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Mother and Ruby

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today was a much better day. I stayed on track with food and water. I took a short walk. My lower back started hurting during the walk and I know that's because of the weight I gained. In the last 3 weeks, I've gained 5 pounds....
I took a nap in the afternoon and feel rested for the first time in eons.

I also remembered that not taking care of that little girl inside is how I forgot to be watchful. I was so focused on the pain and fatigue that I had no energy for anything else...

It would take pages to describe my fractured family tree, but suffice to say my parents divorced and each remarried, so I have half sisters on both sides and a half brother on Dad's side. My full sibling died when we were teens. I talked to my youngest sister today (on Dad's side). I told her about my Mother's health and touched a little on the swirling emotions this touches off for me. She had never thought that I would have the feelings of emptiness surrounding my Mother. Her mother is my stepmother and she has always been good to me.

My food issues are all inter-related with all the other issues I had with Mother. There are so many levels of sorrow around this relationship. I missed knowing my other sisters as young girls, as women. I have missed out on the lives of their children. In my mind, Mother is still in her early 30s, a strong woman. It is hard to reconcile that with how she must be now. In her 70s and in ill health. I am grieved that our relationship was never able to be mended (her choice). There have always been empty spots in my heart, but that would have been true either way.

I am so glad I got to live with Dad, to be close to my youngest siblings, but the other side of that coin is the void left in not knowing my four sisters, sharing in their lives, rejoicing and grieving with them, welcoming that next generation.

Obviously, the news of Mother's ill health has stirred up a lot. It will take me a while to process this. I don't expect to hear until after the fact when she does die. There probably will not be a service and I won't know about it until afterwards so that, if I am wrong and there is a service, the family can mourn without worrying about whether or not I would appear and make a scene. How little they know me if that is the fear! This is what happened with my gramma and my aunt (Mother's younger sister) died. There are, of course, other issues...

On a positive note - it sounds more and more likely that I will get that adorable kitten who really needs a forever home. She has not completely mastered the cat box or drinking water, but she is just about 6 weeks old, and, from what I have read, she will pick this up. It will help that Juneau will be here to show her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYFITZ 8/16/2010 3:32PM

    emoticonSo glad you are getting the kitten! emoticon

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CARRAND 8/16/2010 10:23AM

    All families have issues, so we can all relate. I'm glad you are back to tracking your food and water. Staying on track can help you both physically and emotionally. Take care of yourself. That new little kitten needs you.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 8/16/2010 8:28AM

  emoticon on staying on track with your food and water during this time in your life. It is great that you are blogging about your thoughts and feelings like this. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us all. Congrats on getting the kitty.. and, I'm sure Juneau will do great with kitty and teach the kitty everything there is to learn! :)

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    I agree with HappyMamaw that you have a place to express yourself. I've been praying for you every day since I found out about Ruby, & I'll keep on doing so.

Oh, I hope you get that kitten! Is that the one you mentioned a few days ago? I'm so glad! Yes, Juneau will be able to teach her the skills necessary to be the best cat possible. Hugs & blessings!

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HAPPYMAMAW 8/16/2010 1:00AM

    I'm glad you posted this. Hopefully, it helps you to have an outlet to talk about what you've been through and what your going through right now with your family. I have a similar situation and haven't spoken to my mother in about 5 years. (Her choice, also.) I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my situation and maybe it will be helpful for you to know that you are not alone in your situation either. Good luck with everything and know that everthing happens for a reason!


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Nothing Good to Say

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I have been off track most of this week. Over in food, under in exercise...I have not really cared, but I will tomorrow when I step on the scale. I never even left the house today.

But I am not going to beat myself up about it. I will continue on, just realizing that my end result is going to take so much longer than I thought it would when I started and longer because of these weeks.

Yesterday's challenge on one of my teams was to name 5 good things about me. I came up with two and gave up. Pretty pathetic! Today's challenge was to do a blog. Normally, I don't blog if nothing constructive is going on, but between the challenge and a comment from a sparkfriend that sharing the rough spots is part of the journey made me do this tonight.

I have many relatives I've never met. Most are nieces and nephews. I have not seen most of my sisters since they were in grade school and younger. Thanks to Facebook, I saw a picture of one sister yesterday. I stared at it for a long time. She is beautiful, has a gorgeous smile and does not have the weight issues I do. The pictures were from their family trip to Costa Rica. Her daughters, my nieces, are also gorgeous.

