Sunday, October 16, 2011
It's no secret...I am struggling with chronic physical pain. Since April, I was able to put on my big girl panties (daily), be upbeat and continue onward. I would acknowledge the pain but wasn't willing to give in to it. There were even days that I pushed myself to accomplish a task, which I would pay for several days later. Yet it still felt like I had completed a task and allowed me to focus on future challenges.
It's also no secret that my Lymphedema is out-of-control. While physical therapy feels good while it's being done, the wrapping and the exercises were usually filled with painful moments. It's a never-ending task that needs to be performed daily to retain some sense of normalcy in the life of a "lympher".
I remember back when I was a small child ~ I would sit upon my daddys foot and hang onto his leg as he "danced" me around the room. That's the same heaviness I feel in my lymphatic leg - like a child is clinging on and I can't release it's grasp.
Back in 2007, the doctor estimated that my left leg (only) weighed 150#. That was before the Lymphedema moved into my thigh. Since my thigh has gained about seven inches, I would imagine the reality is more likely to be about 175# - which is 41 percent of my current body weight.
It's no wonder that my constant companions are chronic pain, loneliness and boredom.
Yesterday, I was visited by two other companions...the twins, "give up and give in". It would have been so easy to be swayed into going with them. But I held steadfast and struggled to move onward.
Now, I'm not the most religious person in the world...but I frequently talk to the big guy upstairs and as I sat upon my bed last night, I simply stated that I hoped for a better day tomorrow than I had that day.
Early this morning I was inclined to open my Bible and look for passages about feeling lost. I opened the book to Hebrews 12, it talks about how God is our father, training us and correcting us (as most fathers do).
But it was verses 11 thru 13 that really caught my eye: "But afterwards we can see the result, a quiet growth in grace and character. So take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong."
Today, I tried taking a 'new grip" on my life and my circumstances. The road won't be all that straight or smooth....but for now, I will continue onward. For today, a new companion came to help me along.....her name is HOPE.....
Friday, September 23, 2011
Mount Kinabalu is a prominent moutain on the island of Boreneo, located in East Malaysia.
My quilt ~ Kinabalu is like the Malaysian mountain for which it's named, this quilt has an unmistakable richness of color and form.
I often refer to the similarities between quilting & weight-loss. Just like in weight-loss, us quilters have tools ~ a mat to lay our fabrics on, a ruler to measure our strips and a cutting tool to obtain the desired widths.
When I started this quilt pattern, I broke it down into smaller - more attainable steps. I cut the center squares and strips one and two, then stitched them together. Each day I would tackle a few more strips until I completed thirty-six Log Cabin blocks.
One of the magical touches of this quilt are the fussy cut triangles.
These triangles are cut from a 'signature border print' designed by Jinny Beyer. They really add an unexpected touch to that classic simple block.
Some days I was more anxious to see results and I pushed myself a bit more than the day before. This is so true, even with my healthy journey ~ the more effort I put forth, the better the results I obtain each week.
One morning, I started my day out on a positive note ~ I took the plunge and whacked four corners, attached my triangles and then stitched the center blocks together. It's like those light-bulb moments we have...when we realize with a bit of effort, we CAN accomplish and be surprised by the outcome.
While some days....it's hard to stay focused on the task at hand. I make some progress towards the desired results.
I remember reading on someone else's Spark page ~ there is no TRY in this journey, either to DO or you DONT. This really hit home with me and is helping me stay focused with both my healthy journey and in creating quilts.
Here's a preview of border #one....
As for the rest of the quilt....you will have to be patient, the best is yet to come.....
Monday, August 22, 2011
I'm having many food frustrations of late....
Since I'm high-risk for Osteoporosis - I get yearly exams for bone density. The nurses always emphasize that the foods that are good for bone health are dairy products and your dark leafy greens.
Dairy products have slowly gone by the wayside, as I have gotten older I've become intolerant to these products.
The Nutritionist has a huge list of foods to help me on this healthy journey, like: dark leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, parsley, romaine lettuce), broccoli, cauliflower, green peas, carrots, etc.
