TIGGER2908   33,050
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New mental attitude coming alive

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've been on SP for over 2 years and while I SAY I want to get fit and healthy (and lose weight in the process), I've done very little to make it happen. So far I've lost 30 pounds and most of that in the first few months.
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I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately and have realized that it's my mental attitude that is holding me back. Because I've been overweight my whole life (since I was 2, so I've been told, and I'm 55 now), I have the attitude that "I can't lose weight", that "I'll always be fat", that "nothing works". Well, OF COURSE if I go into it with that attitude, that's exactly what will happen.
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So now, I'm working on changing my attitude to one of "I can be fit", "I'll get to my goal of being fit and healthy" and "I'll make it work". I am working on changing my thinking, too. Instead of focusing on what I CAN'T have (like chocolate, which is a HUGE trigger for me), I'm going to focus on what I CAN have (like the bowl of pineapple and melon I just finished). Instead of thinking "I have to work out", I'm going to focus on "I get to work out and get stronger".
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My suggestion to anyone struggling with keeping focused on the goal is this:
take a look at your inner dialogue. Are you subconsciously sabotaging yourself before you even get started? You need to find what motivates YOU. If losing weight isn't it (and it may not be), then find what is. Don't think about what you think it SHOULD be, what because someone said that it must be that. Just because for someone else it's X, that doesn't mean that for you it's X.

When I first joined SP, I made my vision board:




and a lot of that is still true. So why am I still struggling? Because I've had the mindset of a "fat person wanting to be fit and healthy" rather than "a fit and healthy person" For example, I'll obsess on the fact that chocolate is a trigger for me and that I need to stay away from it rather than obsessing about which new fruit or vegetable am I going to try next. I think "I have to go to the gym" instead of thanking God that 1) I am still alive after having breast cancer for the second time and 2) I can afford the gym membership (which was not always true) and 3) my son is going with me so it's something we can do together which is bringing us closer. I'm trying to think as a thin person thinks, which is not easy since I've never been a thin person.
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I'm going to stay focused on my WHYs and remember that if I keep focusing on the negative, I'm going to get the negative.
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So that's my new mental attitude. What's yours?

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ICECUB 6/1/2014 12:37PM

    YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK. I HAVEBEEN OVERWEIGHT MOST OF MY ADULT LIFE, BUT I CAN LOOK BACK AT PICTURES AND I DIDN'T HAVE THAT MUCH TO LOSE BUT I FELT HOPELESS. NOW I KKEEP REMINDING MYSELF I CAN DO THIS, I AM WORTH THE EFFORT.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/6/2012 3:30AM

    It is not easy when we look back and see we have not made the progress we thought we should have but as long as we stick with it, we are bound to win the battle!

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WALKINGWOMAN07 5/17/2012 7:31PM

    Way to go - great new attitude.

You asked how we motivate ourselves - I recently have found my motivation - not in a great way I am afraid, but apparently it is what it took for me. I have been going through some heart tests, and it turns out that fear is the motivator that works for me. I thought that I was doing this for my health, but it wasn't til I felt my health was really threatened that I finally found the motivation!

All the best to you.

Irene

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REJ7777 5/17/2012 6:30AM

    It sounds like you've renewed your focus and gotten yourself a brand new, winning attitude!
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XRSIZE18 5/17/2012 5:50AM

    Love it! I think our inner dialogue directly affects our success. I think I had the same story as you - the first few months I was SO gung-ho and then I hit ONEderland. After I saw a one in front of my "number" I just seemed so much less motivated - the goal didn't seem quite as urgent. But then I realized that it was like I was scared to be skinny. I'd hidden behind my fat and my humor for so many years that it was strange to be thought of as attractive. I'm not "the girl with the pretty face and good personality" anymore. I'm the girl with the voluptuously rockin' body and spirit of positivity. Redifining WHO I wanted to be really helped me.

