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Frustrated - not a typical cheery blog - sorry in advance!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Happy Friday 13th to you all. If the rest of the day is anything like the events thus far this morning I am thinking of going home and heading to bed! Nothing serious just dropping things, setting off alarms (in a library, no less!) etc.....ha!

Anyway, the subject of my blog today has to do with my relationship with my mother. IF you are reading this and are even thinking about adding your two cents worth that I should be "glad I still have her" please refrain from commenting as I might just have to "unfriend" you!!!!!
emoticonLori, aka as, Momma_Little can relate to what I am talking about, I'm sure!!! emoticon

So here is the situation - my mom is a strange bird. I love her to bits but she drives me crazy. She has had it hard and has several emotional issues that I, personally, think she never dealt with. My brother's partner summed it up best - she is an intelligent woman but seems to be stuck at age six emotionally. As hard as that was to hear I am seeing it more and more.

Whenever mom has a health issue she thinks she is either dying or needs painkillers. When my dad was three days away from dying with cancer she was complaining that her toe hurt. Looking back it seemed like a cry for attention. I don't really know. After Dad passed, Mom became addicted to prescription painkillers which she denies but was a severe enough problem that her doctor admitted her to the hospital. She was basically ordered never to take painkillers again but yesterday I saw her put two extra large bottles of Tylenol in her cart. When I asked about them she said "now Susan, you know I'm in a lot of pain (from what we aren't sure) and I'm going to take them. Be reasonable and stop being so childish". It was just like I was five years old again and that tone of voice brings me to my kness every time!

To go back a little bit (I told you this was going to be long!!!), Mom was diagnosed with diabetes about 20 years ago but refuses to take it seriously. Yesterday she went to the hospital to have a dye test done to see the extent of diabetes in her eyes. Apparently it is getting worse and there is a lot of internal bleeding. Now, I only know this second hand because despite the doctor asking if there was somebody in the waiting room he could tell this to she said she was quite capable herself and stubbornly didn't tell him that I was there!

I asked what the doctor said and she said there was a lot of diabetes damage and it was basically a wait and see thing. At no time did she take any responsibility for letting her diabetes get worse. (Stop, I can hear you all now saying to yourselves "but diabetes is progressive") Yes, I know that but you have to take some responsibility yourself. At the grocery store afterwards she purchased enough fruit to feed a church choir, bags of candy, chocolate bars, bags of chips, etc.... Again, I got the lecture, "Suuuuuussssaaaaaaaaannnnnnn, I'm allowed an occassional treat"

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! When my husband and I went out to supper later (I ate sensibly) I was telling him and then he started in how she needs to start taking it seriously. I had to stop him and tell him I wasn't the one who needed the lecture. I am just weary of it and once I explained that he stopped.

Any suggestions? This hospital experience is just one of many things I could share but I don't want to write a book here. I love my mother and all she has done for me yet I know how being around her makes me feel. I feel frustrated and controlled!

Weary and bleary eyed, Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

Q8PRINCESS 1/15/2012 11:40PM

    Sounds like my friend's Mom, she's diabetic but continues to eat sweets anyway which just harm her health. All you can do is love here and tell her to look after herself. It's really her problem and she has to deal with it.

Totally different, love the wallpaper with the snow. As it turned cold out west left the country and went back home. You'd never know I grew up in the cold and snow, I'm such a wimp now!

Just wanted to pop in and say HI

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CODEMAULER 1/15/2012 10:45AM

    It's hard being the only adult in a relationship with a parent. Trust me, I know.

I don't have any answers or words of wisdom, except to do all that you can to keep yourself centered and happy. You are critical to your happiness and no one can take that away unless you give them that power.


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LIBBYFITZ 1/15/2012 3:09AM


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EJOY-EVELYN 1/14/2012 3:02PM

    Your mother is not going to change. She will likely not be with us much longer, either. Harsh? Yes! That is so sad, because you would not write this blog if you did not LOVE HER! You hurt when you see her disrespecting her body in such horrible ways. Let her know -- as kind as you can -- how much it hurts you to see how she is sabotaging her health and that you love her so much and regret that she may not live a full and healthy life here on earth. Ask if there is anything you can do. If the answer is something you canít do, know that you have tried to be there for her as best you can. Is your mother childish? Yes! But you are right to love her. You embody love today. Hug, hug!

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CCCARTER3 1/14/2012 2:16PM

    I agree with all the above,Susan.
she is going to do what she wants anyway.
You take care of yourself.
It is the beast thing you can do for yourself.

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MIZCATHI 1/14/2012 11:20AM

    My oh my how I relate to this description of what drives you crazy with your mother. I could tell you storieessss. Hang in there and know you are not alone. emoticon

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JAMER123 1/14/2012 1:06AM

    Susan, I can totally relate to what you are saying and feeling. I have a mom that I too love, but get hurt by her a lot. She is a "me" person and if I make any statements, she tries to top it. Like, "my ankles are swollen" she comes back by saying hers are worse even though you can't see a thing. My younger brother passed away last year and mom was the only one that was in mourning. Due to her emotional state, I drove back home with her (1500 mile drive at age 85) and she did nothing but put me down and tell me I didn't know what her emotional pain was so don't try to compare. When we got to her home in the park, everyone came up to hug and it was her grief that was the focus of discussion. We had a bad falling out and are finally on the road to recovery from that time but it is rather fragile and I do all the back pedaling. Yes, I can understand and I can only say she is in charge of herself and love her as you can. I don't argue about anything because mom will do what she wants and I too am a child as well as female. She works with guys very well. She loves you in her own way but won't let you help. Just be there as you can with support when she needs you. Take care of yourself too.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/13/2012 8:46PM

    Very frustrating situation, but I think it will be tough to change her at this point. She will have to decide when she's ready.

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CHUBRUB3 1/13/2012 8:40PM

    Hugs Susan.
My words of wisdom have flown the coop, but you have great advice here from others wiser than I.
Hope you find the golden goose that allows you peace and helps all of you.

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ANEWBETHSTL 1/13/2012 7:39PM

    I totally agree with Momma_Little!

