain, so it can be unnerving to people around me.

My husband and I were basically ordered to see a counselor who specialized in 'couples dealing with chronic pain'. I cannot tell you how valuable that was. My husband now knows what to do when I hurt so much that I start to talk like Yoda -"Fire all over. It feels like"- and how to react when I just weep in pain and can't pick up my fork to eat dinner - on't get mad. Don't take it personally. Eat your dinner and let me re-group.

I decided to share some pictures of my current state, which literally snaps back and forth dozens of times per day until the evenings, when the burning just takes over everything. Since I wear tights daily to cover my legs and bury my hands in my pockets when we leave the house, this was a VERY tough step for me to take.
But I owe it to you awesome Sparkers. After all, you share your feelings and fears so openly in this forum.

This is what my hands often look like. Purple from the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome with red areas of Erythromelalgia fire. Until the fury of EM takes over my hands later.

When my monster takes over, and the tabasco like fire fuels my arms and legs, I look like this:

When my CPRS first attacked on Memorial Weekend, my left foot felt like it would pop. This photo is not nearly as bad as it was the day prior to when I took this:

A photo of my hands when touched. They seem to 'hang on to' the imprint of whatever touches my hands:

I have to remind myself to not be so self centered; to recognize that others suffer from things far worse than my ailments. Millions of people are forced to cope with chronic pain. And we all need relief. Being attacked by your own body is a whole lot of no fun.

I jokingly refer to low pain time as my Cinderella time. When it fades and I descend into the pit of fire-like pain, I've turned back into a pumpkin, like the fairy tale. I guess it lightens the mood a bit.

In the meantime, I thought that it would be nice to scold my monsters with proper names so I can curse them directly, don't you think?
Who can say "Bad Erythromelalgia!" or "Stop it Complex Regional Pain Syndrome!" quickly?
My four letter words certainly won't work in public (insert grin here).

Do you have any names you'd like to suggest?

Mmmmm Latte...... : )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYNINJOY1 9/25/2011 7:39AM

    Thank you for posting photos. My hands & feet both do this. My doctor had suggested it's Raynaud's Syndrome, hmmmm?

I have all the autoimmune cousins running rampant through my body. I like your idea of naming the creatures of torture. I've got Grumpy & Dopey for sure! LOL

Well written blog & thanks for posting it.

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PAMNANGEL 9/21/2011 10:30PM

    I deal with random neuralgia related to a collegan disorder. Never know what will hurt, how bad or for how long. OTC painkillers don't touch it and I can't stomach prescription strength. I've learned to cope with it most days, but there are times when things ache so bad all I can do is to to bed and cry.

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CLOVER2 9/21/2011 10:12PM

    You are one of the bravest, most awesome, beautiful people I have ever been lucky enough to know. The pictures tell such a story...one of pain and bravery. Thank you so very much for sharing, just wish there was something that could be done.

emoticon emoticon

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EVERSTEPH 9/21/2011 11:51AM

    Ow ow ow! Thanks for sharing. I can see how couples counseling could definitely help.

Hope you're having a great day today!

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MALKS_ARIA 9/21/2011 10:47AM


My hands turn colors from the Fibro, too so I understand - not always that extreme... but my B/f is constantly letting me know my lips and hands are "blue" / purple... so I understand!!!

I just recently started taking MSM (Natural Occurring Sulfur), and it is helping a touch with the pain level. I am taking 2000 mg a.m. and the same in the PM. I hope maybe you can find some relief from one of the many ways I suggested pain relief in our wonderful chronic illness thread....

THanx for being a friend... and don't worry about the whining we all do it... and need to do it... to get through the chaos they call our lives!


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SHERRIE_BERRY 9/21/2011 9:58AM

    My sweet friend,

I am so humbled that you chose to share this with all of us. The one thing that stood out to me (more than anything else)...a positive thing...is how you keep the imprint of what touches you...I thought wow, you are blessed (as long as it isn't painful) to have a visual sense of your husbands hand, or your puppy's kiss; It's almost like a memory that you can see. I hope this makes sense...