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EDWARDS1411 5/16/2012 8:57PM

    emoticon on your New Attitude!!! emoticon

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SLIMXTINA 5/16/2012 8:07PM

  Speaks for me too - this is a great post thanks . Even if I "fall off the (food) wagon " I've been working on still looking at the positives and carrying on/ making healthy choices rather than what I used to do which was spiral further into unhealthy eating. emoticon

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LORI1132 5/16/2012 6:01PM

    I loved this entry... it so speaks for me. I am in the same boat... I always joke that my "cuteness" maxed at 2 yo. I can be so successful in so many areas of my life. I am smart, educated, thoughtful, and yet this is something that I can't seem to solve. I have had similar revelations as those you've shared, and yet, its so hard to keep them "front and center".

You really spoke to me and challenged me! Thank you!!!
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ECOAGE 5/16/2012 4:22PM

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BLUE42DOWN 5/16/2012 3:00PM

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What an excellent point. There is a difference between the lifestyle of a "fat person who wants to be be fit and healthy" and a "fit and healthy person" - and the one we are living creates who we are.

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RDGISME 5/16/2012 2:16PM

    What a wonderful realization! I also look at ,myself as overweight and okay. I want to lose this weight but haven't particularly thought that I am fit and getting healthy. As recently as the end of last year, I was hitting the gym 5/6 days a week and setting some pretty high standards for myself! Wasn't losing regardless of the fact that I was at the gym for an hour each time. My thinking was focused on the gym time and not the eating portion! I weigh-in tonight and lost 3lbs over the past 2 weeks which I have tried to maintain this week! Again, thank you for your message!!

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The roller coaster

Sunday, May 06, 2012

I have been up and down the roller coaster lately - mostly down (the easy side, right?).

I finally went back to the gym, which is AMAZING. Anyone who knows me will agree with that statement. My son and I joined together and trust me, having a workout partner makes all the difference. We don't do the same workout when we're there but the important thing is getting there, and for that, we help each other.
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Since I started going to the gym 2-3 times a week, I have so much more energy! My weight hasn't changed yet but who cares? My strength is coming back and at this point, that's the important thing.

Also, I started two direct-selling businesses - financial analysis and education in January and this astounding skin care time in May. Both businesses are in their infancy and are slow to get started (one of those "up" rides on the roller coaster) but both are extremely lucrative opportunities. emoticon

So now, I'm becoming more disciplined in so many areas of my life: I make to-do lists and actually do them ( emoticon) I watch less TV (but still some). I listen to motivational CDs and DVDs. I read business books, not just fiction stories. I go to the gym.

Sure there are areas that I still have more work to do, of course. However, since I'm becoming so much more disciplined, I'm going to start being more disciplined in getting healthy NOW. emoticon

I shared before about wanting to get healthy before going for reconstruction surgery in a year or so. Well, if I don't start getting serious NOW, I won't be any healthier a year from now than I am today. Time to get serious.


Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 6/4/2012 1:52PM

    Read Eckhart Tolle's THE POWER OF NOW for motivation and Louise Hay's "YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE."

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SPARKFRAN514 5/11/2012 2:17PM

    emoticon emoticon i like the fact you are back to the gym its so easy to get out of the habit I know because i have been unable to go for a while due to injury a sprained ankle in April but i am slowly get back in to it and just finished a 12 K walk on Sunday and used i needed to recover from that I can sure find the excuse no to go go but today is the day back i go . I also like the fact that you are happy with feeling better and stronger even when the scales don't move down have a great week end
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MOM2ACAT 5/7/2012 3:45PM

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 5/7/2012 11:34AM

    emoticon You are focused and moving forward!

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THOMS1 5/7/2012 9:46AM

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XRSIZE18 5/7/2012 2:32AM

    Isn't it awesome to feel like you're gaining energy by expending it? Great blog!

