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Rough Times

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

It's been a while again. And there have been some rough times.
And frankly, I'm tired of having rough times. If you will permit me to whine just a little bit---
this house I live in is hard. It has been harder and harder for 4 years (offering hospitality to a homeless family). They turned out not to be the family we probably should have asked to live with us, but because the 3 kids' lives are being transformed, we keep doing it even though there are many indicators that we should not. But it's hard to argue my needs against the needs of these 3 kids, so every day we decide to keep doing it for one more day, but it's hard, and there are often crises.
Then we took custody of the 16 year old for 6 wonderful, fulfilling, transformative months. We turned our lives around and it was so hard but so incredible. Then he and his Mom decided to try again (although we all thought it was long term), and so we lost him after 6 months.
3 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It has mostly been controlled with a chemo-like drug, but has been worsening. 3 weeks ago we thought we were going to lose him, now it's a battle week to week as we live and breathe on the results of his weekly blood tests and how he's feeling and pray he doesn't get another infection and hope he is OK, although the best that "ok" can offer is a little more time.

In the midst of all of that, things really have been good. I have an amazing marriage that is my home and joy every day. I have fulfilling work which they pay me too much to do, really (although my colleagues disagree with that, to be fair), I have a loving community, and thanks to SP, better health than I've ever had in my life. In the midst of the crisis of this family living with us, I have chosen to live healthily more days than not, and now weigh 184 instead of 100 lbs heavier than that as I did my entire life.

But it's still frustrating that the scale hasn't done much in the past year and a half. Nothing, really.

I had a great vacation and an amazing 2 week stretch after that which was more on track and awesome in terms of eating and drinking and tracking and exercising--I really put SP on the top of my list. I still only lost one pound. Frustrating, but not a deal breaker certainly.

But what I really want to know is --
how do you balance dealing with struggles and crisis? I want to be gentle and loving with myself, so I let myself pay less attention to tracking and measuring. I drink a little more, I eat a little worse, but not terribly. But then I just feel worse. But how do I balance that with the lack of energy or enthusiasm I have to give those things the attention they require? How to balance between being kind and gentle with myself and staying on track in crisis. That is the question.

Because it seems like more is coming with my dad. So...

I hate writing negative blogs. I'm a positive spin kind of person. So forgive my whining.
It has been helpful to re-read some of my former blogs (as recommended in a great blog by DDORN). It's nice to remember what got me here.

Thanks all.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAMIEHORN20 10/25/2011 12:36PM

    I was coming to check in and see if you ended up doing the warrior dash, when I discovered I got unsubscribed from your blog! I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Thinking of you and sending you hugs!

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MEAG29 10/6/2011 1:41PM

    your body could be holding on to weight as a result of stress...i'm sure you can't medically prove that...but your body does have to cope and it seems as though life maybe causing your body to cope by hangin' on for dear life...eventually though the valleys and the mountains smooth out and you will loose...dont beat yourself up!

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FUNNINFIT 10/5/2011 5:34PM

    Anjie-whine away-everyone needs some time to 'get it out there'...I'm proud of you for maintaining your weight, even if you had other goals...I'm glad that you've opened your heart/home to help others, even if it's created more stress for you...I'm sorry you have to go through life's trials like your dad's illness...all the while, you remain grateful for what you have-your health, a good job, good friends and a home where you feel loved/safe....When your spirit dips, drink from the waters of those around you...

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DDOORN 10/5/2011 9:04AM

    Sheesh life can sure serve up some doozies for Despite all of your challenges I'm so pleased for you that you have what sounds to be a deeply satisfying marriage and gratifying work...thank goodness for THAT!

There IS something to be said for your maintenance, even though you're not *quite* where you would like to be. It's tricky stuff, figuring out what weight is "good enough" for ourselves. Been wrestling with that also.

As far as balancing what I know I need to do to keep up a healthy lifestyle for myself against the storms of life? That's the million dollar question SO many of us struggle with. Going to blog some thoughts about this in my upcoming blog.

In the meantime, perhaps we need to plumb the depths of knowledge, experience and wisdom acquired by those of us who've "been there, done that" and are successfully maintaining their healthy and well lifestyle?