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MAGGIE101857 1/13/2012 5:38PM

    Sadly, we all have our stories of loved ones that refuse to hear or see the truth. The others have been brutally but lovingly honest - you can't change her at this age and you have to focus on your own health, physical and mental, and do your best to love her but if necessary, at a distance. emoticon!! I know it won't be easy, but she is the only Mom you have...warts and all! emoticon

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CHRISTINA791 1/13/2012 5:23PM

    Oh, so frustrating. Sorry you're going through this emoticon

I don't have any insight on the painkillers, but I do have some diabetic family members in denial about their weight and habits. It pains me, especially since I've just been there myself, but I also know that I was hardheaded for years and all the warnings in the world didn't get through to me. I wish I could figure out why and what made it click so that I could pass it on, but ultimately it's going to be different for everyone.

As difficult as it is, I think the best way is to lead by example and offer to be there for advice if it's requested. I know that wouldn't stop me from trying to talk some sense into the family member in question (in my case, it's my dad), but the only behaviour any one of us can willfully change is our own.

Good luck emoticon

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MOBYCARP 1/13/2012 4:34PM

    What they all said.

You're not going to be able to change your mother. The best you can do is to change the way you react to her; even that will be very difficult.

You want to get to a place where you can love your mother, but accept that she is going to do things that are not in her best interest. You can't fix this, and it will inevitably make you sad. Success is when it only makes you sad, not angry or stressed out. The first step is to accept that it's not your responsibility to fix things for your mother, and it's not within your power to fix them. The best you can do for your mother is to be there for her; try to let being there for her be enough for you.

I wish you well.

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YCOOLIO 1/13/2012 1:37PM

    Wow, all this advice is so good! (I like the image of a vortex of the co-dependent personality -- spot on!) However, there is no question it can take courage and fortitude to keep boundaries with someone who doesn't want any, so I wish you strength. The Serenity Prayer is eternally helpful in these situations. If we never had a love dysfunctional people, our lives would be so much easier! I dated a guy with an alcoholic mother some years ago, and she was a Major Vortex. He was constantly allowing himself to get pulled into her dysfunction and I could see just how hard it was not too, she would go so far out on the edge. He would get angry when she did some self-destructive thing (like, oh, not pay her rent for 6 months and get threatened with eviction, or blow off a client that was her last potential paycheck) and she and he would fight like crazy, with him screaming "I will not bail you out this time!" but in the end, he would bail her out every time. What a nightmare. I couldn't sustain the roller coaster and the distraction. There was literally no room for a relationship with anyone else, because if he wasn't dealing with her drama, he was thinking about her drama and wasn't present. I'm glad you have a place you can vent about this. Good luck to you!

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JLITT62 1/13/2012 12:53PM

    Unfortunately, you really can't change so done else, no matter how much you want to. They have to want to change. Not what you wNted to hear, I know.

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TEMPEST272002 1/13/2012 12:04PM

    It is hard when we see people we love make poor choices. I was so angry at hubby when he started smoking again after being so ill. Here's the thing - It's their life and their decision. Feel free to say - I wish you took better care of your health. I love you and want you to be here as long as possible. But that's pretty much the extent of what you can do. Being disapproving only makes people avoid/resent. The best thing you can do is focus on improving your own health & showing your mum, by example, how it's done. Hugs.

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    Oh, Susan, I do understand! COMPLETELY! You are between a rock and a hard place, too! She wants help with her pain, yet she wants you to leave her alone while she self-destructs! Go figure!

Alas, though! I have no advice! No idea what to do with these Moms of ours except to say that YOU did the RIGHT thing in explaining to your dear husband that YOU don't need the lecture! I'm so glad that he understood and you were able to enjoy (or at least, try to enjoy) the rest of your meal together!

We love our mothers... but my goodness, I don't want to resemble mine when I'm her age! emoticon

Love you, my dear friend! Hang in there and remember, YOU are NOT responsible for your mother's happiness or health. You can assist her, be there for her, but you can't make her behave or make wise choices. SHE is responsible for her health and happiness! emoticon

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LIBBYG7 1/13/2012 11:16AM

    Dear, dear Susan,
TOSS AWAY THE GUILT. NOW!!! Before it ruins your life and damages your marriage.

Guilt is a negative motivator...I know...l suffered to much lifetime guilt (Jewish guilt, they say, is the worst.) that when I heard of starving children in a fararway country, I wondered what I'd done wrong!! Funny but sad.

How old is your mom? How long has she been this way? How long have you rushed to her side in a 'crisis'? It's now a conditioned response!

This is a form of chronic denial/narcissistic/co-depedent behavior. I know it too well. My mother was just like that, my 13 year older sister, even worse. When I think of how much of my life has been spent catering to their made-up 'crises' or explain, pleading even, when I knew there is a REAL crises...and they were in denial ==- I could cry. I sacrificed much of my life and well being to their neuroses.

With my mom....it was like that until she died and age 80. As for my sister....well.....during all of my serious health issues these past 15 years.....well, she wasn't there for me at all.
Her response the morning after I told her I had cancer was; "I could't sleep all night crying about you...". Is this what I wanted to hear on the first day after a cancer diagnosis?

Well, I'll spare you all the details...fast forward 14 years. After years of therapy, I realized at her age (81) she's never going to change. So one day a few months ago....after yet another 'crisis'....I cut it off. Completely. I tossed away my guilt and severed our relationship.....which was terribly dysfunctional to begin with. I was simply enabling her neurotic behaviors at my own expense. It hasn't been easy....she's my only sister.

Now.....I'm not AT ALL suggesting you do the same with your mom. Just as everyone else said.....at her age, SHE WILL NOT CHANGE....you must believe that. Once you accept that, you can have a relationship with her free from guilt and stress on your own body. You love her...but she controls you. Take away that control, and the relationship will be much better for YOU. She might wonder why you aren't contstantly chiding her about what is best for her.....but evenually she will get the message and either choose to live in denial or grow up a little and come to know what's right for her.

In either case, by keeping a little, guilt=free, distance----you will be a much more happy, 'lighter', sane human being. You are not her keeper. even tho' she is using you as her keeper. She will have to stand on her own two feet, find someone else = or suffer the consequences (which, believe me, ) she knows.