Moments ago, I was on FB with another sister. We have been in sporadic touch through the years, but nothing in depth. I learned tonight that my mother spends a lot of time in bed and is apparently in a lot of pain. Sister did not say what's wrong, only that Mother is very private. I've always known that. I do not have a relationship with my mother by her choice. Even so, it grieves me that she is in pain. I can surmise some of the reasons for her pain, but it would all be speculation.

I have to stop reaching for the carbs. I have to start moving again, figuring out how to do so without pain. I have to make me important.

One of my Sparkfriends, Chaotickitty, has reached her halfway goal and I am so proud of her! She reminds me that I can do this, even though it all seems less than possible right now...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYFITZ 8/15/2010 6:31PM

    Glad you kept blogged today! We are here to support you through the good and the bad, the easy and the hard. emoticon
Good to see you are in contact with some of you're family, keep it up, I keep in touch with all my neices and nephews on fb some frequently, some hardly at all! But that is life! emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 8/15/2010 1:04PM

    Congratulations on the great blog.

You are pulling yourself together slowly. That's fine...SP recommends baby steps, remember?

I'm glad you made contact with some of your family. Those that don't choose contact with you...well, it's their loss. A Course in Miracles teaches that people come into our lives when we need them (and they need us) and then pass out of our lives again with the need is no longer there.

Make the carbs healthy ones, with a bitty treat here and there, and you'll do fine.

We're rooting for you! emoticon

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TURQUOISELOTUS 8/15/2010 11:11AM

    Wishing you the best...I agree, consistency is key. Maybe that's what you can celebrate? It sure is what I am doing,lol.

The point is, I'm not gaining, and it looks like you are not either. Keep tracking your food, see what you can substitute for carbs or sweets. I know, when Life is rough, nothing takes the edge of like carbs or sweets... but then you have the problem, plus extra weight or glucose in your veins. There might be something you can sub in for food... a hug from a friend, a cat, a dog, a warm bath... I don't know, but sometimes these little things can be part of our "Relapse Prevention Plans", preparing for our emotional eating triggers!

Hang in there!! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 8/15/2010 10:17AM

    That is so sad about your mother :((( I cannot imagine why a mother would shut her own child out of her life :((( Is there any chance of a reconciliation at all? Maybe through mediation with your sister? I don't have a whole lot of contact with my only sister, she has a really busy life and lives on a farm out of town, but at least I do see her a few times a year. I also see my only brother (busy with two jobs) a few times a year too, so at least they are not strangers to me. Are your sisters too far away to visit? It seems a shame you only see them on a Facebook page.
Maybe a reconnection with your family would help you..

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ISHIIGIRL 8/15/2010 9:44AM

    The fact that you are still here and posting blogs says that you are not a quitter! Look at all that you have accomplished. Didn't you just graduate? That is Huge! Celebrate the big and small things alike. You are always on spark, you are consistent. These are all things that you can say positive about yourself. You have also lost weight, not gained. Even if you are stuck right now, at least you perservere! You are awesome! Thanks for sharing your struggles so we can be here for you!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 8/15/2010 8:28AM

  You CAN do this girl. You just have to believe in yourself that you can. I had a carb fest yesterday.. went over my limit for the day in carbs. I've learned from that.. I didn't beat myself up for it.. and, now is a new day. :) I will always be with you on your journey... the good times AND the not so good times. I like it when my SP friends do blogs because it allows me to really get to know how they think or feel. Thanks for doing this blog , girl! And, thanks for saying you are proud of me... means a LOT!! :)

emoticon here's to better days!!!

*big hug*

Comment edited on: 8/15/2010 8:28:35 AM

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JANC319 8/15/2010 8:09AM

  I love to read blogs here on SP.
I like the happy, "I did it!" blogs, and the encouraging "You can do it" blogs... but I relate best to the "I'm struggling" blogs.

We all struggle. If we didn't, we wouldn't need SP. Heck, if we all weren't struggling, we wouldn't be in the shape we are in right now!

