Thursday, October 04, 2012
This morning, I went to Kaiser for what turned out to be 5 appointments. I have never before been able to schedule everything on the same day, let alone all on the morning. First was the fasting blood test. I have terrible veins that collapse easily, so I’ve experienced lots of “fishing expeditions”. No problems this morning. I knew I would be hungry afterwards, so I brought a granola bar and a banana. I sat outside in the garden area and enjoyed both along with the beautiful weather.
Next up, I thought, would be the flu shot. But that clinic would not be open for another hour. I took a walk for most of that time. So proud of myself for that! When I got back, it was a short wait (I thought I should have walked longer and was also amazed that my lower back did not object.) and I was finished with that in seconds.
Then was the physical with my new doctor. The appointment was in the same building, but more than an hour later. I registered anyway and was called in almost immediately. For me, the purpose was to get her signature on a paper from my company attesting to the fact that I’d had a physical. I had no complaints and the company has offered a $50 incentive to be paid in December for taking care of ourselves this way. My numbers (BP etc) are excellent. I know she was surprised to see that because my weight is so high. I need to lose 74 pounds!
Then was the booster vaccine (same building, but another clinic, so another registration and another wait). They tell me I will be very sore tomorrow (I am already!) Both shoulders (they did not want to do both on the same shoulder.)
The squish test was in a different building so I got some more steps in. I was very, very early for that appointment and it looked, at first, as if I were going to have to wait until that time came. When they called me back up and asked if I were aware of the time, I said I was, but I hoped to get in early so I could get to work. One person was training another and I heard them discuss the fact that they had only one machine. My heart sank. But they took me early! The technician complimented me for allowing her to manipulate me as she needed for the scans. She said most women flinch at being touched. Well, I don’t enjoy this test, but I’d rather the technician got a good picture the first time and that she sees all the tissue. I was surprised to learn I now have to have this annually...(age)
While I was walking around the complex, I saw an elderly man walking. He was hunched over at the waist, his trunk completely parallel to the ground. He walked with a cane and one foot thumped loudly with each step (I walk that way also, but not as pronounced.). I could not see any reason for the heavy footfall, but I was stunned at his posture. I think he would have stood about 6 feet were he able to stand tall. Very sad. I surmised as I watched him that he is probably a veteran and it’s a shame that he cannot stand tall at this point in his life. Seeing him and some of the other patients reinforced my determination to take care of myself.
On the other hand, after watching last night’s debate, reviewing my financial situation and receiving bad news in the mail, I am completely discouraged about my future. In the next few days, I will be reviewing my options, such as they are. Bankruptcy is abhorrent to me, but it is an option. Look for a better paying job or a second job, talk to my creditors (scary!) and other thoughts. Not wanting to face the facts is not productive – an interesting parallel to my SP journey, but not one I will delve into here today. But this issue does impact the rest of my life. It’s hard to work, hard to feel positive…We’ve all struggled like this. I am not the only one.
I took most of the day off, but I did go in to work so that I could join in the celebration for an employee who is retiring tomorrow. He is so excited! I am sorry to see him leave. He is someone I like and respect and enjoy. They had a huge yummy looking chocolate cake. I walked away as it was being cut. I knew better than to get near it. At this point, I cannot make exceptions for “special” events. I won’t drop this tonnage.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
What a day! The Oakland Athletics clinched the division, so my hopes for an OAK-SF World Series are still intact.
A friend loaned me some money and insisted on buying lunch out. I went with her thinking I knew what I was going to have, but found the menu had changed. I was stumped. I ordered what I thought was the most reasonable item but...then there were the chips and salsa. As I chomped on the chips, I had a nagging thought that stopping that would be what food abstinence means. I did stop, but not soon enough. I had to guess on the food values for what I ate (the restaurant does not have nutrition info posted in the place or online). I could have done better, but I also could have done worse.
I was still very stiff today and did not walk much. But I will make that up tomorrow when I spend the morning at Kaiser getting ALL of my routine appointments done. I am looking forward to seeing that number on my pedometer!
This afternoon, my cellphone rang. It was one of the girls and she put Mom on the phone. We had a chance to talk. She is not herself. The strokes have robbed us of a lot of her, but it was absolutely fantastic to talk with her. I am so grateful that I got to tell her how much she means to me. I know she knows, but I really am so thankful that I got one more chance to say it. I hung up and cried. That could have been our last conversation. If yes, I will treasure it!