Sorry this is so long.....you obviously hit a very HOT spot with me. And at age 68 I finally learned how to remove this source of stress from my life. No matter what you do, Susan, lose the guilt~!! OK?

Best Love, Libby emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/13/2012 11:20:13 AM

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GLORYANDME 1/13/2012 11:14AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Prayers and cares coming your way for you and mom! May the peace of the Lord be with you both.

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_LINDA 1/13/2012 11:08AM

    So very sorry Susan :(( Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults :(( As everyone else has said, you can't help someone who won't help themselves :( The other problem is she is still the parent. No matter how old you get, you will always be the child. Parents aren't going to give up their position of authority, and they certainly aren't going to take you telling them what to do, or being chided. The only solution really is if a person of 'equal stature', like a close friend her age, or her health care team, has to have a serious talk with her. But it sounds like she is not even taking her Dr.'s advice -I am assuming (hoping) that he laid it out bare she was in imminent danger of losing her eyesight?? That would scare the bejesus out of anyone..
My step dad almost died refusing treatment for a bleeding ulcer. He has difficulty swallowing and no way would he allow them to put a tube down his throat. In the end, they had to force it, and even though he was very weak with blood loss, it still took several people to hold him down to get it in. He also refused a transfusion in spite of losing so much blood. They ended up operating on him the old fashioned way, cutting him open as they could not deal with his fighting. When they get that old, they are set in their ways and nothing will change them :(
You hate to see them slowly killing themselves in front of your eyes, but all you can do is be as loving as possible and be there for them, steeling yourself from saying anything you know they will just ignore and rile them up. That person with the grandmother had a great idea -healthy frozen meals in the guise of leftovers, don't know if something similar would work for your Mom..
Feel for you,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOANNANOW 1/13/2012 10:57AM

    Hi Susan,
Diabetes is a hard one. My husband takes a pill for it and feels the pill takes care of the whole problem. His love of marmalade, maple syrup and oranges juice (in copious amounts) are still on the menu. There is nothing I can say to persuade him otherwise. It's frustrating and I can sympathize with what you are saying about your mother.

I am having to realize that there isn't too much I can do to change another person. I have enough trouble trying to change me!

All I can tell you about your relationship with your mum is that I would do anything to have a few more minutes with my mother who passed away in 1979. It doesn't really matter what the people you love do with your best advice... it is just the fact of the love you share and the hope for the best that is the biggest influence you have.

I have a friend who is a 3 time cancer survivor and not long ago she started smoking again. She thanked me when I saw her for not bugging her about it. I said I realized that there wasn't too much I could do about it. Recently she has been taking better care of herself and I applaud her successes. It seems amazing to me that she has been in such a positive frame of mind. I didn't say anything to provoke a positive change so it seems like a spontaneous transformation. What I'm getting at is sometimes just being supportive can be what's needed.

I feel for you. Your sweet concern is so obvious. I can sense your empathy all the way across the country when you write to me and feel blessed to have you in my life. You mother is a lucky girl to have a daughter like you.

Have a good Friday the 13th. Since I was born on the 13th of August I decided that when it is Friday the 13th it is always my lucky day... so far that is working well for me so I'm sending you a little luck because I have a little extra today. emoticon from Joanna

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BOVEY63 1/13/2012 10:40AM

    I am so sorry you have had so many years of dealing with her issues. I am wondering if you are with your mom on a regular basis. My mom suffers anxiety and panic attacks quite often and can call me several times a day. I can give her my opinions until I'm blue in the face and she'll say "I know" or "Yes, I should try that" only to not follow through, yet when one of my siblings or a friend suggests the same she listens (sometimes). Like you, I am the one who takes her to the clinic yet never talk directly to the doctors so can only go by what she says. When she is given meds she typically stops taking them for one reason or another. It is easy to say "it's her life and choice and I can't control what she does" but much more difficult to stop trying to help when its someone you love.

I wish I had a magic answer to this problem but so far I haven't found it. All I can say is that I understand your frustration and you are not alone.

I will keep you and your mom in my prayers.

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MORGANSMOM52 1/13/2012 9:53AM

    You cannot control your mother. Stop trying. She will stubbonly hang on to her "independence" as long as she can. She will most likely go blind if her condition is progressing in that direction. I have known many diabetics who are in denial of their condition and eat things not in thier best interest. Even when the adverse effects show up, it's usually been a gradual thing so it's hard for them to associate thier own behavior with thier reality.

Diabetes itself is not progressive. The side effects of not keeping blood sugar in control ARE. The execess glucose (sugar) in the blood stream destroys the inner tissues. There can be nerve damage, blood vessel damage (both of these can affect the eyes which are delecate), kidney damage. These are the "big three". The first two are also the cause of diabetic neuropathy, foot injury problems which can lead to eventual long term wound injury or amputation.
Keep watch on yourself. Diabetes can run in families although a familial tendency is not necessary. Obesity is the single most common cause of Type 2 diabetes Wow, sorry, TMU?

Comment edited on: 1/13/2012 9:55:43 AM

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/13/2012 9:43AM

    You can't control her. She's either going to change herself or not, and unfortunately suffer the consequences for the latter. And it will be no one's fault but her own. It's like you told your DH. You know. He knows. And ultimately she knows but chooses to ignore. It's sad, but out of your control so hopefully you won't let her make you nuts. There is one person you can control and that's you, so try to focus there. Loved ones in need tend to become the tornados who leave a path of destruction in our lives, and if we let them suck us into the vortex, we're co-dependent.

Comment edited on: 1/13/2012 9:45:15 AM

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MELAINAMM 1/13/2012 9:27AM

    You are a compassionate and loving person and obviously want to do all you can to help your mom. But this may be a time to decide if you want a relationship with her more than you want a relationship on your terms. I hope that sounds as loving as I mean it to!
She has the information on controlling her diabetes and avoiding addiction, but you cannot determine how she uses the information or if she even acknowledges the problem.
Continue to love her and have the best relationship you can that does not depend on her doing the "right things".
Take care of Susan by letting mom take care of herself.

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CHANGING_LIFE 1/13/2012 9:22AM

    Unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do. I'll be praying for you.

