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A Better Day

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!
emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYFITZ 10/3/2012 6:09PM

    There are memtal health self help programs on the net. If you google Cognitive Behavioural Therapy you will get some grrat choices. I did a two week program as an out patiemt at a private memtal health hospital amd have found it a grrat jelp. zI jave looked into yhe ones on the net and look good.

I also am travelling interstate to be with family as my mum passes away from us. I am keeping it tovethet at the momemt but have no idea what I will be like when I get jome.
I saw mum three weeks ago and she was lucid and happy. So glad I have that memory.

My thoughts will be with you at this so very sad time
xoxo.Hugs from Libby.

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ANNESYLVIA 10/2/2012 8:26PM

    Going to the doctors can be scary, I am glad you went to the doctors.

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CATLADY52 10/2/2012 8:10PM

    Here's hoping that you make it through the tests. emoticon

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CARRAND 10/2/2012 5:00PM

    Good for you for seeing the doctor. Don't fear diabetes. You can manage it. I've been a diabetic for about 6 years. I am now controlling it through diet and exercise. Losing 70 pounds really helped. Even now, exercise lowers my blood sugar. Eating too many carbs raises my blood sugar. It's as simple as that. I just need to remember those two facts and act accordingly.

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RFJSJ50 10/1/2012 11:32PM

    emoticon I'm so glad you had a better day today. It wasn't the greatest for me, but I've had worse! It's good that you have all the medical issues accounted for and appointments set up. That gives less to worry about.
Stay positive.

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I am a Wreck! First Step of Twelve

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.

Step 1
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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 10/1/2012 10:17AM

    My heart goes out to you. You need to get past a lot of issues. Being honest about them is the first step and I applaud you. It's never too late. I was heavy for years, until I got motivated at the age of 60 and lost 70 pounds. I've gained back 10, so I'm still struggling to maintain. I can't give up. My mother had a stroke at 60 and died of a heart attack at 67. I don't want to have that happen to me.

We can do it!

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LIBBYFITZ 10/1/2012 6:51AM

    I agree with Linda. Until you have couselling and get those issues of your childhood talked through and learnt strategies to put your self first and NOT last this cycle will go on and on. emoticon

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_LINDA 9/30/2012 11:33PM

    If your BF can take a 12 step program, so can you take something as well. Clearly you need more help then can be given by anonymous people on a website, no matter how caring and sincere they are, they simply cannot be THERE, IN PERSON to help you, sorry to say. You need 3D help and stat. Your childhood issues still haunt you today. Until you get professional help dealing with them and how to cope with your present situation, you will continue to be stuck in this painful cycle. Please, please do seek help, however you can.
I too, grew up with a leg brace (one leg was shorter than the other and I walked pigeon toed or something) Fortunately, my food was normal. But being the mistake, I was ignored. Plenty of family photos of older brother and sister, but none of me, especially with the brace on. I wouldn't have known I had it until my Mom told me. Had blocked it out completely.
My issues came a bit later when my dad revealed what a a* shole he really was. I still do not trust men farther then you can throw them and won't have anything to do with them, and I am okay with that. From what I have been hearing lots of, haven't missed a thing!
I did get some counseling. It can help, it can move you in a new direction, it can help you face and deal with your past. Right now, it has power over you, and you can't put it back in its cage all on your own. Its no shame to seek help when you know you really need it..
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WONDEROONA 9/30/2012 9:42PM

    If you can focus on one thing-just one healthy lifestyle choice-and make a goal out of it and complete that goal. (i.e., drink 8 glasses of water a day for 2 weeks) it will give you a much needed lift. Then slowly start to add in other things. You can do it. Don't beat yourself up. Focus on what you did before when you lost the weight. You know you can do it, just find the determination and drive to do it again!! emoticon emoticon

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I got to see Shuttle Endeavor fly over Moffett Field!

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYPIXEL 9/24/2012 11:55AM

    I'm in Southern California, and it was amazing how many people turned out along Endeavour's flight path to wish her a grand retirement. I'm REALLY looking forward to October 13th, as that's the day she starts her road trip along city streets through LA to head for her new permanent home... I plan on going out and watching her go by up-close and personal, since I didn't get to see her fly overhead as I was stuck at work at the time (although a friend of mine, who lives down the street from JPL, got some phenomenal video of Endeavour going over her house). :)

It's such an amazing sight to see -- and historic, as that's the last time one of the shuttles will ever be airborne. Sad, but amazing. You're lucky!