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WALKINGWOMAN07 5/7/2012 1:18AM

    It's good to see you blogging again. YOu have been busy! You have been in my thoughts. Keep at what you are doing emoticon

Irene in BC

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EDWARDS1411 5/6/2012 9:22PM

    Bravo Karen - you indeed are getting serious - and are such an inspiration to the rest of us!! Keep up the good work!!!
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The next step on my journey to health

Monday, April 09, 2012

I had a request to work three full days back-to-back a couple of weeks ago. Not a good idea yet. I was exhausted by the end of the second day. However, the timing was good since it was just before going back to my doctor for a reassessment of my return to work plan. So now I'm on a longer part-time timetable. I'll gradually add a half-day to my work week as my strength returns (every 1-2 weeks or so is the plan).
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So, how am I going to get my strength back, you may ask? Well, I've joined a gym. Now, those of you who know me may think that's world news. Well, I've had a gym membership several times in the past (and even went for a while - LOL) so it's not so earth-shattering. What makes this time different is that my 18-year-old son joined as well and we're going together. That will keep up both going. If I start to lose our motivation, he has my permission to kick my butt (and I will kick his butt even without his permission - one of the perks of being a parent!)
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One of the things I said to the sales person is that I need to build up my strength, that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know it's going to take a long time to get back my strength but I'm in.

It's funny, people always talk about how strong I am. And I AM strong but that's a whole different kind of strength. I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, yes, but I am physically weak and I hate it.

So stick with me and I'll let you know how I'm doing. I'm going to post my starting points - how far I can go in the treadmill, which weights I can use on the machines, for instance - and how I am progressing, maybe monthly or so. Next thing you know, I'll be back to kicking butt for real, not just with words.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RDGISME 5/4/2012 9:18PM

    Welcome to Spark and the best team!! Your strength will build as will your faith in yourself! You are now among some of the most inspiring, motivational and loving people with whom you are plotting your journey. I look forward to sharing our journeys through-out! Blessings to you!

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TRACYZABELLE 4/28/2012 4:08PM

    I just had surgery and they said some go back 1 week after-- I am still too weak so I figure 2 more weeks should do it. I guess we all need to go at our own pace.. keep feeling better!

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KRICKET57 4/10/2012 9:15AM

    Way to go! You can do it!

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WALKINGWOMAN07 4/9/2012 7:17PM

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Comment edited on: 4/9/2012 7:18:39 PM

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EDWARDS1411 4/9/2012 5:14PM

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PMCFARM 4/9/2012 4:28PM

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Two weeks of work down, many more to come

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's been two weeks since I went back to work part time. I'm working afternoons only (from 1:00 to 4:30) and so far so good. My boss has been great and hasn't pushed me beyond my strength. He did ask me to work 3 full days at the end of the month, but I'll take the last 2 days off that week so it will still be half time.
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Actually, that will be a good test of my strength and the timing is perfect since it will be just before I go back to my doctor for a reassessment. If it's too much, then I'll stay on part time work for a while longer.

Now that the main part of the cancer treatment is over, I'm starting to deal with some of the other crap going on with me medically. I've been trying to walk more but I've been challenged with a very sore hip joint. I suspect it's another flare up of bursitis and will be seeing a specialist next Friday morning. Hopefully he'll give me a cortisone shot and I'll be back walking more.

Since going back to work, I've been parking a little farther from my office in the parking lot and I've been getting about 5000 steps in an average day but man, by the end of the day, I can really feel it! Hopefully after cortisone, I'll be able to build back up to the 7,000-8,000 that I used to do (and eventually to 10,000).
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I have the same problem (bursitis) in my shoulder, too, so maybe I'll be getting two shots, but I'm less anxious about that since it doesn't affect my movement too badly (yet).