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IMIN2GENES 1/13/2012 9:20AM

    OMG! I have a relative EXACTLY like this! It's my grandmother. I could have written your blog today. She's also diabetic and doesn't take it seriously. Which is really a problem since she's insulin dependent. She goes so far as to have "spells" which none of us are quite sure are real. She cries wolf so much we're all having a hard time taking it seriosuly. The best advice I can give you is to just love her unconditionally. She won't change no matter what you do or say. It's unfortunate to say and even hard to do sometimes. But rather than frustrate her and more importantly yourself, sometimes you've just got to let it go.

Did you try talking to the doc yourself? Maybe he can help give you guidance. We've taken to preparing plates of healthy meals and freezing them then stocking the freezer for my grandmother under the guise of them just being "leftovers" just so that she'll eat something better. It keeps her out of the bad stuff most of the time.

I'll be keeping you and your mom in my prayers. It's tough! I'm not sure there are any easy answers. My best wishes to you both.

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HOPESINGH 1/13/2012 9:19AM

    I can easily relate to what you're telling. My mother has some issues of her own as well, and I can't help feeling frustrated and almost depressed seeing she's not trying to take responsibility for coping with a problem. But, you know what - there's only so much we can do to help grown-ups who don't want to help themselves. I'd say - try to settle for knowing you did all you can. Beyond that point - no worrying will do any good. Sometimes when people see we just let them deal with it themselves, they are forced to abandon (maybe partly) this childish approach.

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Do you believe in horoscopes? I don't but read on........

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Happy Thursday to one and all! It is a beautiful winter morning here in central Newfoundland with sunny skies and a temperature hovering around -10 degrees celcius. A great day to get out and enjoy some fresh air and play in the snow with our fur-covered "kiddies". Remember if you are dressed for it any day can be a great day outside!

So, do you read and/or believe in horoscopes? My apologies in advance, but I don't read them nor do I believe in them. I think I am more like Sheldon on The Big Bang theory than I care to admit!

What lead me to click on a yearly horoscope this morrning is beyond me but what I read has got me thinking. Here is what it said about Aries with my emoticons inserted as needed.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Naturally passionate and daring at heart, emoticon youíre never one to shy away from new experiences or to tackle difficult challenges. This year though, youíre looking to boldly go where youíve never been before! emoticon Your usual sandbox feels too confining as you seek to branch out and explore new realms. This could take the form of international travel, but it could also be new mental challenges that you choose to take on. Thinking about going back to school? This is your year! emoticonPublishing is highly favoured too (write that book!), as are religious/spiritual studies or taking any kind of legal action.

Your mantra for 2012 is: I choose to expand my world. emoticon

Love: Thereís something different about you this spring! Itís not just the new hairstyle either. Youíre literally morphing into an even more authentic version of yourself emoticon, and attracting mega attention as you do it! Image-enhancing Venus in Aries brings you loads of opportunities to connect in February, but itís the hot summer months when things really get cooking! emoticon

I was thrilled and a little skeptical when I read this "generalized" horoscope and I know it is up to me, and me only, to make sure these changes in my life do occur. It did, however, give me the little kick in the pants emoticon I needed to let me know I am on the right path!

So I am declaring 2012 the emoticonYEAR OF SUSAN emoticon

Oh, and it can be your year too! I am not greedy! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 1/13/2012 5:31AM

    Choosing to expand your world can only be a good thing! It's always fun to read your horoscope and have it mirror positive messages. If you choose to take care of yourself it can only be a good year! Woohoo

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    And what a great kick in the pants it was! We should all be getting that same kick in the pants! Consider the kick shared with yours truly, and gee, THANKS! emoticon emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 1/12/2012 9:29PM

    Yeah! Year of Susan!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DORIE57 1/12/2012 4:26PM

    I'm a Leo and although I too am a horoscope skeptic, every once in a while I'm compelled to read mine and sometimes it seems as if it were written just for me. When this happens I take it as God's way of giving me a message.


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JRIMM4 1/12/2012 4:00PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MILLISMA 1/12/2012 3:58PM

    Love it Susan! I don't read the horoscopes either but I'm also an Aries. Thanks for sharing.

hugs...Mary Anne

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/12/2012 3:56PM

    I believe it!

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GOOZLEBEAR 1/12/2012 2:03PM

    I don't read or believe in horoscopes but enjoyed your blog complete with emoticons! I think it is great that you have declared 2012 the Year of Susan, I will add my name too!!!

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POPSY190 1/12/2012 1:08PM

    A Capricornian here! I'm an entertainment-only reader too. I think I'm a rooster in the Chinese system. What do you get when you cross a rooster with a goat? Don't answer that one! . . .

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TEMPEST272002 1/12/2012 11:58AM

    I'm loving the mantra: I choose to expand my world. I'm a scorpio, not an aries... but I think I'm going to adopt this mantra anyhow! Hope you had fun with the doggies. I'm totally stressing over DeeOhGee & can't wait until she arrives on Sunday.

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BOVEY63 1/12/2012 11:56AM

    I typically read horoscopes just for the fun of it - kind of like a fortune cookie.

As a fellow Aries, it would be wonderful if this were true, but like you said - it is up to us! I'll add the name of Leanne to the year too! Let's go get em'

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_LINDA 1/12/2012 11:39AM

    You do want more attention to your blogs and Sparkers seem to be giving it to you. Who knows where it is going? Maybe you will wind up like Indygirl, doing a regular blog for the Daily Spark! This could very well be the Year of Susan in the Spotlight! Are you ready ramp it up and get it going? I am actually surprised Indy hasn't got a book in the works, you think she would she is so popular. Personally, I think you are way cuter than her! I would love to see YOUR face regularly up there in lights!
Make it your year!

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PAMNANGEL 1/12/2012 10:58AM

    Speaking as a Sagittarius, I don't believe them either, but they can be amusing at times. emoticon

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CODEMAULER 1/12/2012 8:52AM

    As a fellow Aries, I think the Year of Susan and Trish has a nice ring to it!


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WENDYSPARKS 1/12/2012 8:38AM


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Does size really matter?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

Bright and sunny with a nice temperature (-10 celcius) for walking both me and the dogs! Yes, I often think of doing my walking in terms of taking "me" for a walk. I wouldn't dare let a day go past without the dogs getting out for a walk so why would I not treat my body in much the same way?