How about naming your illnesses after Disney villains...kind of playing off of your Cinderella theme...Cruella (101 Dalmatians), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Jafar (Aladdin), Monstro (Pinocchio). I like Cruella and Ursula...they sound the most wicked and monster like, and you can say them out loud.

I hope you can find some relief at work. Do they make a stocking that would/could fit/hold ice packs? Can you get a modified work environment so that you can raise your legs?

Sending big hugs your way xx emoticon

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H-DOG-8 9/20/2011 8:15PM

    Bren, you never cease to amaze me. First of all, ditto to everything 1happywoman said, and to the last commenter who said "you get up in your Cinderella time and work out"?! Crazy!

On top of all of this, you use your sparkpeople profile to inspire and motivate others! I often feel guilty when I unload all my frustrations without giving anyone a shout out or a kind word. And I ALWAYS think of you and how you try to respond to everyone on our message board. I honestly try to do the same, because you motivated me in the right direction.

I am sorry for your pain and cannot imagine what you must go through each day. I hope you feel good in your heart though because you truly are beautiful and have touched so many of us here as I'm sure you have in your "real" life offline. emoticon emoticon Here's some fall for you ... I hope the heat ends soon too!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/19/2011 9:13PM

    Because you are such an amazing writer, I thought I had some idea of what your condition must feel like. After all, you give wonderful, insightful details and use such evocative language.... But I was wrong. Words paint a picture, but a picture says more than words ever can.

I had no idea of the kind of struggle you are enduring. I guess no one but you really can know.

Please don't EVER think you're whining; whining is when a person complains with no reason. You're just sharing, and I hope it helps -- even just a little. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LGAR519 9/19/2011 4:32PM

    I don't know where to begin! How brave you are!! I am a nurse and have never heard of these diseases. Of course, I've been out of the business for awhile. All I can do for you is pray. And I will. God bless you.

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GRAMMACATHY 9/19/2011 1:31AM

    Thank you for sharing. SP is the place to be self -centered and get support so we can put on a happy face for our family and loved ones. Your condition even looks painful. If there is less stress in your life, do you get a longer Goldilocks Zone or I think you called it Cinderella time?

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CANNIE50 9/18/2011 8:56PM

    Oh, honey, this is a brave step to take. When I see the photos of how the diseases affect you, I don't for one second have an urge to look away, or feel any hint of revulsion, I only think "ouch, how painful". I wish I could take a magic wand and sprinkle magical pain-ending potions on you. I am glad you continue to educate us on what you suffer with. It is hard for me to feel powerless to help you so I can only imagine the helplessness that your dearly beloved feels. I can't even fathom what YOU deal with. I am so sorry and I just want it to go away and leave you in peace. You don't deserve this pain.

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AAAACK 9/18/2011 6:02PM

    And thanks for your pics because it might help someone else get to a doctor to get their own self (fingers) checked out!

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AAAACK 9/18/2011 5:59PM

    EM - Ethel (as in Merman). Yeah, Ethel is visiting me right now, I can't pick up my *%&@ fork.
Uh oh, here comes Ethel.

CRPS - well, the first thing that comes to mind is the 4-letter that it resembles...and I can't get that out of my head! So maybe I'll come up with one later.

Bravo to you for sharing your pics. While they look painful, they don't make you look scary or anything. Having a spec ed kid, I know people are RUDE and stare, so I get why you might feel bashful, but we love you here! And maybe we can help you learn to not worry about what other people think! People who stare aren't really the kinds of people you want for friends anyway, right?!