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CATLADY52 9/22/2012 7:36PM

    That must have been the coolest sight. A friend of mine had a shot of Endeavor on the top of the plane that carried her and trailing the plane was a banner that read "Go Giants". If it were real, that would have been even neater. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/22/2012 7:37:28 PM

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WONDEROONA 9/22/2012 6:02PM

    I can remember the first space shuttle flight. I was about 10 or so. I was too young for the beginning of the space program, but I still loved it. I watched some TV coverage of Endeavor's last flight. How cool that you got to see it in person!!

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CARRAND 9/22/2012 5:39PM

    Lucky you!
I loved the space program, too, when I was young. I still do.

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LIBBYFITZ 9/22/2012 11:35AM

    How wonderful that you got to see it! I am so envious! emoticon

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BYEFATNANNY 9/22/2012 9:04AM

    I saw it fly over my office in downtown Sacramento. We each got to see history yesterday, it was SO cool! Made for a memorable day. Glad you got to see it too.

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DESERTDREAMERS 9/22/2012 12:05AM

    How wonderful!

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EVWINGS 9/21/2012 11:21PM

    What a great exsperience. Here in FL we cried while watching the last launch.

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ANNESYLVIA 9/21/2012 10:44PM

    Memories to cherish.

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MYLAUREN2 9/21/2012 10:43PM


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1BEACHWALKER 9/21/2012 10:37PM

    Wow- that would have been so cool to see that! We live in FL and have seen it take off from a distance (not sure which one though) a couple times! It went over our house one morning and left a sonic boom that rattled the house! We hope to visit Cape Canaveral one day, when we get the time. But, to see it piggy back a 747, now that would be something!!! emoticon

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RFJSJ50 9/21/2012 10:28PM

    What a wonderful experience!

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ACIMPEGGY 9/21/2012 10:15PM

    Honey, how wonderful for you!

Bet you didn't overeat that day being so excited, probably, that you didn't even think of it!

It's an event you'll never forget!


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KARIDIAN1 9/21/2012 10:13PM

    What a great experience!

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Mom Angell Moves to Hospice Care Tomorrow

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One of the twins posted a note on her facebook page that Mom Angell is returning to the convalescent home, to the high care wing where she will be getting hospice care. The twin is
flying there next week.

I've never been in this situation before. Most of my grandparents were dead before I knew they were terminally ill. I was with Dad when he died, so I have never been in this "should I go now or should I wait" mode. I am really torn about this. On one hand, the fact that Mom has seemingly overnight gone into full-blown dementia and would not know me means I don't have to rush there, but the other part of me aches because I hate this distasteful "death watch" mode. That happens in the media when someone famous falls ill and we get bulletins about their health troubles that, frankly, make me feel uncomfortable. Not from a point of squeamishness, but as a point of dignity.

Mom deserves as much grace and gentleness as can be given. The youngest daughter has promised to let me know when she passes and I will be on the next flight out. My heart is already there.

I ordered a black and purple muumuu for the service and hope it gets here soon enough. Black for respect and purple because that is Mom's favorite color. A muumuu because that is my style and because, I hope, it will hide some of my tonnage. My weight makes every social encounter very uncomfortable.

I went to Target today and quickly ran out of energy and interest in buying anything to wear. My lower back was killing me in short order. The Give Thanks Walk for St Judes is in November and I do not need to be struggling with this ache now! Losing even a little will help.

Mom's mother lived into her 90s and knew no one for the last decade of her life, so I should not be surprised about this news for Mom, but I am. I suppose the series of strokes are a major factor for the sudden onset. I know that dementia covers an entire category of diagnoses.

I pray that she goes gently into the long night and that I can support the rest of the family during this incredibly sad time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ULEWIJ 9/19/2012 7:44PM

    Any advice I would have, would be to go see her as soon as you can, before she dies. When my mom told me her mother was in the hospital and she didn't know if she should go now or wait, I told her to go now. I knew my mother would want to know how her mother was being cared for in the hospital and make sure everything was being done to make her comfortable. Sometimes the worst thing can be not knowing, and being there may answer some questions that might arrise later down the line.


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PAMNANGEL 9/19/2012 4:42PM


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WENDYSPARKS 9/19/2012 4:36PM

    Praying for you.

Wendy emoticon

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DEBBYNATION 9/19/2012 7:08AM

    Praying for you & your family during this time. My Mom passed away when I was 36 after suffering from lung cancer - I still miss her everyday. What helps me is to remember good times & knowing that my Mom would want me to stay positive & inspired. Your Mom's favorite color is purple & purple is a happy color & a beautiful tribute to her life.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 7:10:24 AM

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LIBBYFITZ 9/18/2012 5:10PM

    It looks like we are all facing the fact that our parents don't live forever:-(
My thoughts are with you.

