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Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm not sure what to write, but I want to blog, so let's see what comes.

My motivation and energy around Sparking has been lower for the past week than when I started being on the website again. I haven't found a good way to be on SP when I'm not feeling motivated or successful. I'm not sure how to do that.

There are a lot of other places taking my energy these days, neither good nor bad, just present for me. I am still reading Daring Greatly (slowly) and loving it. I am thinking a lot about shame and bravery in my life--I am thinking about it every day, and am glad my energy is moving in that direction.
It is also a few weeks (3) shy of the 1st anniversary of my Dad's death. Not surprisingly, it is taking a lot out of me. I am trying each day not to judge it--I am trying to greet the grief, joy, fatigue, variable moods, and lower motivation without judgement. It pains me how much I have judged my grief in the past year. So I want to meet it where it is, take the time and energy it requires, and know that this is my reality today. It may not be tomorrow, but meeting it with silence and gratitude seems right on to me. But it takes a lot of energy.

I also find out this week if I am going to get surgery on my knee (torn meniscus and loose cartilage bodies in the joint space). My doc is altering my thyroid medicine, and I feel a bit sick. Oh, and a beetle crawled into my ear the other night while I was sleeping and set up camp. It's actually a good story I'll tell sometime. :)

Today, in the cold and sleet (it was 70 yesterday!!!), I made a trellis for my clematis, and covered the berry bushes for the frost. I arranged flowers I got out of a dumpster, and I sang my heart out to Melissa Etheridge. These are the ways I care for myself. It is so easy to get into the mindset that everything (meaning me) sucks if I am not tracking. But I want to lose that all or nothing thinking. And that is why I can't figure out SP right now very easily. But I am going to keep blogging, keep reading your blogs, and keep on keeping on.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 4/15/2014 9:37AM

    It's always wonderful to hear from you, wherever your heart happens to be roaming these days...

Be careful about arthroscopic it for your knee? So often it just doesn't bring the results one is looking for and can aggravate your pain even further.


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A Perfect Day outside the arena!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Most of the time this day would not count for my perfect day, but after a busy 2 weeks, it is just what I needed! The skies have been pouring down rain all day, it is SO dark outside. I walked the dogs (all 3!) early before the weather got too bad. I also got to and from the library before the downpour. But since then, I've been chilling, doing little things around the house, watching Brene Brown TED videos (I'm a bit obsessed), and reading. In a bit we're going to have some popcorn, watch an episode of LOST (I know, I'm about 5 years behind), and then I'm going to break down/cook 2 chickens. What a great day!!! It has been restful and delightful!

And I'm so happy that I have been AWARE of how delightful it's been. There has not been enough delight-awareness in my life lately, but I have it today!

Brene Brown uses an image of an arena to describe any time we are going into a situation which requires vulnerability, bravery, and talking down your negativity and shame. On a day like today, I feel like I'm outside of the arena, sitting in the shade, eating grapes, and napping; preparing for the next battle in the arena by just being and resting. No battles for me today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 4/3/2014 2:27PM

    Cheers to soaking up your "breather!" May many more come your way! :-)

Hoping to catch up with those Brene Brown TED videos, thx too for the tip!


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VALERIEMAHA 4/2/2014 6:25PM

    Like the image "outside the arena" to describe that open, sweet, tucked away space to play and rest in! REST WELL!

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"Pain!" A Mantra

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I am reading a great book called, 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown. It is really, really good. It discussed what the author has learned in her years of research on shame and vulnerability. At one point, she describes a tactic of what to do when shame hits. Or when you realize that your negative voice is speaking in your ear. She says to repeat the word, PAIN, over and over again until there is some measure of being able to confront the voice or shame instead of letting it take root.

Today I went to the thrift store to go shopping. What 2 years ago was (for the first time in my life) a delight has turned more devastating than ever. I am buying new clothes again, because the clothes I bought several months ago (the clothes that were supposed to get me through the 'bigger' months I found myself in, are TOO SMALL now.

I didn't have much luck at the thrift stores, except that I kept that voice at bay that was telling me, "ah, a size 22 huh, you thought you left that behind. You knew, though, didn't you, that you wouldn't pull it off. Here you are, fat again" blah blah blah. So YAY for me that I kept that mostly away.

As I drove away, I thought to myself, 'well that sucked'. And I imagined how good a drink would be, or stopping at the Taco Bell that was RIGHT there. Instead, I found myself driving and yelling, "PAIN PAIN PAIN OUCH OUCH OUCH" over and over again. I pulled over when the tears came and just kept yelling those words. Cause you know what? It sucks, and it does hurt. All of it--what I've been through, what I've done to get through it, what it has cost me in the form of pounds and tight clothes and shame. After a few minutes I drove away and you know what???? I felt better. It kind of worked. I was able to come home, do what I had planned to do today instead of letting the grief of failure and loss get a hold of me.

So there you go. A success. It really is a great book. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEGKORN 4/1/2014 12:30PM

    You are taking care of YOU! Working through your grief and loss, one step at a time! So glad!

WTG on passing up those unhealthy temptations.

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VALERIEMAHA 3/27/2014 11:31AM

    I followed my pal Don here, and glad I did! Love coming upon truth speakers and others searching for the truth of their lives. Thank you for oening your heart to me in this way.

GOOD STUFF! Always like the juice and energy of Brene Brown. And, yeah Don, that TED talk was actually my introduction to her.

To be continued,

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DDOORN 3/26/2014 10:18PM

    Speaking your truth! I love it! JUST what you need!