Speaking of my dogs, I have made an observation about their behaviour towards one another which prompted the thinking behind this blog. Warning to non-dog lovers - cuteness talk ahead!

Maddy the 10 pound wonder dog and Louisa the 65 pound "just happy to be alive" dog are our family. We take them everywhere we can and try to do things that they will enjoy. The latter seems kind of silly since they seem to just like being in our company (as we do theirs!!!)

In our house we notice that Maddy tries to "boss" around Louisa. One such example is his (yes, we have a male dog named Maddy - long story!) insistence on sleeping on the largest dog bed and looking very much like a newborn baby on a king-size bed. This leaves a fluffy dog bed for Louisa that is sort of flat on which Maddy insists on wiping his mouth off after each meal! I know you are all thinking "well, just buy another big dog bed" but that backfired and we now have FOUR dog beds and Maddy leaps for whatever one Louisa is headed for! Did I mention Maddy is quite nimble and Louisa not so much?

Outdoors, however, Louisa rules the roost especially if there is a toy involved. She will gladly plow anybody or anything over when she is running wild with her toy and seems to take great pleasure in "charging" Maddy and trying to knock him over.

So it seems size does matter in certain situations (now get your minds out of the gutter emoticon) and I am sharing my thoughts on the matter. The following has nothing to do with dogs by the way so it is safe for you non-dog lovers to read!

If you are a larger person, you have probably felt those stares from nosey parkers everytime you eat something or put something in your cart that screams "I'm fat and I don't care". Yes, there are exceptions to the rule but sometimes those thinner people are not eating any healthier than the bigger people. I know of somebody who went to a nutritionist after losing 50 pounds and couldn't understand why they were sick all the time. It all became abundantly clear after the person revealed that he lived soley on frozen pizza for six months. Yes, he had lost weight but at what cost to his body? Don't any of you dare rush out to stockpile frozen pizza!!! emoticon

So as a 200 pounder, I have to ask myself where am I on the big/little debate? Do I want to be slim person who can eat what they want or a big person watching what I eat?

You know what, the answer is "non of the above".


And I am getting there one little step at the time. Yesterday if felt really good to log in my food and to see that I actually reached all of my nutritional requirements for the day AND went to the gym and went for a walk. Going to bed last night I actually summed up enough nerve to look at myself in the mirror as I brushed my teeth and said " you are doing it Susan". Yes, I looked kind of funny with toothpaste on my chin, mumbling words to myself and trying to explain to my husband why I was in the bathroom talking to myself emoticonbut the fact remains it is the face in the mirror, whether I'm big or little, that I have to be true to!

Think about it! Can you look yourself in the eye and tell yourself that you are proud of yourself? I did yesterday and I am going to make it a habit! Try it tonight and you might surprise yourself.....just wipe the toothpaste off your face before you do so you don't actually laught at yourself!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LHACKING13 1/11/2012 11:59PM

    What a great blog. It is true that we shouldn't focus on size, but being healthy and our bodies will go to a good natural size for us. Thanks for sharing.

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SANDEEB7 1/11/2012 11:57PM

    LOVED this. I will endeavour to take up your suggested habit too. emoticon emoticon
Happy New Year!

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EJOY-EVELYN 1/11/2012 5:03PM

    Love the way to speak about your precious family. Such fun to see these dynamics. I don't know about you, but if you're going to start talking to yourself, I hope you answer yourself as well . . . it's a sign of being accomplished! (smiling broadly) Great blog!

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LIBBYFITZ 1/11/2012 4:34PM

    I actually titled my blog PROUD! yesterday, so I can honestly say YES I am proud of myself!

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JRIMM4 1/11/2012 12:24PM

    Here's to Healthy!
and thanks for the smiles!


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TEMPEST272002 1/10/2012 11:55PM

    Dogs are funny. In my experience, small dogs almost always rule over the big ones. Funny creatures. Attitude matters more than size, I guess! I'm so happy to hear that you were proud of yourself today. For me, that has been an important part of the process of healing and getting healthy.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 1/10/2012 10:52PM

    Good for you for taking the time to give yourself a little credit. I was kicking myself for being so far out of line for my nutritional goals today. On the other hand, I did go to a weight training class and kept up with the kids. So thanks for helping me look at the positive side tonight.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 1/10/2012 10:37PM

    Great blog!! I couldn't agree more, I am here to be healthy!! By the way, laughing at ourselves is allowed.


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KAYDE53 1/10/2012 9:54PM

    Same with my dogs, the smaller bosses the bigger one!! Yes, we all need to focus on the positive!! Good blog! emoticon

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GOANNA2 1/10/2012 4:19PM


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CANDYXPERT 1/10/2012 3:27PM

    well said and well done! Keep it up!

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    Susan, great blog! Again! You are so right, too! And yes, last night, I was so proud of myself when I got to say the same thing you did after two or three days of being way off track! I liked your doggie stories and analogies, too! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 1/10/2012 2:53PM

    Your comment about looking in the mirror and talking to yourself really hit home with me. I've been feeling puffy and fluffy lately and not good about myself. It's so easy to focus on the bad and not the good. Thanks for the reminder!

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MIZCATHI 1/10/2012 2:11PM

    I loved this blog with the cute 2 dog story - I also have 2 dogs and never tire of their crazy antics.

You are doing great! I am going to add you as a friend and hope you will return the favor!

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CHUBRUB3 1/10/2012 1:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Susan you are doing it!
Love the story of Maddy and Louisa and the references to size. emoticon
Keep up the great work!

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BOVEY63 1/10/2012 1:46PM

    We can all learn a lot from our dogs!
You have good reason to be proud of yourself ~ you have not only gotten yourself on the road to good health, you are helping many of us along the way too!

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_LINDA 1/10/2012 1:28PM

    Well done Susan! You got what the purpose of the website is, its about the LIFESTYLE, not the weight..
LOVE the dog story, more please, and with photos if you can. All too often, the little dog rules the roost. They are usually agressive while the big dog is more passive. Bendix (80 lbs) walked on eggshells when Mom brought the cat home. He has chased them all his life with a passion and to have to live with one in his old age and not be allowed to chase it, you can just imagine what he was feeling. Even though the cat teased him mercilessly, swiping at him all the time, he was not allowed to retaliate. I felt sorry for him.
Keep on being fabulous!