Comment edited on: 9/18/2011 5:59:55 PM

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CTUPTON 9/18/2011 5:23PM

    I do not want to see you hurting but I am glad you are showing us your health problem. From what I understand at this point things don't hurt. Am I correct? Is it in a later stage when you hurt more? I wish I could take this away --forever! Maybe by spreading the word, someone will work on the problem intensely and find a cure!
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RYDERB 9/18/2011 3:49PM

    You have never whined. In fact, you always seem to be thinking of ways to encourage others. Everyday, you reach out to all your SP friends, and send silly wonderful imaginative goodies, that make us smile. You are a beautiful, brave, thoughtful and amazing woman. I'm so grateful to SparkPeople, for giving me the opportunity to get to know you, and I'm so lucky that you've allowed me to be your friend. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Seeing them makes me appreciate you and your friendship even more. You continue to inspire me, not only to reach my goal weight, but to appreciate life, and to face every challenge head on.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    It's good to know what you're going through! that looks very bizarre to me... I hope that doesn't make you feel bad. I have never seen a person with purple hands before. I had no idea this is what you were dealing with. And to get up during your "Cinderella time" and work out??? You're one crazy girl. I'd definitely be sitting around with my feet up watching a movie or doing something unproductive. You're a trooper!

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SUNFLOWER4ME 9/18/2011 3:07PM

    You're precious. emoticon

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KJMAZ2011 9/18/2011 2:38PM

    I know it's getting colder, but most coffee shops will do an "iced latte" They are just as tasty!

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Like Sands Through The Hourglass, These Are The Fads Of My Life...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Although I have not tried EVERYTHING on the market and hot off the gossip trail to lose weight, I have tried (and not lost at) many 'fad diets'. I was convinced that my life would just be grand if one (or any) of these things worked for me.
After all, celebs do them, and look at how fabulous their thighs are, right?
I've summed up my experiences with each below. Feel free to chime in with your input!

Juice Fast Diet: I lasted 6 days on this one. It is amazing how badly the desire the chew something becomes a few days in.

Grapefruit Diet: I didn't have a problem with this one actually. My lips were in a constant pucker though. Plus I was going through so many, that I had to buy them by the case = HEAVY! So I guess this diet DID include weight lifting...

80/10/10 Diet: This one focuses on getting 80% of your calories from produce primarily. The idea looked lovely on paper. 10 Cups of strawberries for breakfast? Sign me up! We practically spent all of our grocery $ on my romps around the weekend farmer's market though - and I don't share. Plus I ended up gaining 15 lbs immediately. My body apparently was not on board.

Hypnosis: Yep, really. I tried this. Not just one session either. The guy was certain that he could remove my cravings for dark chocolate covered yummi-ness. After months (and a lot of $), I saw no change. Bummer.

No Carb: Works for some. Not for me. This was probably the crankiest time period of my life (my poor husband!).

Soup Diet: Not bad, just a bit boring. And back when I tried this diet, there was no such thing as low-sodium soup, so I was quite swollen with chapped lips.

Posting Magazine Pages of Models on My Fridge Door: Why, you ask? Because it was supposed to inspire me not to open the door of the very appliance I was trying to get into, right? Well, once I saw that the photo-shopped model's thigh was the same width as her arm, I promptly got another magnet and posted a big fat sushi stake out menu on top of her. Poor thing needed some protein...

Cabbage Diet: See Grapefruit Diet above. Large heavy round produce.

Baby Food: OK, I chickened out on this one. I stood on the baby food aisle, staring at the little glass cups of beige pasty stuff and just couldn't do it.

Apple Cider Vinegar: I lasted 2 days. I'm surprised I lasted that long. Blechhh.

Fat Burner Pills: They seem to have only one advantage in my book - intense underarm and crotch sweat, complete with heart palpitations that make you flashback to your first true love experience in junior high. Hmm, maybe that was just me.

Raw Food Diet: One word, BURP! The instructor told me that if I was craving popcorn, then I should "try a heaping bowl full of raw cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast to satisfy that urge perfectly". Go to a movie theater with your heaping bowl. Watch how quickly the other people in your vicinity move elsewhere. I dare you.

And then I stumbled onto SparkPeople. I finally came to terms with what I had known deep down all along, but refused to admit:
The change started with ME.
I jumped into the pool completely at that moment, and paddled through all that SP had to offer: teams, challenges, meal plans, and most importantly, supportive Spark Friends!