AND I TRULY appreciate the head's up on this book! It looks like there is much wisdom here that will serve me very well in addressing the nattering, critical, judgmental part of me that won't even join me in celebrating my weight loss instead jumps on all that loose flab. Making peace with ourselves...THAT'S what this book seems to get right down to business and addresses!

More thoughts shared here I found:

Thank you, THANK YOU for this special find!


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Here you come again

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hi There.

191 days since I last blogged. Way more than that since I last tracked.
One way to look at my life the past 2 years is that it has not gone how I wanted it to. That I became one of 'those people' who I swore I would not become---someone who GAINED WEIGHT BACK after losing it. And now I'm coming back with my head hung low, ashamed, and embarrassed; ready to make a big proclamation about coming back and starting over.

But f*!k that. For real.

Here's what I learned in the past 2 years:
grief and care taking come at a cost. That cost looks different for everyone. For me it looked like regaining part of the 100 pounds I had lost. It was the price to be paid for accompanying my dad in his illness and death, taking care of my Mom while she lost her partner of 47 years, and trying to figure out how to care for myself and my marriage within that.
And it's just weight. The more important thing that is being birthed in me now is to get over the pounds and start taking care of myself again.
So I'm in therapy. It's really hard work but it's good. It is helping me deal with a lifetime of shame that I am just tired of.
And I am being gentle with myself. Maybe for the first time ever.
And I am not making an proclamations. Yesterday I realized that I want to take care of myself. It is hard decision. I've eaten everything I want for the past few years. It is going to be hard to rediscover that filter of choice. But I can. I know that. At least for today I am going to try.

No promises. Only this goal and only for today: I will be gentle with myself. I will be aware of what I am choosing to eat. And I will track it.

That's it.

Going through the site I realized how much I have missed it, but I needed to be away.

It is nice to feel hope again, and perfect since Spring (presumably) is around the corner.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEGKORN 4/1/2014 12:25PM

    I'm sending gentle hugs to you for all you've been through with your parents. I went through the same challenge in 2004 with my dad, then in 2010 with my mom. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, yet I feel so blessed to have been able to be there for both of them. Tough stuff. Sorry for your loss.

I've checked in on you a few times so am glad to see you back here! I've gained back about 25 pounds myself, over the last year and a half, due to various reasons. I'm sooooo ready to get back to healthy eating and a regular workout schedule. I remember how good I felt when I did that before. Let's do it together!

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MANDYLOVE_76 3/27/2014 12:24PM

    Welcome back!

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DDOORN 3/23/2014 2:04PM

    Oh I'm so EXCITED to hear you're BACK!

I've been bouncing back from a regain also and would SO WELCOME the pleasure of your company! :-)


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Keeping On

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I was here in June and tracked for the first time in months. And the demons over tracking my 2300 calorie day were too hard to suppress after. So I decided that, for then, I wasn't going to consider tracking. I had enough on my plate and was having too hard a time not feeling bad about myself to add that. Denial? Maybe. But it was too hard and too soon.

So I try again now. It is made easier by the fact that my calories yesterday were in range. I want to see if I can, gently, add a few changes to my health. Grief's sharp edges are very slightly blunted. There is a little more space.

Here is the good:

exercise has come back to me. It has been made more difficult by 2 injuries: tennis elbow and a pulled calf muscle from running. But those are active injuries! The calf is good--I got back, minimally on the treadmill and elliptical today. But the elbow...PT starts next week. But the desire to try to exercise is there, where it had been gone for so long.

eating everything in site has changed. For a while--a long while--it was bad. The 24 pounds I wrote I had gained in June has become closer to 30. But my eating is better now. I am considering it (myself) more.

I am spending more time on me. Writing in my journal, praying, walking the shelter dogs as a volunteer, reading. As I have increased my life responsibilities, I have tried to balance it with being gentler on myself when I do not have responsibilities. My garden watering has become a meditative time for me. I am moving slower and more gently--in a good way.

I am trying on this new reality day by day. As my spouse put it, the world is colder and less inviting without my dad. And learning how to function without him or his illness as the center of my gravity is difficult. I am trying to see it eventually becoming a renaissance for my life. I hope to get to do things and experience hope that I have missed the past 6 years. But it requires me to continue to trudge through the grief. But mostly the trudging is less. The depression has eased. I am very grateful for these things.

I continue to struggle with wanting to separate my self esteem from my behaviors. I KNOW that I am not my weight, what I eat, how I work out, my mood. But its a difficult place to get to. It is all so tied up. I wonder how other people separate them?

I hope it's not another 3 months before I write again.
day by day, right?

Much Love,


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STLOUISWOMAN 9/16/2013 11:20PM


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DDOORN 9/12/2013 11:38PM

    Wonderful to hear from you Annjie!

Sorry to hear about your injuries, but hey, at least you're getting them the "right" way, eh? :-)

Super to have you back with our SparkFamily and back on track!


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SHAMROCKY2K 9/12/2013 3:27PM

    You have gotten through this time and come out on the other side! Now is YOU time. With the help of this community.. emoticon

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NEMETZC 9/12/2013 10:35AM

    The fact that you are back at all speaks about your inner strength. I'm sorry you have been having such a rough time, but I am glad you are working your way through it. Start at the deepest part of yourself and little by little work it out. Praying, getting outside, volunteering are all great things to do to re-immerse yourself in the good of life.
Keep up with the baby steps and everything will fall into place.
You'll be great!

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KRISUA 9/12/2013 10:13AM

    We all have periods we'd rather forget, but the most important thing is to rise above it and CONTINUE! I wish you luck.

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