4A-HEALTHY-BMI has been a wonderful crusader for this cause! Check out her blog, Rockstars of Maintenance:


The National Weight Control Registry is working hard to cull together knowledge about successful weight loss and maintenance:

Hang in there and keep blogging, 'cause sharing where you're at? It's always GOOD, even when you may think it's bad! :-)


Comment edited on: 10/5/2011 9:04:57 AM

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Post vacation and on track!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life after vacation is never really very easy. But things are going well. We didnít return to our Ďnormalí life. Jenny has been at a permaculture class 9 hours a day 6 days a week since our return. It has made us feel busier than normal, but itís been very invigorating to continue to dream our little city lot and all of the things we can do with it.

On vacation I decided (kind of) to go easier on the alcohol to see if that made a difference in my SP goals. Since we got back, I have been doing a really, really great job. I am trying to keep SP back in the front of my mind, not in the middle or back. I want to see if that moves my goals from stagnant and maintenance-minded to ACTIVE and moving the scale. I got to 185 pounds a year ago, and have not gone up or down since. Donít get me wrong, I am thrilled to weigh 185 after a lifetime between 265 and 290. I rejoice!! But itís frustrating, some days more than others. Other people have started above my start weight or at my start weight and managed to get down closer to their goals, so why am I stuck?

The first thing I knew is that I am usually at the top of my range (a range that hasnít changed since my first big losses). So even on Ďin rangeí days (of which I probably usually run 4 or 5 days out of 7), I am often at the top end. Also, 4 or 5 out of 7 isnít as consistent as I need to be. It seemed to work before. Itís not working now. I also realized that my pattern of having a glass or 2 of wine every night was one of the things that keeps me at the top of my range. AND that I wanted to break that pattern. My final realization is that while I have come leaps and bounds in negative thinking, that area is stuck too. I got to a certain point of growth and then kind of stagnated.
So I am trying to really pay attention to how I talk to myself and turn it around.

1. keep a daily hand-written log of calories, mood, alcohol consumption, sleep, and a few other things to really have a clear overview of a month. Then I want to compare that to my weight loss.

2. Keep SP in the front of my daily thoughts/goals

3. Recommit to exercise

4. Recommit to eating at the middle or under of my range at least 5 days a week, and not going over 2,000 calories the other 2 days.

5. Not drinking every day.

6. Work on the negative voice like I work on paying attention to foodókeeping it in the front of my mind.

I didnít put on too much weight on vacation, if any. I got a scale for my house (this was a BIG decision; I had been weighing myself at the clinic where I work). Changing to weighing before I eat and with no clothes on immediately made my weight better !
I am weighing myself every day to keep my goals in front of me.
So far, Iíve lost 2 pounds, which is more that Iíve managed in the past year. For the past 4 days the scale has not moved, which is a little bit of a bummer, but I feel great about how Iím working out (I ran 3.6 miles today!!), how Iím eating, and how Iím attacking the negative voices. I love singing songs to my negative voice while Iím running (I will Survive as done by Cake and Do You Believe by Cher are 2 good ones for that!). So things are looking good. The weekends are hardest. It is so much easier to be organized and true during the week.

Thatís all for now.
Have a good rest of your week!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAMIEHORN20 8/25/2011 10:01AM

    Aww, loved this blog! And WOW! 3.6 mile run!! That's awesome!

Good for you for doing some soul searching and figuring out what will work for you. It always feels good to get really honest with ourselves. The hard part is figuring out how to translate that honesty into a plan that works for us. I think you'll have no problems with that, though!

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DDOORN 8/25/2011 8:39AM

    Kudos to your scale dedication! Weighing in and tracking are my HUGE weaknesses...yet when I can stick with them they are unquestionably my greatest weapon against the pounds.

For me, alcohol is a no-brainer: I'd rather CHEW my calories, thank you...! :-)

Great to hear from you again as always...and SO admiring of your focus and concentration on your goals!


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So here is the basic problem....thoughts on negative thinking while on vacation.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Here's the problem--- I decided to write a blog update to my last blog. A few days ago I wrote the trauma that we have been living through. I wrote about how my eating had followed down the dark path, followed (or preceded?) quickly by self-loathing and negative thinking.