I made my goal weight too, by my goal date, just as the Spark Tracker calculated. SHAZAM!!!
I'm not done with Spark though. Not by a long shot. In fact, SP has become a part of my daily life, and I love it.
It was a challenge to get back to this weight, and I know it will not be easy to keep that weight off going forward.
but I certainly won't convince myself again that fad diets are the solution.

Now will someone pass me the cauliflower? I'm about to watch something on NetFlix...

"Nuff said..."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 9/16/2011 12:50AM

    You made your goal weight AND you're 54 days binge free!? Wow, imagine if you never ever binged again! I mean it could really happen. How incredibly exciting. I'm SO happy for you! What I don't understand is that I keep subscribing to your blogs and Spark keeps handily not sending me notices when you post a new one. Looks like I've missed TWO of these awesomely funny and inspiring entries now. So I'm gonna go read the other one now.

Conga Rats!! (picture little rats dancing in a conga line in celebration of your awesome victories - Spark doesn't have any emoticons that really match up)

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 9/15/2011 9:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I almost fell out of my chair laughing!! The raw food diet comment is priceless!!

I've tried a couple of those, they are all the same- a band aid. You have to find what works for you based on nutrition and exercise.

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THEFITNUTLIFE 9/15/2011 7:17PM

    I've tried every one of those diets... none of them ever worked! Thank God for SparkPeople!

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    Hilarious!!!! OMG busted out laughing about the crotch sweat. Had to. I've tried those pills too...hated those jitters. OH and realizing the model's arms were the same size as her thighs? WOW! glad you covered her up with a menu. i hate that magazines are full of unrealistic body images. what a crock.

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SOUTHPONDCAMP 9/15/2011 1:54PM

    Love it. What I'm really giggling at is the typo though. Sushi stake out? heh heh. Just picturing the cops in cars littered with coffee cups watching a building to make sure the sushi don't wander unexpectedly. :)

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WINACHST 9/15/2011 8:15AM

    I once heard someone say, "Diets don't work for everyone, that is why there are so many; you have to find the one that works for you" --I think you blog goes to show diets don't work --period. You need to make a lifestyle change so you can stick with it. "Diet" in many people's mind is translated to "Something I do on a temporary basis".

emoticon on reaching your goal weight - now comes the hard part: maintaining. Keep at it!

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CANNIE50 9/15/2011 12:27AM

    Okay, the fat-burner pills and raw food diet made me burst out laughing. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people suggest you eat something not even remotely like that which you are craving - SO ANNOYING. Craving chips? Eat celery! Oh, right, because if I shut my eyes, I will never know the difference. I have to say, however, the dumbest substitution suggestion I have ever heard is the one you were given - cauliflower for popcorn. Sheesh. Please tell me you did not pay money for this kind of "wisdom"..... emoticon Oh, dear, I sound grumpy, don't I? I'm not actually, I really enjoyed this blog. Keep 'em coming, honey.

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RYDERB 9/14/2011 11:54PM

    Wow! Compared to you, I haven't tried anything! I've "considered" Tracy Anderson's homemade baby food diet, but no way I'd be able to eat those jars of Gerber's. Yuck! emoticon I better to get work.

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PURESTILLWATER 9/14/2011 11:32PM

    Great blog.

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LSBETH 9/14/2011 11:26PM

    What a great blog Bren. I hope some people here will read this and really hear what you're saying. Although I didn't go for fad diets, I did try most of lifestyle ones like South Beach, Eat Right for Your Type, etc. with the same results. I'd shed unwanted pounds of fat only to have them reappear and bring some friends so my weight kept climbing up and up and up. Familiar story. Maybe others won't have to go through what we've been through before they get it.
The sushi/protein and model was hilarious.
Els emoticon

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SHERRIE_BERRY 9/14/2011 11:24PM

    OMGosh the cauliflower is too funny and the fat burning pills...sweaty crotch and pits....ewwww, no thanks! I'll take your tested and true method failures as even more reason to stay here and work off the weight the good old fashioned this-is-gonna-work way!!!