Ah, the trials of getting older!
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On a positive note, the added walking has had a direct impact on the scale. My weight goes up and down a few pounds every day so I can't say "I've lost X pounds" but the general trend is going down. Regardless of the number on the scale, I'm feeling stronger and more positive. After all, Spring has arrived here in Canada and I'm back at work. Once I can get out walking more, then life will be even better.
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As for the cancer treatment, I've still got to get Herceptin every 3 weeks so I've still got the Port-a-cath in my chest. It's better than a pic-line but sometimes at night it bothers me. When I sleep on my side, it feels like it's moving (it's not) but it's being "squashed". I just have to shift positions and it's okay but I can't wait to get it out in a year or so.

I've also been put on Arimidex, which is an anti-estrogen drug since my cancer was estrogen receptive. Arimidex is similar to Tamoxifen but is only for postmenopausal women; I don't know why but it is. So far, so good - none of the major side effects (like joint pain) have appeared so far. (For those of you connecting the dots...I don't think the pain in my hip and shoulder are from the Arimidex because I've had it before.)

I need to be watchful for one thing (or I should say my doctor needs to be watchful for it). Both the Herceptin and the Arimidex have potential impact on my heart. I'm getting my heart monitored every 3 months. Sometimes we have to take the bad with the good. The important thing is to focus on the good and deal with the bad as it comes.
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For my SparkFriends who have been with me throughout this journey, I want to thank you all. Your support has been important to me and will continue to be as my journey continues.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APPLEPIEAPPLE 3/18/2012 4:42PM

    I am so glad things are getting better!

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SNUZSUZ 3/18/2012 7:56AM

    You are such an inspiration! My friend, Miss_Viv, sent a link to your blog to me, because I am almost at the end of my chemo and radiation for lung cancer. After reading your blog, I have hope of being "normal" again, and even going back to work! Some days it doesn't feel like I will ever be "normal" ( not that I ever was, haha) again-but you have given me hope again. thank you

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WALKINGWOMAN07 3/17/2012 10:45PM

    You inspire me, and I have been keeping you in my prayers.Wishing you all the very best.

Irene in BC

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TRAVLNWOMAN 3/17/2012 8:49PM

    I'm so glad things seem to be coming along well for you. You are doing very well with the steps! I don't even seem to be able to get 5000 steps in a day and you are doing it with hip pain! I pray you keep improving with your health every day.
Hugs,
Kimberly

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EDWARDS1411 3/17/2012 2:41PM

    WooHoo - look at you go - onward & upward - keep up the good work!!!
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Going back to work soon

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm torn... I LOVE being off work and being able to do whatever I want. Believe me, I know just how lucky I am that, for the most part, I HAVE been able to do most things that I want to do. I recovered well from the mastectomy; I haven't been flattened by the side effects of the chemo treatments; I have been surrounded by wonderful friends who were there when I needed them but who backed off when I needed to be alone. (Okay, I haven't been able to do absolutely everything that I want to do but that's only because I'm not a multi-millionnaire. But my limitations have been financial, not physical.)
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So why am I torn? Well, in just over a week I'm going back to work half-days. After a month or so, we'll reassess and I expect to go back full time. On the one hand, going back to work means a huge new step on this journey; it means that I'm well enough to take part in "normal life" again. On the other hand, I'm not looking forward to losing the free time to do what I want; I'm not looking forward to feeling that I have to live up to my boss' and co-workers' expectations. The pressure will be tremendous - pressure to deliver quality work, pressure to "be okay" and not remind people that I'm a cancer survivor, pressure to be happy. How much of that pressure will be self-imposed? Well, that's the $64,000 question, isn't it? It will be up to me to go easy on myself, to relax and take it one day at a time.
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Some people say I'm going back too soon. I really don't agree. I'm truly feeling great. I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling well. However, full disclosure - the main reason I'm going back now it that if I don't, my salary will be cut drastically because I'm running out of short-term disability. As the sole breadwinner in my family, I need to make enough money to pay the bills. Don't get me wrong, if I wasn't feeling well, I wouldn't be going back to work yet. I'd find some other way to make ends meet. We all have to figure out what's important to us, not to others, not to our bosses, not to anyone us. In my case, that is being able to support my family and pay the bills - as long as I'm well. My health comes first.

