Monday, November 28, 2011
We weren’t able to travel for this past Thanksgiving to see my in-laws since I have been suffering from a nerve flare in my right hand and both feet for going on 3 weeks now - OY!!!
My wedding anniversary (lucky #13 this year!) was this past week as well, and I was fighting falling into a depression about feeling squashed by 1) tremendous pain and 2) looking at my hand and feet in horror at what they seemed to rapidly transforming into.
Let me tell you how un-sexy this can make a lady feel on those 2 special dates last week – my wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving.
Both should be joyous, and both should be a time to rejoice and celebrate overwhelming love, right?
Instead of going out to dinner or staying in a nice hotel on our anniversary, I sat on the sofa at home, wiggling with my pain, and wiping the flop sweat from my brows often (and trying not to cry anymore!). My poor husband sat next to me, trying to do anything to help. I am so lucky to have him and I know it…
So when my next door neighbor invited us to spend Thanksgiving with her family, I said that I would do my best to make it work, even though I was a bit anxious – ok honestly, I was FILLED with anxiety.
What if we couldn’t even leave the house because nature’s elements were assaulting me? Some days the sunlight, the wind or even the texture of my clothing feels like nails on a chalkboard. What if I can’t eat anything being served? What if it was warm in the room? (temps over 65 trigger my pain symptoms).
What if what if what if???
So I told my inner spaz to chill out, and decided to make it work.
I couldn’t be so selfish and steal Thanksgiving from my husband too, right?
On Thanksgiving I put on a pretty skirt and top, beautiful pearls, some nice opaque tights (to cover my nerve flare in my feet), and did the best I could with my hair and make-up. See, I am right handed and this CRPS flare is in my right hand (of course).
I packed my own dinner, and informed my neighbor that I had too many food intolerances to list, and didn’t want anyone to have to go out of their way. I swear she exhaled a sigh of relief : ).
We were about to walk out the door to the car when I looked at my hand… It was purple and red and swollen and blistered and…… gross.
I grabbed a nice scarf and wrapped it around my hand as gently as possible. This was my only solution. I mean, what if one of her many family members tried to shake my hand? Should I have bandaged it to give them a warning not to reach out?
Would the Phantom of the Opera have done others a favor by NOT wearing that mask?
Would it have been considered offensive and rude to show the painful scars and ongoing damage right from the start?
I was so confused as to what to do – or not do.
I kept the scarf on as we walked in. Her family and friends DID come up and introduce themselves by extending their right hand, to which I swiftly replied, “My right hand is injured, so I’d love to use my left hand if that’s OK”. For those I had met before, I offered more detail about my health when I was asked, and for everyone else, the left handed shake worked out fine.
I did sit myself in the corner of the room when it was time to eat though, since I still hold my fork with my right hand, and I didn’t want to offend anyone once the scarf came off. Let’s just say that my hand can be quite an appetite suppressant, and this was a Thanksgiving feast after all.
We needed to leave pretty much the moment after my husband finished his last bite of dessert, since I had hit my limit with pain, but I MADE IT! I did my best to enjoy the afternoon, and give my husband a much-needed break with friends.
My neighbor walked us to the car and told me that she thought that my scarf was a great camouflage, and she would not have known otherwise. I was glad to hear that. The night was not about me anyway, right? It was about all of us. And I was thankful for that.
As I type this with my right hand uncovered, still swollen and not fully functioning, I am thankful to be able to type. I don’t feel like I need to hide my right hand and both feet all the time, but for this Thanksgiving, I thought it would be best to just take a break from it, just for a little while…
Is that so wrong?
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I'm frugal with certain things, like groceries. I read the weekly mailers for my local markets and try to make sure my kitchen is stocked with good food.
Every past holiday season I have baked and cooked up gifts for others.
Do you know that line about how the gifts you give are often the gifts you want? Well, that crosses over to food as well.
I baked gorilla bread saturated with butter like a cinnamon sponge topped with walnuts.
I baked double death dark chocolate chunk brownies drunk on liquor.
I squeezed enough lemons to make the house smell of citrus freshness for my lemon bars.
Yes, I gave homemade goodies out of love, but can now see how I have also created my own homemade triggers for emotional eating. Wowsers! I have no one to blame but myself.
This year I hit my goal weight with the tools, teams and pals gained from Spark, so I know better than to immerse myself in mass amounts of butter laden fatness, or I will definitely be carrying all of those holiday items back on my thighs.
I think I'll be making infused olive oil for everyone, or perhaps something completely non-food related.
I've just tossed my prized coupons in the trash since I will not be creating clogged arteries inside the ones I love.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Let me start off by saying that I am not standing here stamping my foot and bah-humbug’ing Thanksgiving and Christmas at all. I love both holidays, and all of the sparkly lights that come to my mind when I reminisce, but I don’t want anything related to what I have made these holidays into over the years: overeating, obsessing and overkill.
I shared with a Spark pal that I’ve decided to flip things around if you will.
I don’t want to compare this holiday season to the past unless those comparisons involve wonderful joy related things.
*I will not be comparing my current health to how my disease complicates my life this holiday season or in season’s past. And I will not go into a sad dark space about missing my mom and brother for longer than would be considered fair.
*I won’t be over extending myself to decorate the house with 1,000% holiday cheer since it adds to my pain (and glitter is just impossible to completely get out of my rug anyway).