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REDSHOES2011 9/14/2011 11:12PM

    The celebs have personal trainers and omg- also photo shop makes their photo's look better then they really are. Stick to sparkspeople, it is good reliable info.. They are giving people free safe info- I paid to learn how all this- to keep the structure composition of meals and exchange stuff I didn't like for something I could tolerate on my plate.. Moderation sucks, but the way I see it as long as I get a treat now and again.. I can live with the rules of healthy eating..


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SUNNYDAZE9 9/14/2011 11:10PM

    Thanks for the chuckle! emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 9/14/2011 10:15PM

    Cauliflower, green peas (Fresh or frozen or dehydrated).... and some corn/popcorn.... sure pass it to me, I will snack on it, and some fruit.... :)

Sounds good to me!


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Hey, you forgot the avocado on my burrito...

Friday, September 09, 2011

I just reached my weight loss goal. Wahoooooooo......... right?
I dunno. I'm feeling a bit...like someone forgot the avocado in my lunch order, and I just opened the container at home to that cruel reality. Doh!

I feel a lot better physically, as I know that the weight loss on my body means less burden for my current health issues. Less weight literally translates to less 'acreage' if you will, for my vascular disease and nerve condition to attack.
I look a lot better to myself too (most importantly), and am so thankful for the tremendous support and virtual ears from SparkPeople friends (you know who you are).
I am certain that I would not have made it to this weight on my own without the perks of Sparlk- "No way, no how, uh uh", as said by the wonderfully funny Sinbad in the movie Houseguest - Ha!

But in all seriousness, I was broken when I came to SP. Broken and in dire need of something to pull me back together. I found it here at SparkPeople.

I have still stumbled with my emotional eating often in recent months, and when I fell and scraped my virtual knees, it was the Spark teams and pals who comforted me and told me that while it would likely happen again, that was no reason to give up on my weight loss goals.

I naively thought the weight loss would go hand in hand with overcoming food issues.
It certainly does not.
At first I was confused and sad by the goal # on the scale.
Like a chick being pushed out of the nest too soon, chirping out, 'wait, are you SURE I can use these flimsy wings to fly???'

I'm currently reading The Four Day Win by Martha Beck. It's not a thick book, but it's got a lot of good fiber to chew on (don't worry, I am not EATING it). It's chocked full of contemplative exercises that are truly enlightening. Plus, it's not another diet book that I would inevitably fail (again).

This morning I was reading about researching my life. In it, Martha says, "your perfect body is a jewel, the setting is your life. Until the setting is ready to hold the jewel, it won't stay where you want it". The setting is literally the setting you are in; the job you hold, the friendships you keep, your health, the love(s) in your life, etc. All of these things directly affect your weight - and I was in denial of that.
I thought that if I could hire someone to yell at me and berate me into submission, that the weight would come off, and that was the the only real issue, right?
I even tried to conn my husband into acting as a kitchen drill sergeant with my food, which is really NOT his responsibility (and bashes your self confidence in the process by the way).
Have you tried to force your spouse / lover to rule over your eating habits? Soooooo un-sexy!
If your goal is to ruin your romantic encounters, then do this - No good!

I am a work in progress, who also happens to have reached her goal weight.
I am not cured of emotional eating.
Although I was saddened to find that the gap in my pants didn't equate to the lack of emotional triggers in my noggin, I will stand tall against the daily challenges when food is a factor.

Hmm, maybe if I 'stand tall' in my old pants, they might fall to my ankles and SCARE away those junkfood cravings - BONUS!

'Nuff said...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 9/18/2011 12:34PM

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have not only achieved your goal, but you're looking forward, working on ways to stay successful. I'm so grateful to have you to learn from, and I look forward to many more blogs about your maintenance and continuing to vanquish emotional eating!