So, what's next on my journey? First, I'll see how well this gradual return to work works out. If I need to go back on sick leave, I will, but I don't expect that to happen. In addition, I still have to go to the hospital for Herceptin infusions every 3 weeks. That will continue until next November or so. Because of the Herceptin, I will be monitored closely as time goes on. I'm on two drugs that both have potential impact on my heart (Herceptin and Arimidex) so I'll have Syma scans done every few weeks.
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Then, next year, after I'm off the Herceptin, I'll undergo breast reconstruction surgery. Now, THAT's major surgery. I'm going be off work for several months (again) when that happens. Why do it, you ask?

Part of me feels that I shouldn't need to have two breasts, that it's only because our culture has convinced me that it's important. For a long time, I thought that it's not important. I said that I would only need to get a prosthetic before going back to work but only for others, not for me. Well, prosthetics are expensive (several hundred dollars) so there was no way that I was going to get it any time soon. Well, a friend called me out of the blue and told me that she had a "boob in a box" for me. I had to wait for a few weeks before she had time to bring it to me (I live about 20 miles from the office). Not only was it the right size and shape, which as astounding in itself, but she also brought three bras (with the pocket to hold it) and they fit, too. But as soon as I put it on, I felt different. I remember going to see close friends (at church, for example) and saying to them "look, I have two!" I guess it was more important to me than I thought.
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(skip the next paragraph if you don't want to hear the gory details.)
So, that's why I'm going to go ahead with the reconstruction. It means something important to me. Besides, in order to build me a new breast using my own tissue (the least likely to be rejected) they'll probably take it from my tummy. For the first time in my adult life, I won't have a soft, mushy, bulging gut. That alone, makes is almost worth it. I'm also going to have them reduce the healthy breast to a more average size. So, when it's all over (in a couple of years from now), I'll have two nice sized, perky breasts and a flat(ter) tummy. And it will all be paid for by my government health insurance. What more could I ask?
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I also need to be monitored for the Lymphoma. Remember that I'm one of the lucky ones who got a two-for-one deal in the cancer lottery. Not only did I have breast cancer (for the second time), I also have a low-grade Lymphoma. Lucky me. Monitoring for the Lymphoma will actually be done less frequently; it's almost secondary to the monitoring related to the breast cancer. I know that eventually I'll have to undergo chemo treatment for the Lymphoma and eventually, I expect that I will die from it. But hopefully, I'll need to be monitored for the Lymphoma for many years to come (unless, of course, God decides to spontaneously cure it and remove it from my body completely). Wouldn't that be simply amazing?
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Stay tuned for the next installment. I'll let you know how works goes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 2/27/2012 10:07AM

    I found those first few days back at work after my heart attack to be quite challenging. But, as you write, there was that feeling of being "normal" again. The most important thing was to start slowly. I started two days per week for 2 or 3 weeks, than 3 days, etc. It made all the difference.

I wish you well!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 2/27/2012 9:48AM

    Going back to work g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y is a good move. You need to find some balance. emoticon

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TRAVLNWOMAN 2/25/2012 9:00PM

    I totally understand your ambivalence about going back to work. I'm glad you are starting out with half days. It will give you a chance to get used to it gradually. You've still got a lot on your plate coming up with your continued treatments and future surgery. I pray it all goes smoothly and you continue to slay the beast. Stay strong but remember you have friends here when you need to cry too. Crying is ok you know.

Still praying for you,
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Kimberly

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EDWARDS1411 2/25/2012 6:37PM

    You have such a great attitude!! These are exciting times for you as you go on to the next chapter in your life. All the best as you return to work - it's a big step in the right direction!!!

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MISS_VIV 2/25/2012 6:31PM

    woo hoo............ i AM PRAYING for spontaneous remission on the Lymphoma..

Good job.

Hugs

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