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The Sandwich Generation

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I have spent a good bit of time in the past couple of weeks helping out Mom and Dad. Let me start by saying that not only don't I mind doing this, I truly ENJOY it. I love my parents dearly, and would do anything for them.

That said, WOW! It has been sort of surreal. As if *I* am the parent and they are the kids. Mom had a knee replacement a month ago and still isn't totally back on her feet (although I think she is walking better than before the surgery!). Dad is playing nurse and housekeeper, and doing a pretty darn good job of it. Who knew he could cook?? But when I am there, I always seem to step into the caregiving role. Giving Mom a shower, changing the dressing on Daddy's ear (he had a growth removed), cooking, running errands, offering advice, etc. When did I become the parent? They are both somewhat forgetful, and between the two of them you could get a bit confused! ("I told you that already." "No, this is the first I heard of it.") But they work as a team and manage to do just fine, whether I am there or not.

All of this has caused me to think about the inevitable day that one or both of my parents will no longer be with us. If 40 minutes away seems too far now, imagine when that distance is infinite. I can't bear the thought of it! Mom and I have always been very close, and Daddy and I have gotten much closer in the past few months. I am NOT ready to let them go! Not that either of them is at death's door or anything, but between Mom's heart problems and Daddy's kidney failure, they both have issues. I find they sometimes have to be encouraged and reminded to ask the doctor a question, or even GO to the doctor. And just try to get them to TELL me what is going on! Thankfully, they are getting better at this. At any rate, I wish they lived closer, and I wish I could do more. But here I am, sandwiched between my parents and my children. I feel like a slice of salami!!

This also has affected my own life. Running back and forth to Mom and Dad means less time for the gym and other things I usually do. OK, so my gym attendance has been sorely lacking lately anyway, but I was getting up some steam, and then BOOM! Havent been there since Saturday. At least I did fit in a trip to Whole Foods, which is near them, to get some high quality produce and meats. And today I finally ate my regular breakfast again, of yogurt, Cheerios and blueberries. Last time I tried, I nearly gagged on it, but today I enjoyed it! Hooray! Back to "normal". And if breakfast goes well, it sets up the rest of the day for success too.

I will be spending this weekend at the Special Olympics, watching Laura swim. She stays in the dorm Friday and Saturday night, and I will stay at Mom and Dad's, just 5 minutes away. I am looking forward to it. Should get some good walking in on campus, although food will be weird. I will simply do my best. Heck, swimming 3 events, Laura will get in enough exercise for both of us! Hopefully she will bring home some medals to add to her collection--I just love how she beams with joy at each success! Go Marlins!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASPENJULES 6/10/2009 2:20PM

    Hey Wendy, I was just contemplating that same situation in my life yesterday. It's hard, and can drive me nuts logistically, but I would never ask for it to be different. Reading your description of your parents sounded just like mine, as well, LOL. Too funny! As for getting them to tell you what the docs say, I've got that one nailed, since my parents want me to go to their appointments with them, or at least the ones that aren't routine, like specialists and such. That way I can translate to some degree what the docs are telling them, so they understand, and also translate for the docs what my parents are saying sometimes. Old people speak should be its own language, LOL!!

Good luck to Laura this weekend! And yay for eating your breakfast again. I'm with you, a proper healthy breakfast really helps me stay on track better the rest of the day. Now, just remember that you HAVE to take care of you if you're going to keep taking care of all the people who need you. Take time to exercise!! Love you!!

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Clothing Sizes (Rant!)

Monday, June 01, 2009

What IS it with clothing manufacturers? Why can't a 12 be a 12 be a 12? Why am I a 12 one place and a 16 somewhere else, or a Medium one place and an XL somewhere else?

i went shopping for navy blue pants. Now, it is hard enough to find the color, let alone in a style that works for me, which generally means wide leg or trouser style. So off I went to Kohls to do some looking. The only place I could look was the clearance rack, as there was not another pair of navy blue pants to be had in the entire store. What, has navy gone out of fashion???

Anyway, I found a pair I liked in a 14 regular. I am generally a 14 in pants. I prefer Petites, but I can always have them hemmed. The only other pair I found was a 16 Petite. OK, so I grab them both and try on the 14s. I was SWIMMING in them! I mean they were seriously huge on me. So, why bother trying on the 16s which would be bigger, right? Well, I figured I had nothing to lose, so I did try them on, and they FIT! What?? Other than being a few inches too big in the waist, which is always the case if pants fit me right in the hips and thighs (its just how I am built), they fit great and looked perfect. So how are the 14s too big and the 16s fit?

What really galls me about this is that last summer, weighing about 45 pounds more, I went shopping for pants for Scotland. Most of what I got was 18s, but I was so excited to be able to buy a pair of navy blue pants in--you guessed it--size 16 Petite! So how does 45 pounds lost = the same size? I know, different stores, different styles, different manufacturers, but come on! How about at least a LITTLE standardization.