I know what it's like to achieve a long sought after goal. There's this weird kind of emptiness and this feeling of: Ummm, now what?

Sorry for being so late to comment.... I've subscribed to you blogs, but I don't seem to get the email reminders, even though I get them for other blogs....

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AAAACK 9/16/2011 1:04AM

    Wow, you rock! I swear, you just keep inspiring me over and over and over again. You are absolutely and truly my new hero. You fight so many obstacles every single day and your attitude and sense of humor are always so close at hand to buoy the rest of us up. You have quietly marched on to victory and just kicked serious ass. Your physical challenges are insane, and yet you have hit your goal. On TARGET. You, my most awesome Sparkler, deserve to wear the superhero outfit. I wish I could give you a real cape to wear every day as you walk around, but I'll bet that people who know you already know this about you. The cape would just be redundant.

Keep Sparking, please! We definitely need your amazing power and style, your contagious attitude, and your coattails to ride on!

For you who just rocked, I salute you!
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CLOVER2 9/14/2011 7:13PM

    emoticon on reaching your goal! Reading what you wrote I couldn't help but see the wisdom that you bring to share with all of us. You say that you still need to work on the emotional side of eating, but how many others are not even aware that their "wings" are still a work in progress? You are fighting an incredibly brave fight, one that most of us would curl up in a corner and hide from! You pat yourself on the back properly, and know what a marvelous work in progress you are!

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WINACHST 9/11/2011 8:28AM

    emoticon on reaching your goal weight. I knw exactly what you mean by not having the emotional eating under control. I have surpassed my goal weight and am currently maintaining a weight I don't even know when in my childhood I weighed. I am currently less than my high school weight. But I still struggle with that sweet tooth and eat too much and too often of the wrong thing. It is said that maintaining is harder than losing and I find that to be true for me. It is hard and the daily struggles are still there so even though I have reached my goal weight I still need to keep on with the plan to be healthy and fit as I age.


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MALKS_ARIA 9/10/2011 10:49PM

    Wooohoooo!! You reached your goal!!

But you are right... weight loss doesn't change the "UnHealthy Thinking" that brings on the weight to begin with... You can work on Your weight without working on *YOU* ... but this is a process and you will be able to work on YOU now that you know there is a difference and they aren't fully intermingled!

You can do it!!! May I encourage you to Juggle your feelings in a Journal, blog, or another method, or i at times need a guidence of a workbook... maybe there is one you can find that can work on your "unhealthy thinking" to bring around an emotionally healthy You to go with the beautiful lady you are physically!


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RYDERB 9/9/2011 9:39PM

    "your perfect body is a jewel, the setting is your life. Until the setting is ready to hold the jewel, it won't stay where you want it" Maybe I should order that book. Thanks for reminding me that there's so much more to this journey we're on to be healthy and happy, than reaching the number at the end of our tickers. I've been so focused on that number that I've never thought about what would happen, or what it would feel like to get there. Congratulations (again) for reaching your goal, and for being wise enough to know that your journey isn't over. A whole new journey has begun. I'm so glad that you allow me to be along for the ride.

By the way, Cannie is ALWAYS so smart. I read her comment and wanted to delete mine. We're both lucky to have her share her perspective.

Comment edited on: 9/9/2011 9:47:00 PM

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CANNIE50 9/9/2011 9:29PM

    emoticonFirst things first, CONGRATULATIONS. It happens to be weight, but the bigger point is that you have accomplished something that was difficult: you set out to do it, you doubted whether you actually could, and you did it! So, I am hoping that you can take some time and soak in the satisfaction of having acheived something that was not easy, and that has improved your ability to fight back against the monstrous diseases that you so bravely fight. As you know, I know all too well how insidious disorderly eating is - I deal with it most days of my life. We will just keep moving forward on this path, arm in arm, knowing the trek is made just that much easier thanks to the company of friends. emoticon

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    Awesome news!! emoticon

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Do You Really Have Time To Dawdle?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Will you continue to blow off your workout until 'tomorrow' - over and over?
Let's talk about your food. Are you making healthy changes in your life, and more importantly, in your refrigerator?
Do the contents of your pantry have an expiration date of 2067 with all of those processed 'food items' lined up?
Is your pet expanding as you expand?