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HOPESINGH 1/10/2012 1:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love dogs!

And, -10 degrees is a comfortable temperature for you? emoticon

Keep up with the great attitude!

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/10/2012 12:24PM

    Excellent analogy - and yes, my small dog came into the family and immediately bossed everyone around too!

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CALGARYNEWF 1/10/2012 12:17PM

    Once again Susan, you regale us with humour but with a very valid purpose. Well done!

I'm having a hard time getting started (again) and your blog just helped a bunch. You're absolutely right and I',m sure I'll remember it tonight as I brush my teeth. I'm going to make sure it's a positove, productive day. Thanks!!!!

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LIBBYG7 1/10/2012 11:34AM

Love your dog story. You and I feel exactly alike regarding our furballs.

As for size: it used to matter to me in the most superficial way. I had a very public career - and I needed (or felt I needed) to look extra good all the time. I loved clothes -classic stuff- I never followed trends.

Fast forward a few years. My health went south...my weight went up. Depression time. I had fallen from my own ideals, my very superficial ideals. I became invisible in my own eyes.

Now...as the years roll on, and with my involvement in the SP community-my whole body-image thing has changed.....for the better. I don't mind looking in the mirror any more.....even with my 200+ lb. body. It's still 30 lbs less than last year and I have toned up a great deal. But most important --- I'm regaining my self-esteem, my ego is strengthening.
It's wonderful.....And; I feel healthier.
So....I know very well what you mean.
Be well, luv
Libby emoticon emoticon

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JOANNANOW 1/10/2012 10:57AM

    You reminded me of Polonius in Hamlet saying to his son"to thine own self be true" I think he follows with something like then you can't be false to any man. I think if you are straight and true to yourself in the mirror or with or without toothpaste (lol) that you can't fool yourself about how healthy you are. Whew! I'm not sure that made sense.
Any how I love your dog story. The dynamics between our two dogs keep us entertained and they are so interesting. I just started reading "Inside of a dog". I don't ususually buy books as the library system in BC is wonderful and I can get any book in the provincial system easily but I did buy this one from Amazon just to get the free postage on another item. I've only read a few pages and it promises to be full of great insights into what makes a dog tick.
I was wondering if there really are people that don't like dogs and then realized that my own mother was afraid of them. The other day on the walking trail we passed a toddler who was screaming with fear at the mere sight of our dogs. It made me sad.
Susan you look wonderful in the new photos! I wish it was minus ten here it is still warm and very, very icy. Happy Tuesday to you too! emoticon emoticon

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ERTSMOM 1/10/2012 10:47AM

    'dog talk' is the best emoticon

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GLORYANDME 1/10/2012 10:42AM

    I think that is why alot of us got this way in the first place, because we weren't proud of ourselves . . . so we loved ourselves with food. So here is to looking in the mirror and validiting that person and telling them, "I'm proud of you!" emoticon

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CHANGING_LIFE 1/10/2012 9:17AM

    I love the dog talk. :) Good blog. You make a lot of valid points.

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And you think it is chilly where you live? Video clip.....

Sunday, January 08, 2012


The above is a clip from our provincial news in Labrador which is the non-island part of our province. Thankfully it never reaches that cold here on the island (or should I never say "never") but I thought my SparkFriends would enjoy seeing this clip.

I've had a good weekend and today I have been meal planning (yes, me!) for the upcoming week. I am including two recipes from my new Spark cookbook emoticon and will review them here for all to read afterwards. Last night I made the "make ahead oatmeal" and we tried it after being outdoors. My husband had to add honey to sweeten his up and he also thought it was too "cinnamony". As for me, I thought it was a little "bland" but refused to sweeten it or add the salt that I wanted to. With everything you used to eat pre-packaged it will take a few days to get used to something but I would encourage you all to try it if you have the book. It is packed with nutrition and I am sure is far better for me than the packages I used to eat! Overall a keeper recipe!

We had more snow overnight but it is manageable. The furbabies had a wonderful romp in the snow earlier this afternoon as we went on our daily hike. They came home, ate their meal and are now passed out in their dog beds. Ah, they have it rough, don't they.

Oh, before I go I have to tell you about the success of my goal-planning. Last week was week one and I did well overall. I managed to cut my sugar in my coffee from 2 teaspoons to 1, I tracked my food three times, I drank my water, and I walked over 12 km. I even went to the gym once so it got me back in the mood. So I need to do 9 more trips to the gym by months end and keep up with the other goals I made before I declare January goals an overall success.

I hope you all have a great week ahead!

P.S. I just realized the video clip is from last winter but it does give you a good idea of the temperatures in Northern Canada

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYFITZ 1/10/2012 8:14AM

    Hard to imagine cold when we are sweltering here in Aus. emoticon

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CHRISTINA791 1/9/2012 11:19AM

    8C here yesterday. I'm almost missing snow... it just feels weird to be in this fall/winter limbo. I was tempted to drive out to the mountains this weekend just to go for a hot chocolate somewhere with snow on the ground.

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GOANNA2 1/9/2012 5:02AM

    Here I am sweltering in humid 35 Celsius and looking
at the snow makes me envious.

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HOPESINGH 1/9/2012 1:24AM

    This kind of places are on my list for "not suiting human habitation" emoticon
Honestly, I would die of depression in such a weather. Sending some sunshine your way! emoticon

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_LINDA 1/9/2012 12:08AM

    Wish we had snow too, instead of the icy streets and sidewalks!! We are used to way more cold and snow then this bizarre weather is doing to us.
Spicing is such an individual thing. Most people won't be happy with a standard recipe. Mom and I loved Chef Meg's fruity stuffing, but didn't think it had enough spicing.. Its almost worth making it plain and letting people spice to their own taste..Mom has to make things bland for any family gatherings as most of them don't like new or unusual spices..
Way to go with your goals! Keep up the great work!