It's a darn good thing I am not married to the size on the tags in my clothes, or I would never have bought a 16. All I know is, they fit, they look nice, they are comfortable, and they were on sale.

Works for me.


What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I haven't blogged in ages. So much has happened in the nearly 2 months I have been "gone"!

For starters, maintenance has worked out pretty well. Acutally, I am below range, at 169 now. (more on that below). I can't seem to keep weight ON these days! And this with minimal exercise. I am almost afraid to see what will happen when I step up the workouts.

When I last wrote, I was still recovering from knee surgery. I think I can safely say that I am completely recovered from that. I have full use of my knee now, I can do everything I could do pre-op, and then some. I have about 115 degrees of flexion in my knee, more than enough for riding a bike!!

Our trip to Turks and Caicos over Easter was awesome. 6 days of sun and fun was just what I needed, and a great way to celebrate reaching goal weight! We went sailing one day, and another day we rode the Aqua Trike. I had no idea I could even get ON the thing, but the 3 of us climbed on and the kids pedaled us out to sea. Then I got the idea to see what my knee would do, and lo and behold, I could pedal too!!! I do believe that was the high point of my trip! I made reservations for a return for my 50th birthday next year.

On May 8, my Mom had HER knee replacement. She is home now and doing really well, making progress every day. Daddy is taking good care of her. I have been to visit several times since she came home 10 days ago. I always enjoy their company.

On May 11, I had my 7th hernia repair. I came home the same day, as they were short on beds and I didn't relish the idea of spending the night on a stretcher in the Recovery Room. I have not bounced back from this surgery as quickly as I usually do. I had pain for a long time, and still occasionally have nausea. My appetite is still poor, hence the continued weight loss. But in the past 2-3 days I have started to feel like my old self again. The only problem is that my incision has once again opened up, and I have a huge hole in my abdomen! We are looking at Wound Care Centers to see if someone, somewhere, can help me heal. I am just praying that it WILL heal, and that treatment won't mess up my trip to Scotland, which is now just 54 days away.

Yesterday I had to take Laura over to the gym for her swim lesson. While there, I decided it was time for me to get off my butt. So I climbed up on the elliptical, and spent 30 minutes of heavenly bliss! It felt SO good to exercise again! I am hoping to go back tomorrow, and will definitely be there several times this week. Gotta get these legs strong again for all that castle climbing!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSMYLIFE2 6/1/2009 9:01AM

    Wendy good to hear from you, and glad to know you are on the mend. Sorry its taken longer with the hernia operation-you would think the knee would be worse. I'm with Jules I think another sun and fun vacation would cure what ails ya!! :) 53 days away from Scotland-I am literally green with envy. Oh well one of these days I will be over there too and I hope to make in 2 solid weeks of Ireland and Scotland. I love tennis so one of these years I would also like to make it to the French Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open too. Well can't leave out the US Open in Queens, that would be a fun trip and maybe I could see you too!! Well hope the workouts this week go well, let me know how you are doing with that incision healing up.

Take care,

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ASPENJULES 5/31/2009 1:32PM

    I know just how you feel about the bliss of finally exercising again. I DO enjoy exercising of any kind, and the one day I broke down and jogged a bit on the track at the gym I felt like I had shot some illegal drug right into a vein, it felt so amazing! Glad to see you're starting to feel a bit more like yourself again.

Weird about how your incision isn't healing, though... do the docs have any explanations? Maybe your body is just tired of having to heal up again after all the surgeries and sicknesses you've been fighting? I'm thinking another vacation in the sun is called for, LOL.

We're both going to have to be better about blogging now, so we can stay in touch now that you're not in Daily chit Chat...

And YAYAY for being able to pedal! That's FANTASTIC! Going to go get yourself a bike, now?

Comment edited on: 5/31/2009 1:33:25 PM

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If This Is Maintenance, Why Aren't I Maintaining?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Well, it's been an interesting week.

Adding 100 calories to my daily intake was a bit challenging, but I managed to do it. Actually, I think I did it TOO well! Although Friday was the only time I went way over (like, 300 calories over), it pulled my average for the week to 1737/day. Only an extra 37 calories each day, but it made a difference, as I gained 1.2 pounds this week.

My scale says I've gained a pound of muscle. Not hard to believe. I've been working my butt off in Physical Therapy, and I've been on the elliptical 4 times, and did some hiking up and down hills at Danny's camp yesterday, so my exercise is getting back to normal at last.

But here's the confusing part. OK, I upped my calories by 100/day. I gained weight. So, do I still up them another 100/day this week? Or do I hold it steady and see what my weight does? I did NOT add the extra 100 today. I actually did really well considering the crazy day I had. Breakfast at Dunkin Donuts (Egg White Flatbread sandwich, which was surprisingly yummy) on the way to Laura's swim meet. Chicken salad and a baked potato for lunch. Out to dinner to celebrate, and we ended up not going where I thought we were (and where I'd carefully planned out my meal). But I chose some grilled chicken with mozzarella, a salad, and a piece of their yummy homemade bread, so I ended up OK.

