Monday, October 18, 2010
I was inspired to write today's blog by one of my spark friends, Tempest272002!
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately as I'm viewing my Spark journey as a lifestyle makeover and not just one for my physical body. Like alot of you, I was never big as a child or as a teenager. In fact, I was fairly active and loved doing things outdoors. I was never one to have an exercise routine but would work off calories by shovelling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, walking and riding my bike.
Things started changing in my life during a major depressive episode about 20 years ago. I didn't want to do anything and thus quickly got caught up in the endless circle I've been living ever since. It started with the mindset that "I'm too depressed to exercise" but that quickly changed to "I'm too fat to exercise" . Everybody told me that I would feel better if I moved my body a bit everyday but after a few futile attempts at walking which left me sweating and tired I soon gave up.
Now, with the right medication and the right attitude I'm finally in a place mentally that I can deal with my physical issues. I now longer feel sorry for myself for being fat. I used to think, I know I'm fat but the effort to change that is simply too much for me to bother with at the moment.
The first thing for me to admit was "I'm technically obese" at 222 pounds and standing at 5.6. I could no longer enjoy a simple stroll without breaking out in sweat in places I never knew sweat before.
The second thing to admit was "this is it. There is no second change and this is not a dress rehearsal...this if my life". I always thought I'd get myself in shape one of those days but never did much about it.
The third thing for me to admit was " I am in control". I cannot blame my weight on anybody or anything. Yes, the depression doesn't help but I can't use it as an excuse. I used to say "the anti-depressants were making me fat" when I knew full well that most anti-depressants will only cause minimal weight gain in some people.
Over the summer we adopted our second dog and her energy was contagious! I did my best to persuade my husband to walk both of our dogs and sometimes I would go along and scuff my feet in an attempt to say "I tried".
This September, my husband returned to college which means he is gone from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. At first, I tried to get the dogs out in the garden but I soon realized they really enjoyed their walks/runs in the woods. Before I knew it, I was taking them and would walk further and further each time. I didn't see it as exercising but rather spending time with the dogs and getting them out.
Now, about 6 weeks after joining Spark, if I don't get them out in the afternoons for a long walk, I'm the one who really misses it. I feel a sense of contentment I've never felt before and it is true...exercise does help you mentally, but only if you let it!
Although, I'm still in the moth stage of my journey, I can feel my wings developing underneath my cocoon of body fat. I'm changing one day at a time and I feel good!
Again, thanks for reading! I hope you are all having a wonderful day!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
My wonderful mother asked me to take her out shopping today during which time she bought me a pretty winter coat and matching purse. I wasn't sure about it at first but her logic was it would help brighten me up during the cold winter months when I needed a boost! How thoughtful! She knows I am trying to lose weight but it fits so well now and it is an extra-large! I'm usually wearing plus-sizes so fitting into an extra-large is great!
I'll take a picture eventually....
P.S. I don't know why I wrote a blog about this but something about buying a blue coat (I don't really like blue on me!) felt like a step in the right direction! I'm trying to step outside of my comfort zone a bit and this coat sort of calls attention to me as opposed to the earth tones I usually wear.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Hi! I was out of town today taking part in a rescue involving a 6 year old Yorkie who has been bred to death's doorstep! Please remember little Moto in your thoughts and prayers. I will be fostering her for a few weeks starting this weekend.
Now, for Maddy's story! Maddy was with us for about two months when Itook them on a rarely used woods road on a snowy, January day. A white van appeared and Maddy gave chase and ended up completely pinned by the front tire. The entire weight of that tire was on his tummy (he was lying spread-eagled) and the tire stopped an inch or so from his head.
The man who hit him was in almost as much shock as I was but he managed to jump back in his van and backed off of Maddy's body.
I immediately picked Maddy up and he didn't wince or cry and laid him in the backseat of the car. My dog Peaches (who was 15 at the time fainted when she heard Maddy's screech) had to be revived and my Mom (who was with me) thought she was having a heart attack. I sped off towards home (we were about 30 minutes out of town) and called the clinic.
As soon as Maddy was put on the examination table, he freaked out. They had to subdue him to do x-rays. Initially, it was good news...no internal injuries nor broken bones. In fact, the clinic had a hard time believing he was pinned by the way I described.
About a week later, he went downhill. They had to remove his fur and much of his skin from his neck to his tail. We were told this wasn't painful and kept him sedated everyday. I took a month off of work and slept beside him on our living room floor. He had to be wrapped in baby's receiving blankets and they treated his open back with a dressing of honey.
We were warned that it might not work and we told the vet to put him to sleep if he was in misery. But he was stoic, and didn't mind having his bandages changed every second day for two or three months.