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    Susan, I admire you so much for loving where you live, making it home, even when there are hardships about it! I wish I were more like that about where we live here in TX! It really seems cold up there, girlie! Brrr! emoticon

Good for you on the goals! I think you're doing fantastic! emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 1/8/2012 10:44PM

    We can use some of that snow - lowest snowfall on record in Minnesota in 49 years. Luckily we haven't had real cold temps yet - a couple degrees before zero a few days.

Great job on the meal planning and reaching your goals!
Have a wonderful week!

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GOOZLEBEAR 1/8/2012 8:56PM

    Now that is cold! I can't even imagine weather like that! You are doing great with your goals, very proud of you!!!!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/8/2012 8:25PM


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JOANNANOW 1/8/2012 8:08PM

    Oh boy I would love some of that cold weather ... this January thaw we are experiencing is causing such treacherous conditions ... ice with a skiff of snow on top or today ice with water on top! I slipped on Friday and soooo grateful not to have too much damage although my elbow and neck are still sore. This global warming is not good. The icy roads and walking trails are so dangerous!
I love minus ten and dry snow like we used to have!
You are doing so well with your goals and planning ... I am trying to recover after an emotional week and now have a cold. They say stress affects your immune system and that must be it. When I recover I will try to set some goals and follow your stellar example.
I am cheering you on Susan! emoticon

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POPSY190 1/8/2012 7:45PM

    BRRRRRRR. My husband spent a short time in Antarctica but it wasn't as cold as that because he went in summer. Still had to be all rugged up though.
Good luck with the goals for the rest of the month.

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KAYDE53 1/8/2012 7:33PM

    I liked the boiling water to snow thing too. I may have to do that here if we don't get any snow this year, I miss it! But I don't like temps quite that cold!! Thanks for sharing!

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CHUBRUB3 1/8/2012 7:22PM

    Great blog Susan.
We can get that cold too, just hopefully it will hold off for a little longer!
Great your doing your goals so well.

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GLORYANDME 1/8/2012 7:09PM

    You can keep the snow . . . beautiful though! Good job on sticking to your resolutions. I like that you are going to review the recipes from the SP cookbook. I haven't purchased it yet so I will be inerested in your opinion. As for me, in my next life I am coming back as one of our fur babies! lol

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LIBBYG7 1/8/2012 6:44PM

    EEEK! I loved seeing the boiling water turn to snow. I'll remember that video when I whine about 3 inches of snow here in NYC.

You're doing great! It's good to take stock of your progress.....but don't become a slave to the numbers (except to track, if you do....). Just let the 'good stuff' slowly become a regular part of your life. That's how I'm handling my new, healthier behaviors.

Good luck, and congrats, my dear. You're an inspiration.

Hugs, Libby emoticon

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    You are doing great things!!! Meanwhile, I am working myself up to watching the video, since I'm cold just thinking about it!

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TEMPEST272002 1/8/2012 4:30PM

    Great job meeting your goals for the last week. A few more trips to the gym. Make the commitment to get in those 9 workouts. Promise yourself like you would your best friend & I know you'll follow through. We experiencing unseasonable warm weather in Alberta - plus 10 yesterday!

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CHANGING_LIFE 1/8/2012 3:25PM

    PS I was actually in -30*F weather last year in Minnesota!

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CHANGING_LIFE 1/8/2012 3:23PM

    I actually miss the snow. . . maybe I will end up in Canada for grad school! ;)

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RRP546 1/8/2012 2:17PM

  keep the cold weather up there thank you

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Greetings from the snowy isle of Newfoundland

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Well, all the local schools were closed today in anticipation of the first storm of 2012 but when I went to work there really wasn't much either on the ground or falling from the sky. However that did change over the morning and when we walked the dogs after lunch even they didn't want to be out in it. Blowing snow, ice pellets striking your face and slippery roads - why am I so disappointed that I only managed to walk 2.4 km before calling it quits? Oh, and I forgot to mention the sixth times I slipped and yelled and the time I actually slipped and tossed the GPS unit into the snowbank with my mitten attached to it! emoticon. Even I had to laugh because Louisa thought it was all a game with "mommy" squealing in delight (or so it must have seemed to her) and then she tried to steal my mittens off my hands and race around like she had won the grand prize at the fair. Maddy, in his dashing little red coat, looked slightly like a deranged Muppet character with all of his fluffy hair poking out of the neck of his jacket. Oh, how they make me laugh!

I'm doing well with my goals (I highlighted them in yesterday's blog) and am pleased to say I have my 12 km walked this week and have one trip to the gym under my belt. I have managed two days now with cutting my sugar back in my coffee from 2 teaspoons to 1 and I think by the end of the week I will be used to it. I even tracked my food yesterday - yep, even that Big Mac I had for lunch. I have it without the sauce which I know doesn't make a whole lot of difference to the calories but it is a start. Now if I had only taken off one of the patties and the third bun!

Although I bought the Spark Cookbook I have yet to make anything in it. Several recipes sound quite doable while others have ingredients that I'm not sure I can find here. I will make a conscious effort all the same and will look into substitutions. Living on an island in the north Atlantic does have its disadvantages this time of the year when food is all trucked in. We could never survive on the 100 mile diet unless they opened the fishery up again!

I know I mentioned this one time before but are groceries expensive everywhere? I saw 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts the other day for $13! I wouldn't buy them as I buy them on sale but still at that price who can afford to eat them? I often wonder if it is because we live on an island but we do have chicken farms here so that shouldn't matter too much. Oh well, I'd rather pay a bit extra to eat healthy if it means few health bills etc in the long run.

I'm about to sit back with a nice cup of tea shortly and to read some blogs. Oh, I hear the snowplow going around now....thank goodness John has gone out and I am supposed to be cooking supper or else I would feel guilty about not being out there with a shovel in hand.