I wrote about being frustrated this far along in the game with how much my self-esteem from day to day is tied in to how well my eating and exercising are (ie, can I feel good about myself today or not? let's review my food and exercise to see).

I also wrote that I was going to try to act as if I cared about myself on Monday and Tuesday prior to leaving for vacation, and that I was worried about vacation.

Monday and Tuesday did, indeed, go my way. I am nervous because I don't want to feel negative about myself while we are on vacation, and I want to eat well and exercise but don't necessarily feel able.

Flash forward to today, vacation so far is fabulous! We had a great 3 mile run (with some walking) along Lake Michigan this morning, then walked on the beach for a while. Now I am sitting clean in my rental, feeling calm and peaceful and good.

So I decide to write a blog to tell you all that I feel good today (yay!). But then I thought, well before I write I need to track my food so I know if I should write that I'm doing well or not.
What's up with that? This is just the problem.

So, I decided to write and say that I am doing great! And my tracking may reveal that I had too many calories yesterday (we had a great pizza for dinner). But you know what? I am doing great. Period. My negative side wants me to measure myself up based only on my calories, but for the first time in weeks I feel peaceful, good, content.

So how am I?

I am freaking great.
Thanks for asking.

More from the shores of Lake Michigan soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSET09 7/28/2011 8:14PM

  You are great and getting better! Beautiful pics and thanx for sharing! emoticon

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SUSIEGKORN 7/28/2011 4:40PM

    So freaking happy that you're doing so freaking great! Now, no more letting negative thoughts creep in while in such a beautiful, calm place! Lake Michigan looks wonderful ~ glad you got a nice walk/run in this morning and some walking on the beach! That's all good exercise!

Thanks for your sweet words on my blog ~ it is definitely a one day at a time journey! Happy to be on it with you!

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DDOORN 7/28/2011 3:58PM

    Wonderful news!

Where along Lake Michigan might you be...? I grew up along the SW corner of Michigan near the Indiana border around Michigan City, St. Joseph, etc. This is the lake I write about on my SparkPage where I grew up swimming all summer long...absolutely stunning place to be!

Savor and soak it up!


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Time to Act as If

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My last blog entry---seems like so long ago. I had made goals for Memphis and met them all. I was feeling so good and on.
Until last week anyway. We have been fostering Robert (a 16 year old) for the past 6 months, and had planned to keep him until his high school graduation. We felt great having him. It made all of the suffering of our house for the past 3 and a half years seem worth something--we were finally getting life from it (Robert's Mom and 2 siblings live upstairs in our house of hospitality --kind of like a homeless shelter--and it has been rough.) But finally it was gratifying and lovely. It felt ordained and beautiful.
But last week Robert's Mom decided she wanted him back upstairs with her. Their relationship is fairly toxic, but how could he say no to his own Mom. He couldn't, and so he moved back upstairs.
We are heartbroken. We both miss him and the dream that we were finally living. It has been devastating.

So, we all know what that looks like, don't we? Malaise, poor eating, little exercise--all of which quickly turns to self-loathing.
It's a fun cycle.

I'm still in it, but I can't figure out how to break it. So, I'm going to try the adage 'act as if'. I will act as if I have the energy and spirit to get back on the wagon. I will make goals I have no faith I can keep. I will try, though, to keep them.

They are only going to be goals for Monday and Tuesday because I don't think I can look further than that. And we are going on vacation on Wed (total panic about that--I fear the whole thing will be the vacation I've been desperate for, but will find me loathing myself because I'm so far off the wagon that it will be a miserable 2 weeks anyway--don't you wish you were going with me? :)

anyway, they are simple, but they've proven to be elusive for the past week, so here we go:

for Monday and Tuesday:

I will plan everything that goes in my mouth before I put it in there.
I will track every thing that will go in my mouth.
No cheese
No peanut butter
no ice cream (not usually a trigger for me, but we've had it around and it has been very dear to me!)
9 oz wine per day, no more
exercise both days

i want to make a goal about sending myself positive messages. That negative voice just waits in the damn wings until bad things happen, and then it takes over again. I thought I'd come so far (I have come so far). But I don't know how to be more aware of it. Maybe I will just set an alarm and every hour or 2 check in with my feelings and see where that negative voice has me.