The clinic staff documented every visit with pictures because they had never seen a dog recover like this. I cooked Maddy a chicken breast every day and my husband and I did everything we could to keep him infection free and comfortable.
In June we were given the all-clear. He has a bald spot across his back just above his tail.
I know you are thinking, ah, what a nice story but that is not the miracle I am talking about! What I'm about to tell you is true....
My father (who was my best friend) was diagnosed and treated for cancer back in the fall of 2005. Dad and I spent several months living 5 hours away from home and often we would go to a pet store that sold puppies. One particular time, I refused to look at the puppies because it upset me so much (I'm a firm believer in getting a puppy from a reputable breeder or a shelter but not from puppymills). Dad insisted that I see this little white pomeranian puppy. I went with Dad to have a look and I can remember arguing with him that a) it was a male dog (up until then I had only had females), b) it was a Pom (I figured they were yappy) and c) it was white (and I believed Poms should be red).
Anyway, Dad finished his treatments the next day and we drove in silence back home. We were halfway home when Dad pipes up, "I can't get that puppy out of my mind". I told him the treatments must have affected his mind because they wanted $1300 for the puppy. Anyway, he kept talking about it so Mom and I actually called out and it was sold!
Six months later and Dad was on his deathbed. I was lying beside him and I told him how much I was going to miss him. He leaned over and put his hand on my heart and said, I'll always be a part of you.
It was then that I promised that one day I would own a white Pomeranian in his memory. I told him that I would even consider getting a male and that I loved the name Maddy but felt I couldn't name a dog that as my dog-hating mother-in-law's name is Madeline. I also told him I would not pay for a dog as there were so many little ones needing homes.
Dad passed away in his sleep in July 2006 and while I remembered my promise, I had not intention of acting on it..at least not then.
Fast forward to the fall of 2008 when I got this call (out of the blue) from the mother of a girl I went to school with. She had rescued a little dog and needed somebody to dogsit due to a family emergency. This dog was only new to her and wasn't settling and because it didn't have its needles couldn't be put in a shelter. I said yes,and imagine my surprise when she dropped off .... a white, male Pomeranian named Maddy!!!! It was love at first sight and within weeks he was ours. She actually did take him back initially but he wouldn't eat or drink for 48 hours so we officially adopted him!
See, remember, miracles do happen! P.S He wasn't "free"...we paid $1 to adopt him and$3000.00 to save him! I love him with all of my heart
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Hi! As part of our ongoing Halloween Challenge, we are each supposed to write a blog about our successes.
I'm going to break my successes down into concrete ones and those that really can't be measured.
First for the concrete ones: One month ago, today, I got my husband to take my first set of measurements. In that time, I've lost:
1 inch from my waist,
3 inches from my hips,
.5 inch from my neck,
2 inches from my thighs,
.5 inch from my calves,
.25 inches from my upper arms
.25 inches from my bust.
So, those inches combined with the 11 pounds I've lost since I weighed in on August 30th are part of my concrete successes.
As for the stuff that is hard to measure:
I feel better about myself
I actually look forward to my daily walks
I'm sleeping better
A couple of friends say they notice a difference in my mood (yeah!)
And I'm starting to feel more and more that I can do this!
When I started the regular naysayers kept saying "oh, you're meant to be a big girl" or "don't get too excited over the first pounds...everybody loses them quickly" or "you're fine just the way you are" made me feel really depressed. Was I doomed? When I'm walking I play those conversations over in my head and argue back with them.
No, I'm not meant to be this big of a girl, yes, the inital weight does come off easy but that doesn't mean I'm giving up and no, I'm not happy the way I am.
So, as I reflect over the past weeks I think I have a lot to be proud of! I'm learning who I am, I'm making and maintaining some fantastic friendships, and I'm feeling better about who I am supposed to be!
Thanks for reading!
GO TEAM! NO MORE BATWINGS!!!!!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Although I am not really religious I am spiritual and my request today is that whoever reads this message will say a prayer that the mine workers in Chile will be brought to safety without incident.
I've been following this story with great interest for their story is among the best I've ever heard. Despite being trapped underground since August 5th there is no animosity, no anarchy, no defiance or struggle to be "first".
They are a band of "brothers" whose only wish that someone else be rescued first. They are all willing to be the last one out!
How many of us would be that brave? I doubt that I would have lasted this long and would be scratching and clawing to be out first. I hope that I wouldn't be like that be nobody really knows until they've been in a similar situation.
So, today, I plead with you to take a minute out of your busy lives to think of these Chilean mine workers. Pray for them if you believe in the power of prayer!
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