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CARRAND 9/17/2012 9:40PM

    it is difficult to know what to do in your situation.

My mother went into the hospital for surgery for breast cancer when she was 67. The good news was, the cancer hadn't spread to her lymph nodes. The bad news was she had a heart attack as a result of the radical mastectomy they did. I flew out right away when I heard that she had a heart attack and I was glad I did because she was still conscious when I got there. A couple of hours later she had another heart attack, and she never regained consciousness. After a week in intensive care she seemed to be improving some, so I flew home. Two days later she died and we all flew back for the funeral. I was fortunate to be able to get time off work, and to be able to afford the plane tickets.

My father is in a nursing home, and is 98 years old. He has ups and downs. I visit when I can, which isn't often because he is half the country away from me, but I am sure that some night he will just die in his sleep and I will get the phone call.

You must do what you think is best for you. If your mother wouldn't recognize that you were there, you should probably wait.

My thoughts are with you.

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WONDEROONA 9/17/2012 7:41PM

    I'm so sorry about your mom. You know that I lost my mom 3 years ago and I still miss her. Her death was sudden and unexpected. I don't know what I would've done if I was in your situation. I hope that you can lean on someone-I'm here if you need me-during this difficult time. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 9/17/2012 10:58AM

    emoticon I'll be praying for you and yours during this very difficult time.

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ANDASI 9/17/2012 2:55AM


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RFJSJ50 9/17/2012 12:02AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

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Mom Angell & Other Developments

Friday, September 14, 2012

I have not heard any more news about Mom, but I did learn that the girls do not expect that I will be able to fly out there to see her before, as one said, Mom transitions, but they will have the service in the town where she lives in MO. Then in the spring or summer, we will take her ashes to AR where they will be buried with Dr. Angell, one of my college professors.

Matter-of-fact statements above give no hint to the emotions inside. One of the daughters is onsite and she was to have had a talk with the doctors today about whether Mom can go to hospice care. If/when she's moved and settled, I may get the chance to talk to her. I pray for discernment about what to say and about what to be silent and to steel myself so that I don't distress her by my reaction to her diminished state.

One of my cowowrkers in the legal department has not been happy at work. She has been with the company about 2 years and the newness has never worn off. She feels overwhelmed and that means the annoyance of a long commute becomes more burdensome. She used to work from home for a very large tech company (IT/Patents/Trademarks). The huge company downsized and she was laid off. After months, she found work with me but has not been happy. Today she got a job offer from an attorney with a couple of offices who wants her to work from home. The hitch: will they come to financial terms? She has to cover her own benefits, so that's a risk. I don't know what will happen, but she naively thinks I will get her job when/if she leaves. I had appllied for the position when she got it and I still don't have what they were looking for then! Not sure I would want the job anyway - my current job has a lot of variety and I love that!

Thank you, Sparkfriends, for your support. Grief has made my system completely upset, I've mostly lost my appetite and food has no flavor. I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. A sad but welcome side effect would be a derease in tonnage...The week my dad died, I ate next to nothing the entire week, did not sleep at all and could not talk. I am numb...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ULEWIJ 9/19/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon I am so so sorry. It amazes me how much grief effects the entire body.

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LIBBYFITZ 9/18/2012 5:04PM

    Hugs my friend. Thinking of you.

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MISSY455 9/16/2012 2:06AM

    I am so sorry to read of more sadness and loss for you. You and your Mom Angell are in my thoughts.

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CARRAND 9/15/2012 8:24PM

    I'm so sorry.

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POORGIRL_DIET 9/15/2012 6:50PM

    Prayers are with you hun, you take some time out and focus on you and your family

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CATLADY52 9/15/2012 5:18PM

    I wish you peaceful thoughts. emoticon

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_RAMONA 9/15/2012 11:06AM


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ARCHIMEDESII 9/15/2012 6:50AM

    Having a loved one die is never easy. The sadness, distress, anxiety... all these things just send a person into an emotional turmoil. You do the best you can. Take things day by day.


Try to be positive about that job position. If this job offers more opportunities than your current one, activity try for it. Talk to the HR person, talk to the manager. Let them know you're more than capable to fill the position. Most companies do prefer hiring from within. So, don't count yourself out. You never know where your next stepping stone could be. It could be a good opportunity. It's also lets the managers know you are interested in moving up within the company.

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ANNESYLVIA 9/15/2012 5:31AM

    A dying loved one is rough on us mentally, emotionally and physically. Hang in there spark friend. emoticon

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