Monday, October 01, 2012
Thank you, Spark Family, for your support! You made the difference today! At certain times of the day, it was almost as if you were with me, talking with me, helping me think before I made a food choice. My attitude is what is better today.
Oddly, I have had almost no appetite, so I am way off on food. I was ok in most respects yesterday. I am not going to worry about it. It is unseasonably warm today and will be tomorrow as well. The pendulum will swing.
I got almost no sleep last night. BF was not sleeping well because of his restless leg syndrome, so I came out to the couch, not an easy place to sleep. Plus, one of the twins texted me and asked if I wanted Mom Angell's hat and a scarf. Yes, of course, but...I wish she could live forever and keep wearing them herself. Thinking of her and the looming airline ticket and her funeral did not help me fall asleep.
Somehow, I made it through the day and actually got some work done.
My aging cat seems to be doing better.
Yes, I probably need therapy, but I don't have the money or the time.
I did something great for me last week and the final piece came together today. Thursday, I will be getting all of my scheduled exams at Kaiser. The physical, the "squish test" (you ladies know!), the vaccine booster and my flu shot. Doc says there will be no conflict between both shots. I usually put this kind of thing off because the logistics are awful. Amazingly, the wait to see my doc and to schedule all the other things was not astronomically long. To get them all scheduled on one day is remarkable! Good for me for taking care of myself! BUT I did get more pushback from the office than I expected when I asked for half or perhaps a full day off (I have the sick time and vacation time available.) One test might make me feel lousy, so that was why I wanted the option to take the full day. That one test is a fasting blood test (first thing in the morning!). I am nervous about those results for sure. I am morbidly obese, I don't exercise much, I am no spring chicken and I fear the result will include a diagnosis of diabetes. Manageable, to be sure, but still. I am making changes to avert that diagnosis but it may be the classic case of too little too late...
Sleeping on the couch again (it's cooler) and going soon.
Good night and thank you!
Sunday, September 30, 2012
The rent bill arrived Friday night. When I did my forecast of funds for the next two weeks, I was stunned to see that, after all of the bills are paid, I will be in the hole about $16. No groceries for two weeks, no nothing else. My finances are a mess and I can only blame myself. That is a huge admission for me, but I am not prepared to share the details.
I did nothing yesterday and nothing today. Depressed. Stressed. Scared. Full of loathing and self-hate. My BF is in a 12 step program, so I stumbled into the Overeaters Anonymous website today. I had forgotten about it. I am not sure that that's the right thing for me, but I am willing to explore the possibilities. I found an OA team here on SP and joined it today.
Make an inventory of your compulsive eating history. Look at your self destructive eating and any attempts you have made to avoid obesity... failed diets, exercise, etc.
To characterize my food issues as “compulsive” inaccurately simplifies my very complex relationship with food. Yes, there are elements of compulsion, but there is far more than that. Couple that with a lifelong aversion to exercise and it’s not hard to see why I am morbidly obese.
First: the history. I learned to walk when I was about 4 and spent most of my childhood wearing a leg brace and/or having physical therapy. When I was not wearing a brace, I had orthopedic shoes. Ugly things. Mother’s favorite form of punishment for me was to withhold food. Most days, I did not have 3 meals. I remember once, for some by now long-forgotten misdeed, she gave me the choice of a spanking by my stepfather or missing dinner. I chose the spanking even though he certainly knew how to make a belt hurt. As it turned out, I received both punishments.
More than once, I got up in the middle of the night and stole food from the kitchen. I was not allowed to leave my room without permission, ever, let alone go into the kitchen. I was caught a few times. The food I stole became my breakfast and my lunch for the next day. Often, it was a peanut butter sandwich. Once, it was a handful of candy bars (those I had to forfeit). I stole some gum or candy from the store when I was in second grade and had to go back that night with my stepfather and make amends. I mooched food from schoolmates and, more than once, took change when I found it so I could buy food.
I went to live with my dad and, for the first time in my life, I had 3 meals a day and, sometimes, dessert. When I came to live with Dad, I was 63 pounds and 4 foot 6 inches. By the end of the summer, I was about 83 pounds. Many years later, I realized that was probably the only time I was at a “healthy” weight. I was sent to a girls boarding school and the eating continued. My schoolmates joked that I was the human garbage can because I cleared my plate and theirs. We weren’t allowed to have food in the dorm, but most of us did. I had a footlocker and hid my peanut butter, crackers and pickles. I could put it away! I ate because I could not do the things the other girls did, because I was embarrassed about having to crawl for physical therapy, for wearing a leg brace, for the nicknames and my own emotional baggage. I tried to cut back on food. I did a no carb diet one school year, long before that was a popular diet, I encountered diet drinks used for meal replacements and hated them, but still tried them in the hopes that magic would happen.