I have been with SP for a long time. I have not lost more than 3-5 pounds, but I HAVE stopped gaining, and I celebrate that whenever the scale doesn't move. So, find something to celebrate, even if it is the fact that you now KNOW you need to change your relationship with food. The pounds will fall off when you figure out your personal calories in to calories out formula. Rely on your Spark Friends and never give up!

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STARPLANET2000 8/15/2010 7:07AM

    I read a great article the other done on SP about our weight loss journey being like traveling in a car. And right now, you're in a traffic jam. But the article points out that though it takes some time, the road ahead will be cleared and you will start moving again!

Keep tracking your food, even if you think you overate. Sometimes you find out you really only overate a little or not really at all. Keep reading articles on SparkPeople and checking out other people's blogs and spark pages. You can do it. I checked your SP and saw you've already lost like 20lbs! That's fantastic!

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DHSPARK 8/15/2010 5:01AM

    Don't give up. Sometimes I feel like my efforts are all for naught but I won't give up. It's so hard to do the 'right' things all the time, especially when the results aren't showing like I think or hope they should.

Keep doing things that are healthy like drinking plenty of water, exercising, tracking, and posting and eventually something's gotta give. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

emoticon Wishes to you and your journey to better health.


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Juneau Needs a Kitten; Doughnuts, Pizza and Zucchini Thoughts

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yvonne, my coworker and friend, has been holding out on me.

She knows I am reeling from Ruby's death and the other deaths that have occurred recently (yesterday's blog).

We are both cat lovers so she has heard me say that Juneau needs a kitten. Juneau will be 4 on Friday and is a small Maine Coon full of play and love. Cilantro is our tiny, tiny 15 year old cat who would prefer never to move. She is cantakerous, loving, grouchy and aloof.

Yvonne's massage therapist rescued a kitten that was hours old.

They cannot keep her because their older dog doesn't want anything to do with this little ball of energy.

A week or so ago, we bought a $5 full length mirror at Home Depot. Since we bought it, Juneau has been camping out by it. When we first got it, she looked everywhere for the new kitten, crying the whole time. Cute and heart breaking.

If we get this little girl, I will name her Ruby in honor of my wonderful friend who also opened her home and heart to cats.

Today was a day in much better balance. I am discovering that I can walk a lot, but not much at any one time. In an effort to keep the tendonitis at bay, I take lots of short walks. Over 8K steps today!

In the middle of the morning, I went to the kitchen to refill my water bottle and found some doughnuts on the counter. On top of one of the microwaves was some garden bounty including a huge zucchini. I looked at the doughnuts and talked myself out of them and grabbed that huge zucchini. That felt good and right!

I worked some overtime today and, as the day was winding down, I went back to the kitchen to get more water and saw a pizza box. There had been a meeting with food and the leftovers were for the taking. Good thing they had been taken!

Called in for jury duty. No excuse. I am on call tomorrow.

I was on target all day until the evening. We had an excellent dinner of mixed veggies and a dish called "Santa Fe Salmon". Very flavorful, but I wanted something sweet afterwards. The Oreos!

I need to do more exercise, but I did do some. I had a conversation with a friend while standing on a slope and trying to keep my balance gave me a good leg workout! I did 60 wall calf raises while microwaving my lunch. I have never done that many at once and, by about 50, my legs were shaking a tad.

The company is doing another wellness challenge. Five fruits and veggies. I am doing a good job on that overall.

Not happy about the Oreo consumption. I don't normally have things like this around, but.......well, that's another story and it has to do with feelings of deprivation and my still somewhat unhealthy relationship with food.

'Nuff said!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 8/14/2010 11:25PM

    What a darling kitten, and how sweet that you want to rescue her.

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LUNADRAGON 8/12/2010 8:57PM

    Aw, what a sweet baby kitty. That's what I need, a cute little baby kitty. I think I will go hug my big old one for now.
Thank you for sharing your sweet pictures.

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    I read the entire entry, but all I can think about is that adorable little puss puss. So sweet! :) I think naming her "Ruby" would be an excellent tribute to your dear friend.

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LIBBYFITZ 8/12/2010 7:23PM

    Just love the kitty! emoticonon the food choices.