Okay, I've babble on long enough! Take care my SparkFriends and I hope you are all having a great day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 1/6/2012 8:26PM

    I live in New-Brunswick and we have not one drop of snow on the ground.
I have never seen that before! Weird!
Have a great week-end! emoticon

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HEALTHYBARB1 1/5/2012 11:10PM

    Made me laugh picturing your mitten and gps flying through the air and into a snow bank. Food costs seem to be up everywhere but I know from my daughter who lives on an island that costs are higher where she is as everything is brought in by the ferry. There are benefits to island life though!!! I noted that you asked on my blog about organization ideas...I am in this mode of dowsizing and simplifying and de-cluttering. Want less stress and less stuff and less to take care of. Most recently I have done my desk and home paperwork area and have put everything in notebooks with dividers...one each for budget, household paperwork, medical for each family member, exercise, creative stuff and crafts, shopping and coupon tracking. I got a bunch of clear page protectors and am just sliding things in to them and it seems to be working and easy to organize. Also shredding lots of old stuff. Trying to the rest of the house one room, drawer and closet at a time. My theme is less is more!!! You'll have to let me know what you do to keep organized too!! Smiles Barb

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CHRISTINA791 1/5/2012 2:01PM

    It's always interesting to look at price comparisons here. I know I've seen a two pack of chicken breasts for around $10 (and just spent almost that much for a pound of ground turkey the other day), but I usually go for larger packs. M&M's usually has their boxes of 8-10 breasts on for under $15, and they're awesome. They're a decent size and cook up great every time.

I did get a bit of the island thing living on the other coast, but Victoria is pretty well stocked and is a prime growing location. Some things were harder to get, but there was no shortage of fresh farm food available (it helped that it was very mild all year, too).

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    Susan, I just saw this week's flyer at the United Supermarket where I work and boneless skinless chicken breasts are on sale for $.97 a pound. Hamburger, however, continues to astound me! It's the price of steak if you want a decent fat %! emoticon

By the way, thanks for being such an encouraging and supportive spark friend! That means so much to me! emoticon

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LIBBYG7 1/5/2012 11:26AM

    I think you're amazing!!! emoticon

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_LINDA 1/5/2012 10:48AM

    Well done going out in those scary conditions! Except that you don't want to ever hurt yourself in a fall :( I have known too many people that has happened to, so please, please be careful out there. You can always workout indoors. I am surprised this is only your first snowstorm, it seemed like Eastern Canada was really getting bombarded this year!
Big Mac used to be my favorite when I was eating there. Fortunately, it hasn't been for a very long time. Mom hates McD's and it would be the last place she would ever eat out at. But the buffet and Asian food we love so much can also be huge calorie bombs too so its a good thing we eat out rarely.
Got to love fur babies -they are always good for a laugh!
Keep up the great work!

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EJOY-EVELYN 1/5/2012 1:04AM

    Great walk . . . you have some great companions that make walking that much more fun!

I don't have the Cookbook yet and I've already made the Salsa Chicken and have another recipe preview saved. I may just have to try the Green Chicken Curry that came previewed in my 28-day bootcamp with Coach nicole. Sounds yummy and from what I've seen so far, Chef Meg has made several recommendations on how substitutions can be made.

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/4/2012 10:36PM

    I too have an unused Spark cookbook. Thanks for reminding me!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 1/4/2012 9:55PM

    I think your approach is very sensible. It doesn't make sense to deny yourself the foods you love just so you can crave them and at some point overindulge. You'll find that you CAN cut back on the sugar; so much easier than cutting it out altogether. The same with the big Mac. Take off the sauce, today, and on another day, cut out the bun. It still tastes good but your waistline will appreciate the effort. Your success is dependent on a lot of little things like those choices.

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GOOZLEBEAR 1/4/2012 9:33PM

    You sure lead an interesting life on that island. I can imagine things would be more expensive. I do find I spend more money when I'm trying to eat healthy. Love your blog and I can just picture you out there having lost your mittens and your pups thinking it was a game!!!

Stay warm!

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CHANGING_LIFE 1/4/2012 8:05PM

    My parents buy most of the stuff they get at Sam's Club (in bulk) or just get it on sale. I've never seen $13. . .heck, you could eat out for that! I wonder if it does have to do with your location.

Well, glad you are keeping the goal in mind. I like being active in the inclement weather. I feel like I become "one" with nature, and it gives me an extra obstacle. I sort of like the dangerous aspect of it! Have fun with the dogs! :) With love!

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CALGARYNEWF 1/4/2012 6:27PM

    Another awesome blog Susan! You have a great storytelling (writing?) ability. You had me laughing yet again!

Good job on the goals! emoticon

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KAYDE53 1/4/2012 6:27PM

    That's expensive chicken! Good for you taking a walk in that weather!! Funny how some dogs love snow, others hate it!! Great work on your goals!! emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 1/4/2012 6:26PM

    I think it's awesome you were disappointed in the shorter walk! Just look how far you've come - literally.

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BOVEY63 1/4/2012 5:02PM

    I loved hearing about you and the dogs (not the park about falling though - OUCH!) and was laughing out loud picturing Louisa's game!
Great job on reaching your exercise goals and tracking your food.
Stay safe!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/4/2012 4:52PM

    Lol only 2.4km I know what u mean

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POPSY190 1/4/2012 4:19PM

    You're tackling ice and snow, I'm fighting heat and humidity! This is a food producing country - meat and dairy and we keep being told those things are so expensive because we have to pay prices that reflect the export levels!Lamb and milk are particularly expensive. Great blog. emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 1/4/2012 3:30PM

    Have fun with the cookbook!

Wendy emoticon

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MELAINAMM 1/4/2012 3:25PM

    You are a fun writer, I loved reading about the snowy walk with the kiddos. Thanks for sharing!

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BALISANE 1/4/2012 3:18PM

    That is a crazy price for chicken! It's probably because the meat is being processed elsewhere and shipped back in instead of coming from the local suppliers, who don't have processing facilities on-site; if there's a butcher on the island, it might be possible to order from the farms through them, or buy direct from the farm and bring it to the butcher. If you're feeding a family and have a freezer, it might even work out cheaper than the sales.

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JRIMM4 1/4/2012 3:13PM

    Groceries, oh my, yes I think they are expensive everywhere although I imagine it's even more so on your island. Last time I priced chicken I was doing good to find organic chicken breast at $6.99 a lb. Not sure what the regular grocer price was. Sounds like you had a cold but fun walk with the pups! Enjoy your tea!


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CHUBRUB3 1/4/2012 3:10PM

Susan I love the fun you have. You are a dear friend, who never fails to make me smile.
No snow here yet in Alberta, been unseasonably warm. But I am sure it is coming.
Your doing great!

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