Then we interject Lymphedema ~ an incurable disease. I have problems getting rid of the protein enriched fluid in my legs. It can be managed, but lately it's more "out of control" than it is managed. I belong to a Lymphedema Support group and posed the question about what is healthy for us "Lymphers". A low carb, high protein and low salt diet is best.
I was surprised to find out they thought Chicken was not the best choice and that tomatoes could cause inflammation. Of course, the Omega-3's topped the list with Salmon, mackeral and tuna. Once again it was suggested your dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, cherries, brown rice, barley, bulgar, Brazil nuts and a few others that I can't remember. LOL
Then to really screw things up ~ because I've had past complications with blood clots, I will always be on Coumadin (an anti-coagulant medication). And the foods that you should avoid..........you guessed it, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, kiwi, grapes, green peas, carrots, cranberries, etc. All those healthy foods that I have once again learned to love & appreciate.
I'm beginning to question everything that comes out of the mouths of the medical professionals. And after they remove all the foods that are high in Vitamin K...what's left over? Fish & rice??? Ohhhh.....yummy.........NOT!!
So, we Eat healthy, we exercise...And still none of us will make it out alive...........LOL
Monday, July 04, 2011
I AM AN EMOTIONAL OVER-EATER!!
Trust me, this is NOT just about the negativity in life. It's also about celebrating the good things that life throws your way.
Think about this....
How many 'work meetings' have you attended where they did NOT provide food or drink?
How often do you gather with friends or family and your time together is NOT centered around "what shall we eat"?
My negative emotional eating blocked my pain, sadness, abuse, discomfort, boredom, loneliness and insulting comments.
But I also dealt with positive emotions, like: celebrating a raise, getting a promotion, starting a new job, having another birthday, reaching a milestone, the sun shined, the wind blew, I received a compliment....
I think you get the point I'm trying to make ~ I ate and I didn't know how to stop!!
While home-bound this past winter, my best friend was bringing me groceries. He never questioned what was on my list, until that one day when he noticed the bag of cereal I had ordered from the previous week had been consumed.
He commented, "that bag had 15 servings and it's gone?"
I replied, "you've known me for over 30 years and you never knew that I was an emotional over-eater?"
OMG ~ what did I just declare? Not only had I acknowledged my problem, but I said it OUT LOUD???
It truly was a baby step forward onto my healthy journey. I recognized my fault, acknowledged it and then shouted it from the roof-top!!
Let the healing begin....
At that moment I realized I didn't have the temptations involved with grocery shopping ~ you know those little tidbits that always manage to jump into your cart, but are never on your shopping list.
I seized the opportunity and the next list did NOT contain: crackers, pizza, or sugar-coated cereal. Gradually the list grew to include: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and healthy meat like chicken and fish.
On one delivery he even mentioned "how proud he was of me" and I didn't automatically shove food in my mouth. I just blushed and said, "Thank you!"
FEELING EMOTIONS ~ what a new concept!!!
I have no tricks up my sleeve or any magical tips in over-coming this emotional side of eating. There are many times that I reach for food ~ especially when I experience mindless eating.
A big part of my success ~ I don't set myself up for failure. I don't have the temptations that I know I cannot resist. If I'm going to shove food in, to comfort an emotion, my choices are apples, pears, nectarines, cantaloupe, carrots, green beans, pea pods, fish or chicken.
I still get bored, am lonely, am happy and will always be challenged with mobility issues. But I'm also seeking other ways of dealing with those emotions ~ like volunteering my time.
Genealogy and quilting are a BIG part of my life! Through quilting, I'm providing quilts for children with cancer and newborns in need.
With my genealogy, I've been volunteering my time with Familysearch.org in providing new resources ~ the current project: 1940 Federal Census - will be available in 2012.
I will often help others with their family trees ~ I just LOVE the hunt & search!!
Now I sometimes get so wrapped up in an activity that I forget to eat ~ too bad THAT scenario didn't happen more in my lifetime!! LOL
I'm not certain I will ever be cured from emotional eating.
But each time I can "fill the need" with another activity, the hurdle becomes less challenging and I look forward to the day when it is just a bump in the road...
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