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JHADZHIA 8/12/2010 3:29PM

    Wow, what a sweet kitty!! I think she would be good for you. A new life to enjoy, a new start. You are doing so well! Great plan to do short walks, not stressing the tendon. You did great with the food. The oreos is just a minor thing, you didn't scarf them down all day or anything.
I give you an 'A' for the effort you are putting in during your sorrow! And you thought you didn't have the Spark!! Evidence is to the contrary!
Keep up the great work!
emoticon emoticon

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 8/12/2010 8:51AM

  What a cute adorable kitty! :) Congrats on walking over 8K steps. :) What did you do with that *huge* zucchini woman? ;) Congrats on not eating the doughnuts... such great willpower. :) OMG woman. What is with all this food? Doughnuts and then Pizza? Maybe someone should be bringing in fruits and putting them there instead! ;) You have been through a lot lately... I hope you enjoyed those Oreos. Today is a new day. No looking back at those Oreos!!!


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KCLARK1355 8/12/2010 3:19AM

    Beautiful baby kitty! Did you get her?

I am so sorry about your recent losses - you know I'm at a loss of words but sending you strength...

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Mourning and Cookies

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yesterday was such a fabulous day (see yesterday's blog if you missed it!).

Thanks, IXCHEL23, LNKSMOM & ISHIIGIRL for the Spark goodies. Your encouragement means a lot!

I came in to work to learn the sad news that a former coworker died late last week. We had emailed each other just a few months ago. I knew that he had changed status from fulltime employee to consultant, which is what a lot of the scientists do as a way to phase into retirement. I had asked him about something that went back several years and he responded that he was retired and referred me to someone else. I sent back a cheery email wishing him a long and happy retirement. Today I learned that he battled cancer for 2.5 years and I had no clue. He was originally from England and had the stereotypical courteous manner. He was a genuinely nice guy and I am very sad.

THEN BF called to tell me the news of the plane crash in Dillingham, Alaska. At first, the news was sketchy and sparse. While digesting that, I received a department email that another coworker's dad passed away this weekend (another coworker's dad died last week). Both dads passing reawakened that pain for me. It does not help that Dad's birthday was last week.

In the middle of the morning, I went to a very interesting tech event at work and...this is so hard to say...I ate 3 cookies during the meeting. It was almost as if I watched me do that. At the end of the meeting, I took four more and ate them when I saw the confirmation.

The confirmation was that several people on the plane died, including Senator Ted Stevens. My dad knew Ted Stevens. The Senator's career ended badly, but over the many years, he did a lot of good for the Land of the Midnight Sun and her citizens. Tragedy transcends politics.

I found myself churning at work, so I did not do any overtime. I came home. I will have to put in some long days to pick up the time and whether I can do that or not is predicated on jury duty selection. I have to call in tomorrow night to find out if I have to go all the way to the other end of the county Thursday morning. On top of that, my rear brakes are acting weird and I may be on the verge of another shingles outbreak. Time will tell.

I did get water in. I did get a walk in and above 7K steps. With the sad news about Chris, I was in touch with other former coworkers. My sister started teaching class today, so we were in touch early.

I did not do the dreaded project today, but I did knock out a handful of smaller items.

I pray for the survivors and families of the deceased and the first responders to the crash site....I am glad Chris' pain is over, and I pray for my coworkers who are mourning their dads.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGANC1988 8/11/2010 10:15AM


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CHAOTIC-KITTY 8/11/2010 8:24AM

  You are always in my thoughts.. and, prayers.


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LIBBYFITZ 8/11/2010 8:07AM

    emoticonMy thoughts are with you. So sad. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 8/10/2010 10:06PM

    You certainly have been on an emotional roller coaster ride :((( Its simply mind boggling the people you know dying so suddenly in so short of a time :((
Don't be too hard on yourself eating cookies, honestly, who wouldn't with your kind of stress and sorrow??
Please do get to a Dr. on that shingles right away. They can give you medicine to ward off the worst of it. When Mom was telling me her symptoms, I told her to get to a Dr. immediately, and it was a good thing as it went into her eye as well as hair, but was caught in time so that it didn't get worse. It was the first time she had had them. I knew the symptoms of it starting from other people I have met with it. That you might be getting them shows you are wearing yourself out and are run down. Do try to take care of yourself..