There you go.

While journaling yesterday, 2 questions came to mind:

how can I let myself grieve and go easy on myself without crossing the line into pity and self-destructive behaviors? They seem so closely related. I want to respect the first but stay away from the 2nd.

How can I have my self-esteem, positive energy about myself NOT be related only to if I work out that day and have eaten well the day before. It is so black and white for me----I actually begin unconsciously to evaluate myself when I wake up (while I'm still kind of asleep) asking myself, can I feel good about myself? OK, I am about to work out and I ate within range yesterday. So YES, I'm a big winner today, I can feel GOOD about myself because today I am GOOD. If the answers are no, then permission to self-annihilate. How do I break that patter?

I'm going to try to come up with some vacation goals, but it makes me very nervous.

Thanks, all.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEWBETHSTL 7/25/2011 3:18PM

    So sorry Annjie!! I would be completely devistated also. You do what you can do right now. I feel for him also, he must be just devistated also. But you are right, that is his Mother and I'm sure it would be hard to say No to her.

I agree with Jamie...get back into kickboxing...through all of your fustration into that. That would be an incredible workout and stress reliever sweetie!


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JAMIEHORN20 7/25/2011 2:33PM

    Annjie, I am truly heartbroken for you right now! And for poor Robert...what a roller coaster he's been on. Glad you checked in and shared your fears and concerns with us. That's definitely a positive.

So how can you turn your grief into positive behaviors? The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that I know you like kickboxing. Seems you could let some aggression out that way. :)

But seriously, feel this grief. Allow yourself to know that it hurts and to know that it's okay to hurt. It will pass, and food will not make it better. I know you know this, but I hope you can find the best possible way to work through this. You're in my thoughts.

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SUSIEGKORN 7/25/2011 12:51PM

    Sorry for your loss of Robert ~ but think of all you (and he) gained from the time you had together! I know you can get strength from that 'cause it's awesome!

You've been so supportive of me even during your own hardship. That's amazing! You are an inspiration and I wish you nothing but happiness and a new dedication to yourself!

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DDOORN 7/24/2011 9:35PM

    Wonderful to hear from you again and so relevant to my struggles lately...although I don't have the clear-cut provocations you have. I've been too silent, too long, blog-wise...just struggling to put words to it all...along with playing ostrich too well!


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I rocked Memphis!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I am so happy to report that I met all my goals in Memphis!

I ate within range every day, and worked out every day! The hotel had a really nice work out room. I ran on the treadmill 2 days and did the elliptical one day. AND I did some strength training one of the days.

The manager's reception (free food and drinks) was OK. I took a diet soda and popcorn every day, and had a few sips of Jenny's mixed drink to not feel sorry for myself. Somehow it all worked. It usually doesn't! I either feel hard core health wise but totally wiped out from having resisted OR I don't resist and feel crappy health wise. This trip I felt such a nice balance of resisting but not feeling like it was taking everything from me. And I made good choices food and alcohol-wise. I feel really, really good about it.

Not eating out helped a lot. We managed to not eat out once.

The boys loved the civil rights museums and the underground railroad slave haven house we went to. We loved hanging at the hotel.

It was just a fantastic trip.

I have felt a little bit of "OK, you can ease up now" today since we got back, so I want to watch that. We are making dinner for my Father in law and his girlfriend tonight, which will be challenging (that's the polite way to say it). But I'm making salmon and salad for myself and Jenny. It will be a good night.

Thanks for all the support.

more goals to come!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAMIEHORN20 7/8/2011 3:12PM

    SO proud of you! That is a huge accomplishment! Keep up the good work.

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DDOORN 7/7/2011 10:47AM

    Sounds like you had a healthy blast!

Love it when I visit a big city and manage to spend little or no $$ on eating out and either packing or buying healthy foods @ the local grocery store.


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PUNKIN175 7/6/2011 10:30PM

    Wow! Sounds like you did great!!! I am really proud of you!!!! Also sounds like a really interesrting adventure! I bet those historical sites were really cool!

You are doing really well! Keep it up! You will be unstoppable!

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