I think I will stay at 1500-1700 calories until Wednesday. I'll weigh myself again then and reassess. With vacation coming next week, I KNOW my calories will be higher, so I don't want to start off with another gain before that! Meanwhile, more time on the elliptical, a little more PT and strength training, and I should be all set...I hope.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

02BFITAGAIN 4/10/2009 9:10PM

    Wendy, did you figure all this out? When I was on maintenance with WW, they recommend adding calories only if you continued to lose. Since you gained, maintain the calorie level you are at. If you gain more than two pounds, then you want to decrease your calorie intake. It will take time for your body to level out - try not to let it frustrate you. I remember when I was on maintenance I continued to lose for another month or more before by body finally got a clue. Congrats again on making goal.

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ASPENJULES 4/10/2009 5:02PM

    How did the weigh in go on Wednesday? I am eager to hear how all of this is going for you, as I look forward to hopefully getting there sometime this year. Miss you on chit chat - is everything going well? *hugs*

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How Did I Get Here, Where Am I Going, and What The Heck Do I Do Now?

Monday, March 30, 2009

I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, hoping to see a loss. I was not disappointed. I was down 2.8 pounds! I have NO idea how that happened, or why, but it did. Which is quite significant.

I have now gone BELOW my goal weight of 175. I am at 174. I am "done".

And now the hard part begins...maintenance.

This is uncharted territory for me, and I have to admit to being more than a little bit scared. I really feel like I don't know how to do this! Sure, I know I'm supposed to increase my calories by 100 a day this week and 100 more next week. But that isn't as easy as it sounds!! I had agreed with my nutritionist that I would add some nuts and some granola, keeping the rest pretty much the same. Yesterday I added the granola, and was still at the bottom of my new range! Today I ate my usual breakfast, one of my standard lunches, and added the nuts to my afternoon snack, and I still have over 600 calories to use for dinner! What on earth am I supposed to do?

I know, I know, it will take some getting used to. I've been eating the same way for so long that I could do it almost without thinking about it. Now I will have to think about it again! OK, I can do that. But still, that fear is there. WHAT IF I GAIN IT ALL BACK?

Irrational? Certainly. But it's here, nonetheless and I can't exactly ignore it! On Saturday, I must have somehow known what was coming, because at Whole Foods, I "treated" myself to a slice of cake AND a cookie. Unheard of for me. Self sabotoge for sure. But yesterday and today, no way, no "treats" for me! It's kind of like, OK, I'm here, now I have to make darn sure I STAY here.

I did some more shopping over the weekend and seem to finally have a workable wardrobe. I will need a few more shirts, but I'll pick those up as I find them. I had one salesperson tell me "you certainly don't need an XL, you are so small", and she turned out to be right--the L was fine. (so, why does my 93 pound daughter need a M in the exact same sweater?????) I also got a cute spring jacket, size 12 Petite! Talbots came through with some new styles, including wide leg jeans, which are my new favorite type of pants--so forgiving of my heavy knees! I still need to figure out my own personal "style", but for now I've got some good classics and some bright colors to work with.

It's been said that success is a journey, not a destination. I would have to agree. I may have reached the station, but my journey is really just beginning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASPENJULES 3/31/2009 11:11PM

    Wendy - CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS!!! I am so proud and happy for you!! I can't think of anyone who deserves this more!

Now, as for what you do now, I'll tell you what Brad told me before he left, when I told him I was disappointed he wouldn't be able to help me figure out maintenance. He said, "Take maintenance OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY!" There is no such thing as maintenance. You are either moving forward or you're moving backwards.

The difference now is WHERE you're moving forward. The focus is not on your weightloss anymore, it's on performance. Sure you have to figure out what to eat so as to continue to fuel your activity, but it's not as critical as figuring out how to continue to get more fit, improve your cardiovascular abilities, etc.

So, go you! I can't wait till I get there - 20 more lbs for me..

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LINDACHRISTIE 3/30/2009 2:47PM

    emoticonon getting down to your goal weight and your new wardrobe. I can imagine how apprehensive you must be feeling about putting weight on with the increase in cals I would be the same. Good luck with the rest of your journey.

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ITSMYLIFE2 3/30/2009 1:45PM

    Ok to answer your questions: How did I get here? With determination and a ton of hard work!! Where am I going? Anywhere and everywhere you dream of!! What the heck do I do now? The same thing you've been doing, watch what you put in your mouth and keep on moving as much as possible.

And Wendy thanks so much for giving us all inspiration to keep on going!! This is possible and we can all do this together.

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