Do you really have time to waste while areas of your life waste away?

What if you were to meander through the day and then experience a health crisis that flipped your entire world on end? Perhaps a car accident, and injury, or in my case, a disease that decided to pick 1 hour into enjoying my husband's office holiday party to initiate an attack on my body like a piranha.

That was year's ago. When I look at my body now and see how this piranha beast has eaten away at the interior of my body; now reflected on the outside of it 24 hours a day, I sometimes shudder.
I know that this sounds vain, but I wish my hands looked normal to do my wedding ring justice.
All of those tiny things that make a woman feel beautiful (or at least myself), are twisted.
Some of the material things like manicures/pedicures, jewelry and shoes; things that I can't tolerate getting or wearing (Good LORD I miss sexy shoes!!!). Other things are not material, but ever so much more important, like holding my husband's hand or enjoying sleeping in later just to be closer to him, with my head on his chest, dozing off under the rhythm of his breathing.

I used to blame myself for not taking the time to enjoy those little things, but that doesn't help any. My husband prays for my healing every night, and we are thankful for the small windows of low pain I get; sometimes a day's worth per month.

Who are you to take for granted all of the freedoms you currently have?
Do you think your actions, or lack there of, will be available to you forever? Says who?

What's that line we've all said under our breath at some point? "If I only had it to do all over again..."
Don't wait for that.

Get out of your chair.
Put that unhealthy food down.
Use the multitude of resources here at SparkPeople and build a better food lifestyle.
Get outside and feel the sun on your face, the breeze on your body, the ground beneath your feet.
Call a friend and go take a hike, and then hug them wholeheartedly as you say goodbye - because you can.
Train like there is no tomorrow!
Enjoy the sunset with someone special.
Don't give up. EVER.

This time is a gift. Don't waste it.

And report back to me with your great walks/wogs/hikes/rowing/trail running sessions so I can live vicariously through YOU : ).

'nuff said.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNFLOWER4ME 9/9/2011 4:11PM


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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/4/2011 7:47PM

    Today I rode my bike in the sun, enjoying the beautiful trees, the salt tang of the ocean, the kids playing street hockey, the beautiful, beautiful world. For you, Bren, I promise to keep enjoying every moment. I promise to stay grateful and treat each day as a precious gift -- heck, each moment as the most perfect, sweet, amazing gift.

What I love about SP is the community, the sense of connection to others who are struggling with the same issues. You, however, are carrying a burden of pain that most of us will never understand. Thank you for your courage and for sharing so honestly and openly. We're all so blessed to learn from you.

I'm not religious, but I pray for you often. I send you good thoughts, healing energy, all that woo woo stuff..... Your words have touched my heart. You're in my thoughts.

Lots of love,


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MEDDYPEDDY 9/4/2011 2:43AM

    Love this blog - it knocked me off the pitypot I was dwelling on because I felt old and achy and mourning all the health I used to have... well I still have a lot of it and I still can do a lot of fun and menaingful things with myself...

As I am swedish I will have to go google your disease to find out what it is...

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AAAACK 9/4/2011 2:38AM

    You are unequivocally one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. Thank you for this eloquent reminder to live life, to touch life, and to be enfolded in life's arms while I can.

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EVERSTEPH 9/3/2011 11:17PM

    Beautifully written.

