MAGGIEROSEBOWL's SparkPeople Blog MAGGIEROSEBOWL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Maintenance Struggles Did anyone else watch Mike and Molly last night? I have liked this show from the start, probably because the couple isn't one of those gorgeous pairs you usually see on TV, but are "real" people, and like many of us, struggle with weight. The show originally started focusing on their fight with obesity, they met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. But since the beginning, the show has kind of gotten away from their weight battle, and has focused on their relationship, as well as highlighting ... Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:15:53 EST Binge Eating I never considered myself a "binger." I preferred to graze, eating a little bit....ALL THE TIME! I have come to realize that is not a lot different from binging, because I have been unable to quit eating ALL.THE.TIME. Isn't that binging? <BR> <BR> I'm not sure how to classify how I've been eating lately, but I'm going to come clean here, and tell you I've lost my way. I lost my way last year too, but found it again after joining a few Diet Bets and lost that 32-lb. regain. Since Christmas D... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:13:03 EST Life on the "Estate" with Du Du often says he is going to out to "survey the estate." That's how he jokingly refers to our little 3-acre spot of heaven here on earth. We both love living out here so very much, and the thought of having to move away makes us both so sad. I really appreciate all the great suggestions my friends have left me for downsizing and I promise to start, but not til Monday. When Du is home on the weekend, I devote myself to spending every moment with him. I know there will come a time when I won't ... Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:21:57 EST Doctors We have had a lot of interaction with many doctors over the two years since Duane was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer. His Urologist (a member of the ONLY Urology Practice in town) had been part of our lives for several years before the diagnosis. Duane did not ignore his symptoms. He sought help and was diagnosed with BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), which is a non-life-threatening problem common in many (if not most) older men. The prostate starts growing and this causes urination... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 10:22:49 EST Who Am I? I watched an interview that Charlie Rose did with Larry David last night on 60 Minutes. Charlie started off by asking him, "Who is Larry David?" It made me think about who I am. <BR> <BR> Who Am I? For years my self-worth has been all about that number on the scale. It probably still is. When I was morbidly obese, weighing over 300 lbs. for 30 years, I felt worthless, I actually hated myself, and felt undeserving of all that life has to offer. I always managed to put on a happy face as I mad... Mon, 2 Mar 2015 09:32:33 EST More Rough Times Are you sick of reading about my miseries yet? This is the place where I can unload my troubles. Even if nobody reads it, somehow it is cathartic for me to write about it. I do so appreciate all the supportive and helpful comments from those of you who stick by me. Thanks Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> Monday Du started radiation treatments. We will go daily (Mon-Fri) for four or five weeks. The radiation is two-fold. First, it is to shrink the prostate, which will hopefully help Du get rid of the... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:23:46 EST A Difficult Week It has been a difficult week for us. We have been to the doctor three days out of five weekdays, and radiation treatment for Du has been scheduled, starting Monday. He will be getting radiation for four to five weeks, five days of the week. It is NOT a cure. Not even close. Because his prostate is so huge, shutting off the bladder from the kidneys, they are hopeful the radiation might shrink it some and perhaps the nephrostomy won't be necessary anymore. They also discussed other options--ste... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 12:46:05 EST House Walking Hungry Girl (Lisa Lillian at Isn't she terrific?) has named something I've been doing for a long time. She calls getting extra steps in around the house, "House Walking." I love it. I have a house where a circular path from my kitchen, down the hallway and through the formal living room and dining room, then back to the kitchen is possible, and I have started utilizing it during these cold, snowy, SLICK months to get more steps in. Hungry Girl mostly emphasizes g... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:23:39 EST The Kiss The Kiss <BR> <BR> That kiss I failed to give you. <BR> How can you forgive me? <BR> The kiss I would have spent on you is still <BR> There, within me. It will probably die there. <BR> But it will be the last of me to die. <BR> <BR> Poem copyright © 2014 by the Estate of Kurt Brown, “The Kiss,” from I’ve Come This Far to Say Hello: Poems Selected and New by Kurt Brown (Tiger Bark Press, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of The Estate of Kurt Brown and Tiger Bark Press. Introduction copyri... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 14:52:08 EST MIA and Health Crisis I haven't been to Spark for a few days, has it been a week? Maybe longer? My mind, body and heart have been with my beloved Du, as he continues this long battle with Cancer. While trying to stay on track with my eating, admittedly I haven't been as good as I know I can be, making the choice to binge on snacks once again and experiencing the weight gain associated with that. Every day I get up with resolve to do better. This week, I finally seem to be doing better. When I started this journey ... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 10:17:45 EST Non-Scale Signs that You Have Gained Weight When I was losing weight, you couldn't keep me off the scale. I was on that thing every single morning, and sometimes, again at night. I loved to see the numbers dropping. When I started maintenance, I still got on the scale often, maybe not daily, but several times every week. <BR> <BR> Then....when I slipped in the Fall of 2013, I quit hopping on the scale. I didn't want to see what it said. I bought a coat on-line and when it didn't fit, I knew I was in trouble. My size 10 jeans were incr... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:35:16 EST Oncologist Report Yesterday we saw Du's oncologist. His plan for Du: WAIT. He never wants to move very fast. I'm not sure about this. He did order more scans, since Du's PSA is not all that reliable. The ironic part about Du's deceivingly low PSA tests, is that the small percentage of men whose PSA is not indicative of their cancer.....their cancer tends to be more aggressive. The doctor wants to make sure we've gotten all the good we can out of the current treatment before moving on to the next one. I can ge... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:20:29 EST A Visit To the Oncologist's Office and Holding on to Hope! As I have mentioned repeatedly I'm sure, Du's PSA level is continuing to rise. The first spike was noticed in a test from late last November. When we pointed it out to the Oncologist, he decided to check it again, and now after three successive rises, we are to see him Monday. Du went to his office today for one more blood test, I guess to make sure thee results are accurate. As I constantly point out to every doctor, Du's PSA tests aren't very reliable--they are deceptively low, thus the rea... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 17:38:55 EST Life is Hard When I think of all I have gone through in my life, I am amazed that I'm still functioning. Oh, I suppose to most people, my life seems pretty calm, fairly normal and easy, and although I do long for those carefree days before this cancer diagnosis, let's face it, going through life morbidly obese is no picnic. <BR> <BR> When you allow your bad choices to rule life and become morbidly obese, there are so many things you can no longer do, places you can't go, walks you can't take (and in life... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 15:09:37 EST Birthday Party and Turning the Switch to "ON"! Yesterday the whole family met for lunch at a local race track bar to celebrate my 64th (that can't be possible!) birthday. Horses don't race there yet, but the owners hope to start it soon. For now they have about a million TVs all showing horse races from all over the country and you can bet on them. In the back is a sort of inside/outside room. I haven't actually been back there, but it's a way to beat the NO-SMOKING ban in our state evidently, because the top of each wall is supposedly "o... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 20:03:52 EST What a Christmas! <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We celebrated Christmas at our house for three days! I hosted my oldest son and his family on Christmas Eve for our traditional soup supper. His three children had spent the day with us as their day... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 12:39:12 EST Bittersweet I had such a bittersweet day yesterday. In one way, it was a GREAT day. I didn't do much, other than some holiday baking. it is all stored in my dining room (out of sight--out of mind, at least that's my plan), and awaiting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations. Afterwards, it all goes home with my kids, so leftovers will not be around to tempt me. Right now, I am trying to ignore their tantalizing call to me. <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> Even as I bustled around my kitchen, making one ... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:20:38 EST And Then There Were Two As silly as it is, when every one of my boys moved out (and the oldest two sons moved out a couple times before it was a "final" move), I felt some sadness. And they were all in their late 20's before that final move. I had nothing to feel sad about, and yet change is always hard. <BR> <BR> Chris, my youngest, attempted a move to a College Frat House on campus when he started college in 2004. It was only a few miles from our house, but he only spent one night there, then the next night night... Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:14:49 EST Five Years of Healthy Living! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Five Years Ago Today….I sat in my car in the doctor’s parking lot, sobbing at my steering wheel, not sure what to do next. He had just told me that my EKG seemed to show I’d already had a heart attack. I was 58 years old, over 300 pounds, and completely out of shape. The reason I went to the doctor that day was because any movement at all got my heart racing. I would walk 10 steps to go to the bathroom in the middl... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 12:19:58 EST Happy Birthday Darrell! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Wednesday, my friend Ann, who lost her husband in February of 2013 (the week Duane got his Stage 4 Cancer diagnosis--so his death really hit us hard), from lung cancer, messaged me on Facebook, asking if I waned to go to lunch Thursday. "Sure!" I quickly responded. <BR> <BR> We met at 11:30 at HuHot, a Mongolian Buffet/Grill. I was thrilled to see they had little business cards on the table with different food and ... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 17:54:26 EST Family Christmas Dinner Sunday night I hosted my brother and his extended family, as well as my own family, for a holiday dinner. It was a full house, there was 18 of us. It's amazing to think about how it all started with just my brother and I! It is a tradition my niece started five years ago. We took turns hosting it for the first four years, then last year, we just stopped. Nobody stepped up to offer to host the dinner, and I was disappointed. So even though it wasn't really my turn, I decided since I had gotten... Tue, 9 Dec 2014 09:09:04 EST Proud of My Son! Look at my son, Chris, a few short years ago! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I remember this picture. My daughter-in-law took it as we waited with her when she was in the hospital (in labor) before giving birth to my grandson in 2006. <BR> <BR> Here's another picture of the two of us, I'm sure it's some big holiday dinner I'm preparing, but not sure when. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR>... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 12:00:07 EST Reality Comes Crashing In i had been lulled into a false sense of security, we had gone so long with good scans, good test results, NO sign of the cancer spreading, I was shocked when Du's latest PSA test in October showed a significant rise. His Urologist (actually his Physician Assistant, I can count on one hand the number of times we've actually seen the urologist in the almost two years since Du's diagnosis, and his monthly (and sometimes more often) visits to his office for treatment) suggested we go off the ONE ... Tue, 2 Dec 2014 11:59:53 EST Early Thanksgiving AND Early Christmas!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My youngest son Chris has been on vacation for the past two weeks. He went deer hunting last weekend, but didn't get a deer. He did have a good time hanging out with his buddy and his cousins however. And now I don't have to worry about having freezer space for all that venison, which I don't even like. <BR> <BR> When Chris returned fr... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:46:01 EST I'm Falling..... I always feared falling when I was morbidly obese. I just knew I would break a hip or a leg and it would be so embarrassing. I developed a style of walking on slick surfaces, where I would go very slowly and try to put my feet down as flatly and deliberately as possible. I don't remember falling either, so it must have worked. <BR> <BR> Yesterday Du and I went to a Husker Volleyball game. This involves close to a half-mile walk from where we park. It is a good hike and I usually enjoy it. C... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:14:39 EST Rachael Ray!!?? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had a Facebook message Thursday night from Jessica at the Rachael Ray show who wanted me to call her back regarding a post I had made on Rachael's page. I called as soon as I saw the message, but got her answering machine. I left a message and she called me back Friday morning. <BR> <BR> They had a post on Rachael Ray's Show Facebook page earlier in November, about the "One Thing You Would Wish for Someone Else.... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 12:32:47 EST The Hug Sometimes I wish I could hug him hard enough so he could never leave me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is a picture from the Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk on October 4. Du and I walked almost the entire distance (3.1 miles) together, but when our boys finished the race (they did the RUN), they came back and walked with us. I wrote about how special both Du and I found that moment. It meant so much to us that they came back and ... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:06:12 EST Non-Food Rewards From the beginning of my journey, I have tried to find ways to reward myself for losing weight that do NOT involve food. The family did have a Biggest Loser contest which helped me get to my goal weight back in 2011, and we all went out to dinner at Red Lobster to celebrate at the end. But I always find a way to eat pretty healthy at restaurants. I know I have not had a cheesy biscuit at Red Lobster in almost five years. <BR> <BR> As I just wrote about, when I got below 200 lbs. in November ... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:25:55 EST Time With Granddaughter Mia and Friend Beth Beth became my best friend when we were in the 5th grade and she is still my best friend. We don't see each other often, usually only a couple times a year, even though she lives just down the road in Omaha. Saturday, she was in town for a wedding, so came a little early and we spent a couple hours just visiting. It was wonderful! It's like we never quit hanging out--We just pick up where we left off, and there's not much I don't confide in Beth. She is wonderfully sympathetic to all my probl... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:05:42 EST Time for a Hair Dye! I treated myself to a new hair style back in November of 2010, after I got below 200 pounds. For years I had worn my hair long, grey, straggly, and pulled back from my face, held with a barrette. It was easy and I had long given up trying to keep it colored, as I did for many years in my 30's and early 40's. Since I started graying in my 20's, it was been a battle to keep it covered, and one I was losing. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 15:27:59 EST Fear for the Future but Joy in the Present I've had a couple upsetting thoughts over the past few days--Worry that this Christmas might be the last with our family intact--I know son's marriage isn't the greatest, and with Du's health, you just never know. That makes me so sad and scared. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I work hard to make it nice for my family (and me). I have really cut back on the sweet treats I prepare, of course, but the decorations, presents and music are all still integral parts of Christmas, are ... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 14:14:13 EST Feeling Skinny! Today, son and I ended our DietBet, my fourth consecutive one (winner every time!), and his first. We are both winners, and are now waiting to see how much $$ we won. To me, it's never about the money, it's about getting the control back and reversing the gaining trend. As of this morning, I am down to 151.2, only 1.2 lbs. from my happy weight, and down 31 pounds from my 182-lb. regain high. Son is now firmly below 200 lbs., weighing in at 192. This is the first time he has weighed less than ... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 14:40:50 EST Our Perfect Mini Vacation As I mentioned, Du and I traveled to Branson earlier this week, and had the BEST time! Du is so good to me, because I know seeing the Lennon Sisters was not on his bucket list, and let's face it, he more than likely has less time than me to cross those bucket list items off his list. But he willingly and sweetly drove me to Branson so I could see those girls that I grew up with. Actually even Janet, the youngest, is five years older than me, but I just remember idolizing them when I was a you... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 15:36:23 EST For The Love of Baseball <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My dad was never much of a sports fan, but Mom and I loved the Nebraska Cornhuskers when I was growing up in the 60's, and we would listen to the football games on the radio on Saturdays. As an avid Pep Club member in high school, I also attended every home and away football and basketball game for my Waverly Vikings. <BR> <BR> But when I married Du, I really found out what it was to be a sports fan. The man eats... Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:03:46 EST Halloween Pictures I have a sparkly Halloween shirt, (size 2X) that I bought soon after as I started fitting into clothes from the stores. There was years and years when even a 3X and the occasional 4X you can find in the Plus-Size Departments at stores did not fit me. I ordered 5X's from the catalog, and even then, sometimes the prettiest sweaters and tops only went as high as 4X, which was too snug. So when I started fitting into 3X's at Shopko, etc., I was thrilled. I bought this top in 2010, on my journey ... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:04:53 EST Plateaus, Grandkids and Victories! My weight has been stuck at 156.6 lbs. for so long. I guess I should be glad it's not going up. I had gotten as low as 154.6 lbs. when my previous diet bet ended, but gained back to 160.6 lbs. before this current diet bet started about a week after that one ended. Not sure where the gain came from. I was careful with my eating, working at getting down to my ultimate 150-lb. goal. I do know I tend to retain water, and if I start releasing some of that water (i.e. visit the bathroom a lot!) I d... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:22:27 EST Relief and Joy Late yesterday afternoon we got email notice there was a new message on Du's patient portal page. My heart pounded as I got into the portal, not knowing if the message would start a new chapter in our Cancer journey. The letter said his testosterone level was still low--right where they wanted it to be. They are actually taking him off the ONE cancer pill he takes (Casodex), their belief is that sometimes the cancer responds to the withdrawal of the drug, and the PSA drops. They will check h... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:58:28 EST A Walk in the Park We got some slightly scary news from Du's PSA test last Monday. His level is up slightly, so we went in Friday and had a testosterone test. If it is also up, they will need to add a pill to the shots he will continue to get, because it indicates the shots are no longer shutting down his testosterone production, which is necessary to keep his tumor from growing. It's scary, in that each treatment only lasts so long before it become ineffective, and when you get to the point where one treatment... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:36:46 EST How About Those Royals?!! As long-time Kansas City Royals, my family has had their share of down years. In the early 80's, the Royals were in contention for a pennant almost every year, but would inevitably get beaten by the Yankees. Might be why I'm not a fan of that team in Pin Stripes! <BR> <BR> In 1985, I was pregnant with my youngest son, and although we didn't get to attend any play-off games, we had been to a regular season KC game earlier that year (we have been to KC for at least one game every year since 19... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:08:29 EST Addiction Brooke at has once again inspired me in my weight loss attempts. Brooke started out years ago, close to my own starting weight (327 lbs. for her, 328 lbs. for me), and although she is decades younger than me, and used Weight Watchers to lose her weight, I felt a kinship to her. A few months ago Shape Magazine's website asked her to send a before and after picture to feature. They didn't like the bikini shot she sent, since it showed her excess skin that is left ar... Sun, 12 Oct 2014 17:22:23 EST Nightmares I have had recurring nightmares all during my life. As a child, I had a great fear of 'the bomb.' Growing up in the 50's and 60's with the Cold War, we lived in fear of the Russians dropping the big one and wiping out the entire world. I would have flashes (that I could remember) of terror in my sleep, as we knew the bomb was coming, and then would wake up in a cold sweat. Those dreams continued on into my adulthood, I guess it was a very deep-rooted fear. <BR> <BR> I was editor of my high s... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 10:38:14 EST My First Competitive 5K Walk <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Saw this flyer for a 5K Run/Walk at Du's Urologist's Office a couple months ago. We decided to sign up and invited the family to join us. As you can guess, my middle son, who weighs over 500 lbs., declined, saying he had a golf tournament that day. He is always so busy with "other things." Sometimes it annoys me that his family, and I'm including his immediate family (wife and 5-year-old daughter) also seem to be ... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 10:00:09 EST Another Bar & Grill Last night after bowling we went to yet another bar & grill for dinner. It was important to find a place with TV's, since our KC Royals played the Angels in the first game of the American League Divisional Series (THEY WON!). But food choices at bars aren't all that healthy usually. I know they have a good Philly steak sandwich, then noticed a chicken Philly sandwich. I ordered it, without the cheese, and got a side salad with vinaigrette as my side. When the sandwich came, I dumped the meat... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 16:59:35 EST Diet Betting <img src=""> <BR> Diet Bet Winner!!! <BR> <BR> Probably a year or so ago I became aware of Diet Bets. It all sounded very complicated, I got the idea you needed a Notary Public to verify your weight, etc., so I decided it was too much bother to mess with, even though I started slipping in my maintenance and knew I could use some motivation to get back on track. <BR> <BR> So when my Internet Friend, Brooke Birmingham at http://brookenoto... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 10:54:13 EST Fun Weekend With Grandkids Son and his wife went to the Cornhusker football game Sat. night, and asked us to watch their three kids. I was glad to accept. I had not seen them since they spent the 6 days with us at the beginning of September while their parents vacationed in NYC. I was missing those little people! <BR> <BR> They arrived in mid afternoon with plans to spend the night. I kept busy with little Noah (he's almost 5 months old), and Du entertained Amber, who's 5, and LOVES her Grandpa Du. Duncan, at 8, enter... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:11:46 EST The Innocent Pumpkin that Led to My Regain I love Fall. I have lots of Fall decorations, not so much Halloween, but more fall-type, pumpkins, harvest, leaf wreaths, etc. I don't like scary....I like pretty things in golds, and yellows and browns. So yesterday I decided it was time to get out my Fall decorations, which are in two storage containers upstairs. I lugged them downstairs, and started pulling the decorations out, one at a time. It's fun to look at the items after almost a year of having them in storage--you haven't seen them... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:17:44 EST Maintenance Isn't Easy, But It's Do-Able!!! I am halfway through Dr. Barbara Berkley's book "Refuse to Regain." It is for Junior Maintainers mostly, those who are in their first year of maintenance. But I identify with so much of what she says, and find myself nodding in agreement at her suggestions of ways to help maintain your weight, even though I am in my fourth year (is that possible?) of maintenance!! <BR> <BR> Dr. Berkley doesn't pussy-foot. She knows how difficult maintenance is and she tells it like it is. It is HARD! Just th... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 12:51:17 EST Pam's Terrible Horrible No-Good Bad Day Last Thursday was an awful day. I was completely overwhelmed trying to deal with insurance denials, not knowing where to turn and feeling so lost, helpless, and scared. A $40,000 bill has been hanging over our heads all summer, the insurance company is continuing to deny payment of it, even though they paid the very same bill for the very same treatments, two times previously. I was getting no cooperation from the hospital where the charge was from, only repeated promises to "return my call,"... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:45:49 EST Completely Falling Apart..... Cancer is hard. Treatment is super expensive. Fighting with Insurance Companies is frustrating. When cancer didn't depress us or defeat us, the Insurance Company tried to. But we are stronger than they are. <BR> <BR> We have two vital services and bills which they have denied, and I have been fighting with them all summer. It's hard to get an answer and you don't know where to turn. You feel so alone. Finally yesterday, with yet another letter telling us the crucial shots Du gets to strength... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:58:15 EST Perception and Judgment Yes, I know it is wrong to compare myself with others. But I spent so many years being embarrassed that I was the biggest person in the room, it's hard to stop the visual evaluations today. I try not to judge others, but there is a vague sense of superiority because I seem to have gotten my eating under control and others do not. I always felt inferior to others who seemed to have the ability to maintain a normal weight, so it is not surprising that today I have that same sense of superiority... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 12:56:52 EST