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CARRAND 8/10/2010 10:03PM

    Bad things come in threes they say. I'd say you've had that and more, so things should be looking up soon. Forget the cookies and move on. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

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SWAMSER 8/10/2010 10:03PM

    be sure to allow yourself some stress relief, sorry for all the loss you feel

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A Sparkfriend Sparked Me! ("Catch me doing something right")

Monday, August 09, 2010

Yesterday, I saw a message board comment where someone was talking about taking money from her swear jar to put towards her new smaller person wardrobe. Something clicked. I decided to adopt that for my use. I have a coffee can at work where I throw in change. I decided to "catch me doing something right." and throw in my change in a different container for doing something right every day. Small amounts, but I will have fun with this:
8 glasses of water a day - 8 pennies (something to do with them!)
5 fruits/veggies - nickel
10 minutes of walking - dime *
5 or 10 strength training exercises - nickel or dime*
a task at work that I don't want to do -
contacting a friend or family member -
doing a chore at home -
5000 steps*

* I will increase these next week, tendonitis permitting

I have been flailing, struggling, even before Ruby's death. I just was not sure I could continue this voyage. I am not all the way back, but thanks to a sparkfriend who shared what she's doing, I have found a way to give myself dailly gratification, a way to rebuild my longer term commitment and, ultimately, a way to buy a piece or two of my smaller me wardrobe.

Frustrating that SparkPeople website crashed intermittently all day. I stayed within range nutritionally, despite feeling really hungry. I got the 8 glasses of water, 6 fruits and veggies. Only 2-3 strength training exercises, but that's more than I have done in about a month! I got in nearly 10K steps. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, not too cold and my tendonitis threatened, but did not prevent my lunch time short walk. I looked for reasons to walk around at work and was surprised to see how many steps I took! Whee!

I had the midafternoon energy crash but I still got in 2 hours of OT and got a lot done. I did not get my least anticipated project taken care of, but I looked at it and thought up a game plan for tomorrow. As I said, I am not back, but I am on the way!

The money is more symbolic than anything else. I don't expect it will actually make a huge difference, but I like the almost immediate feedback.

Thank you, all, for comments, for Spark goodies, for emails, for your wonderful support! YOU ROCK!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANNER2121 8/10/2010 10:41PM

    Great blog, nice to read after the heartbreak you so recently endured. LOVE the idea of paying yourself for good deeds: whatcha gonna buy???

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CARRAND 8/10/2010 9:51PM

    Hang in there, Honey. We're all on your side.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/10/2010 6:53PM

    It's so good to see you making progress and finding new ways to motivate yourself!
Stay so positive. You inspire me!

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LNKSMOM 8/10/2010 4:37PM

  WHat a great idea.... I REALLY like it! HMMMM- now you have me thinking about how I can adopt it to use at school for me. Perhaps everytime I pass on ordering lunch out, put that amount in for starters---I've caved and ordered even when I brought a lunch from home~LOL

You ARE clever, girl~ emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/10/2010 3:11PM

    emoticonYou are sounding a lot more upbeat today. Love the idea of the reward strategies. emoticon emoticon

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 8/10/2010 11:44AM

  Good.. I just thought I couldn't get on SP because it was either my computer or my internet connection.

Congrats on doing some kind of exercise. :)


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FOCUSEDDIANE 8/10/2010 9:01AM

    Great way to motivate yourself!

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NONIE_C 8/10/2010 2:38AM

    I love this idea!!! I should probably do something similar, so I can start saving up for a pair of running shoes :) And I think it's great that you've found a way to celebrate the small successes of each day. By doing this, you will inevitably build a bigger success - like a whole month where you drank 8 or more cups of water a day. You can do this!!!
I've been doing little rewards for myself too. Like tonight, after a long day of bike riding, I enjoyed a leisurely hot bath before dinner (which was a healthy pulled chicken bbq sandwich - got the recipe from SparkRecipes). It's important to support ourselves...we deserve it!!!

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JHADZHIA 8/10/2010 1:40AM

    This sounds very much like progress coming to me! Coming close to 10K steps is awesome with that tendon! Just do what ever you can. That is the main thing. Listening to your body. It will tell you what you need and what to hold back on. You need something to focus on and this is a fabulous idea!!! Small steps.
Support is always here when you need it,

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