Until something awful happens, it is easy to take life for granted. Thank you very much for the reminder. emoticon

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CANNIE50 9/3/2011 10:49PM

    This is a powerful blog. I was in a nursing home earlier today, visiting a relative, and so I was acutely aware of my health, and my abilities. I also saw obese people in wheelchairs and I thought "it is so hard to be fat and it is so difficult to grow old - combining those two elements really creates a painful existence". I also realized that, as in the case of my relative, poor health brings premature old age. My relative is only 66 but has FAR less mobility and much worse quality of life than my 90 year old mother who has practiced moderate habits and has lived a healthy lifestyle. I am very grateful for my own good health and I think of you often when I am tempted to whine about my aches and pains, or cut a workout short. I wish you miracles and blessings and relief and peace. oxox C. emoticon

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    Love it!!!

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HELLAS2 9/3/2011 10:17PM

    Beautiful ... well put .... most of us do not appreciate life enough. We should never let life slip through our fingers like water.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Adult Summer Camp Anyone?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Do you remember summer camp as a child? And even better, do you remember how you related to food and exercise at that time of your life? It was probably the same memory I had: no stress or second thought about any of it - what - so - e -ver.

I remember bins full of various sugary cereals in the camp kitchen for breakfast, and grilled up hot dogs for dinner. I still smile as I reminisce about campfire stories while eating s'mores, but cannot recall any anxiety about all that food. It was just 'there'.
When the meal bell rang, I lined up with my other cabin girls. We giggled and laughed at the boys across the dining room, and talked about what song to lip synch at the talent show later that week (The Go-Go's or Wham! ?) We simply ate and went back to the fun stuff.

When did the 'fun stuff' morph into being called exercise?

What were you doing all day at summer camp years ago? I was chasing dragonflies by the water. Never caught one, but that didn't stop me from trying. I made pipe cleaner people with scrap fabric clothes (owww, why do those things always poke you???). The next day, with band aids on my fingers, I learned to build birdhouses out of popsicle sticks and made masks out of paper plates and paint.

I remember staying up late, listening to stories in our bunk beds, and later burning out my flashlight battery since I was terrified of the Boogeyman. That was almost 30 years ago.
The Boogeyman has since grown into an emotional eating monster that now scares me at night after dinner, and I can't call for my parents to save me anymore. I have armed myself to fight my Boogeyman lately, by cleaning out my pantry, spacing my meals out so I don't get too hungry, and logging onto SP to get the support of others who have their own Boogeyman too.

I vote that we create summer camp for adults. No gadgets allowed. We'd go at it old school; the way summer camp existed for most of us as children. Let's run on the grass, jump over logs and dangle from trees! - these are things we now call hitting the treadmill, plyometrics and doing pull ups, right? : )

I do have one request though. Could we swap out the scratchy wool blankets for 500 thread count sheets? I mean, come on, let's be civilized!

Can I get a Kum By Ah?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Oof, I don't know. There might be bugs. Icky. I always dreaded camp. I needed gallons of sunscreen to survive and I still got sunburned. I don't like the term "couch potato", I prefer the term "indoorsy". lol

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LSBETH 9/3/2011 12:27AM

    sign me up emoticon

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AAAACK 8/31/2011 10:46AM

    It's so funny you mention this because I was lamenting this very thing about 4 months ago. I even went online to see if anyone had such a thing. There are women's adventure retreats and of course the pricey spa retreats, but nothing as cool as Camp Jitzuroe! Count me in!

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RYDERB 8/31/2011 1:43AM

    That sounds like fun! Count me in!

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CANNIE50 8/30/2011 9:35PM

    Book me, Bren.

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RASMUSSEN5 8/30/2011 9:28PM

    Sounds great to me! Amen on the sheets!

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PATCHESOK 8/30/2011 4:01PM

    I would be all for this. Those were the good ole days. Playing ball, racing from place to place, swimming all day, if allowed......count me in!!!

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JENNYBAKER247 8/30/2011 1:48AM

    Just what we need! emoticon

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THEFITNUTLIFE 8/29/2011 11:40PM

    I'd love it if there was such a thing...count me in! And I'll bring my own bedding!! lol

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SUNFLOWER4ME 8/29/2011 11:10PM

    Me too!!

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MNMS_MOMMY 8/29/2011 10:00PM

    I'll sign up!!! Sounds good to me!

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