*I will not be baking obscene and ridiculous items of dark chocolate goo to give as gifts, which are always gluten filled (so I can’t eat them anyway), yet obsess about the lingering smells that end up triggering me 24/7, and make me want to eat them anyway.
*I won’t overwhelm my husband, my pets, or my neighbors this year with a plethora of pumpkin spice and fir tree scented candles and diffusers. Who needs a pumpkin headache? That’s just sad…
*I will not wade in credit card debt from overspending on material gifts, even though my other half might feel differently. Not this year buddy.
And now for the things I WILL be doing this year:
*I will be thankful for friends and family who decided to stick around for me and support me, even as my health worsens.
*I am thankful for the community, support and friendships that I have gained since joining Spark this past April.
*I am SO thankful to feel rich in spirit, and (currently) NOT trying to eat myself into the illusion of happiness.
*I am thankful for the 30 lbs I lost with SparkPeople!
*I am thankful for the multiple blessings in my life. The ones I recognize, and especially the ones I don’t…
Well, one little apple spice scented candle won’t hurt anyone, right? : )
Thursday, November 17, 2011
This is a subject that I have never seen discussed, but I know that (unfortunately) many of you can identify with.
Let's set the scene:
It's Friday night. I missed my workout in the morning since the power went out the night prior, and I forgot that the emergency back up battery probably needed to be replaced about 2 years ago. Oopsies.
Work was crazy, and I wasn't feeling so great anyway (missing those much needed endorphins from that missed workout).
The heater seemed to be on full blast in the office since the tiniest little woman down the hall complained about being cold the day prior (and building management over-corrected the issue it seemed). I was debating on using my chapstick on my eyelids, since I swear I could feel my face literally cracking. And hooey, I smelled from sweating in my own chair, while doing nothing aerobic. Ewe...
I wasn't looking forward to my lunch, which instantly dictated that everyone around me walk around my desk with Friday's cafeteria special = grilled cheese and french fries. Fantastic.
I stabbed at my healthy lunch and ate it with disdain. Boo.
I remembered that we were out of healthy food, so I managed to stop at the store on the way home. I had to practically fight some kid for the fresh lettuce as the crew member from Trader Joe's told us that we had better grab what we could, since they were not going to be getting any more lettuce until after the weekend. I grabbed!
I really wanted to put something nice together for our dinner, but instead popped a microwave dinner in the nuke box and went to change my clothes.
You know the ones: the soft, baggy pants with the drawstrings, and a faded out old T-shirt of my husband's. I grabbed the remote control and a large pillow as I 'nested' into the sofa. And that pretty much sealed the deal.
I swear I looked up form the remote control, and all of those cute plastic tubs of sweet and salty-ness from Trader Joe's were stationed around me instantly. Who did that??
I didn't care about a healthy dinner anymore. I just wanted to tell myself that I deserved a better evening to make up for the day so far.
No, it didn't work, but that didn't stop me.
Later on, it occurred to me: If I was to throw out those extra baggy pants and roomy T-shirt, would it have made a difference?
If I zipped up a formal gown, swabbed on sparkly gloss, and made myself flammable with hairspray as if I were going out on a date, or to a premier of something (insert your favorite fancy event here), would it have brought the action of putting hand to mouth to a screeching halt (with brake fumes behind me)? Well, I'm not sure. I guess I will need to test out this hypothesis right?
I've decided that I am going to trash my 'binge outfit'.
That T-shirt is going buh-bye.
And it's time to trash the pants too.
Time to trash the mentality behind the pants.
Come on, who's with me?!?
Because being cozy to be truly comfortable and relaxed is one thing, but to 'dress' for a binge is quite another, and quite destructive, no?
Tomorrow is Friday, right? I think I just might need to find a dress and some shiny shoes to put on in preparation. This means I will (ideally) avoid a binge if I feel one coming on, AND look like a cutie-patootie in the process.
Bonus: my husband will think I dressed up for him, which would lead to creative conversation, snuggles, and lingering kisses, and other things much sweeter than any sugary confection...
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I think if my experience with SparkPeople as if it were riding a bike with training wheels.
See, I already had the bike, but over the years, I seem to have forgotten to ride it; my balance was off.
My balance in life was off.
I knew that I didn't want the extra weight that I packed on, but was needing that 'push' to get that cycle of life moving. I am sure you can relate.
Do you want to know what I LOVE about SparkPeople? I came into Sparkly Land as a newbie, who, well, was lacking that light in one, or, let's be honest, ALL areas.
Not long after joining, I got 'hooked' and reeled in from other Spark member's fishing lines (if there was such a thing).
I dusted off that bike, put some air in the tires, and strapped on my helmet. I felt motivated again and it was awesome. The next thing you know, I was setting goals. Participating in teams. Challenging myself. Losing weight!
It was a welcome feeling to know that I was not the only one struggling with balance; still needing those training wheels. Spark friends encouraged me. And riding that bike actually looked like a challenge I was ready to pedal through.
My pace was slow at first. I had a hard time looking ahead of me, and kept looking behind to make sure that those training wheels would keep me steady. When I came up against hurdles in my path, most times I would come to Spark for resources and find ways to crash through those boundaries. My pace and my Spark increased even more...
I am now at a place where I can say that I no longer want to look behind me; only ahead. Those training wheels might still be there. I don't really know. I'm pedaling too quickly to notice, and beaming with a genuine smile. Balance is something I strive for every day, but I am already reaping the rewards of my effort, and the support I receive here.
Would it be silly to still keep the handlebar streamers? I swear they make me go faster.
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