At the same time, even with my physical limitations, I tried everything. The school would have field trips once in a while to go hiking, roller skating, ice skating or swimming or…I went to everything. Looking back, I joke and say that I have yet to find a sport in which I can succeed, but I have eliminated a lot. I was not good at anything, but it did not stop me from trying. Part of that was that it was free. Had there been a fee, I would not have gone.
Two things happened the summer after I graduated from high school. I went on an archaeology dig. It was the most physically demanding job I’ve ever had, but I loved it. It was also my first chance to interact with guys and that was a very awkward thing for me. I was acutely aware of my weight. During the 2 weeks between the end of the dig and the start of college, I shattered my right elbow. I spent my entire freshman year and half of my sophomore year with my arm either in a cast or recovering from one of several surgeries. This ruined my plans for a career in music (I could not play the piano) and was a huge financial blow because I could not do my work scholarship.
I was states away from family, alone, in pain and struggling with the adjustment to college life. I ate for consolation and, because I was even less active, my weight climbed. I started college at about 120 and graduated at about 135. During my junior year, I learned my gramma had cancer. I gave up on my studies and my GPA tanked. I stopped caring about anything. I also roomed with a friend who had food issues and we were not healthy for each other.
After college, we became roommates again and, because money was tight, we ate cheap bad food and both of us ballooned. The roommate situation ended badly and I moved far away. Three years later, after being laid off, broke and alone, we moved in together again and it again ended badly. She was laid off shortly after we got together and went into a deep depression. I could not help her and was frustrated by the situation. We split up again and I was back on my own, broke, in debt and using food for comfort.
A few years later, she died due to complications from obesity. We had just started working on healing our relationship. She died on my 39th birthday. But that was not enough of a warning for me to change my life.
Fast forward to about 9 years ago. I started a new job that included a very long commute. Being a scaredy cat about driving, I used public transit and that meant walking. I did that job for 2 years and often walked the two miles to the office from the train station. I seldom walked it back, but I did have to walk even when I took the bus from the office to the station, so it was not a total loss. It was a small satellite office and almost everyone was dieting. I joined in and actually got down from a size 18 to a size 4. The scale said I still had another 20 pounds to get to goal and I was getting discouraged with the slowness of the weight loss.
Then my father died. I stopped caring about the weight loss journey. I stopped being honest about what I was eating and I started using food for comfort again. A few months later, we were all laid off when the company decided to close the office. I could not find work and it did not help that I did not interview well. Stress and depression made all thoughts of healthy living go out the window.
The company rehired me for another position, but I have yet to break that cycle. Nearly 3 years ago, I discovered SparkPeople and, for the first year, I had some success. I started to exercise (mostly walking) and lost more than 20 pounds. I have since put it back on. The sense of shame and failure, of being dishonest about logging in my food, of feeling powerless over food, money, my living situation, life, has me completely defeated.
I am powerless and I need help.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Last night, on TV, I saw Shuttle Endeavor fly low over Phoenix so former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her astronaut husband could see her overhead. It was an inspiring clip! She also flew over White Sands, NM (one of my favorite places) which was an alternative, emergency landing site that was used only once during the entire space shuttle program.
I went to bed and kind of forgot about it this morning. At work, someone told me that the shuttle would be flying over the Bay Area on her way to her permanent home in southern California. I confirmed online that this was true and emailed our GC about this once-in-a-lifetime event. (For those who have not followed, this flight was the last-ever flight of a space shuttle.)
She ended up leaving late and was later getting to the Bay Area. I read that the parking lot at Moffett Field was packed, that traffic on highway 101 was a parking lot and the same was true up near the Golden Gate Bridge. Some of the crowds left after she flew over the Bridge and they missed it when she looped around and flew around it again for that classic "money shot". I can picture a 2013 calendar!
After what seemed like too long, she appeared in the haze! It may be the closest I ever get to the Smithsonian, Cape Canaveral, the Johnson Space Center or Edwards. They say she was about 1500 feet up, so very close to the tree tops, at least as it looked. She still looked very small, too small for me to get a photo, but I got to see her!
I could not help thinking of my older brother as I watched her and I felt unaccountably emotional. We were young when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. That caught his imagination and he learned all about the space program - knew about the rockets and all the astronauts. I'm sure he was smiling from heaven and waving to the pilot.
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