Category Archives: taking steps to improve things

Walking the farmers market

Today we walked ALL of Boise’s downtown farmers market (about a mile) and even backtracked a lot and I feel fine, tired and a little sore but nothing bad.
4 years ago I was over 450pounds and never even thought of walking the market, I was so crippled walking into the store from my car hurt.
3 years and 2 months ago I had my DS WLS and was about 380 by this time of year and still could not have handled it but I began to think it might be possible some day.
Last year I was down around 245 and we started going to the market but the damage being so big had done to me meant I always walked part of it or the one time I did walk it all I was so sore I was near tears and hobbling by the end.
Now I am 195 pounds and I am more active then I ever remember willingly being since I was 21.
Just short of 8 weeks ago (8wks on Tues) I lost enough finally to have my first of 2 knee replacements which has always been my main weight loss goal.
There were days while I recovered that I cried from pain and wondered how I was going to face having the other knee done, but now I know I can do it, I will do it and I hope I do as good for that one as I am for this.
WLS was one of the best choices of my life, I may never be small, I may always be baggy as I don’t intend to have plastic surgery but I am determined I will make the most of these chances I have been given, the chance to start over small enough to not destroy my joints and bones with every step and eventually pain free and strong enough to maintain that.

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Filed under exercise, knee replacement, pain, positive thought, taking steps to improve things

No more excuses

I know I need to make changes and finally I am finding reasons to get my knees done, reasons to be healthy, reasons to try, now I am seeking the Ways to make it happen.

It is time for me to step back and take a look at my life, ask myself “what do you want most to actually achieve? What things would you like to do that you have either not done or given up on?”
One of the first steps is to list my goals:
simple goals
difficult goals
complicated goals
realistic but hard goals.
Now is the time when I must take a much harder look, dig deep and ask myself “what excuse do I use to not even try to make these goals come true? What excuses am I giving others and worse, myself, to not make it happen or to not even find a way to do the best that I can and at least keep attempting to make it happen.”
It is time to be brutal, be honest and once I have a list of excuses I need to make another list of why each of those excuse is total bunk and bullshit, then make a list of ways I can try to achieve each thing, ways I can change things in my life to accomplish my goals.
It is time to stop finding excuses and start finding ways.

Excuses that all lead back to me needing to get my knees replaced:

I can’t exercise enough because my knees hurt so much (get them fixed)
I don’t sleep well partly due to pain and it makes me cranky (time to get them done)
I eat goodies I know will make me sick because of pain, I have little control when it hurts so badly (then it is time to face the fact this pain will last forever without a replacement)
I can’t lose weight if I can’t walk without so much pain (*cough* sugar *cough cough* sweets *cough* KNEES, REPLACE, NOW)

Excuses I have used to avoid getting my knees replaced (and the answers to why it is wrong)

Pain, it will hurt (I hurt every day of my life, I am currently 44yrs old with no massive illnesses, that is not right when I could fix it.  The pain and bad knees make me walk badly, my hips, back and feet pay the cost.  Major pain for 6 months to a year or ever increasing pain for life?)
They won’t last long (actually if I am good and keep my weight down I could be looking at 15 to 20 years, I would be 60-65 before they needed redoing and by then they might even have better ways to do it)
I will need so much help for a while I will be a burden (hate to break this to you chica but you are going to end up a bigger burden in 10 years if you can’t walk, now you will heal faster than you will at 55 and now mom and Alex can actually help you, then someday maybe you can help them.)
SCARS-12 inch+ scars (fuck you, I am aging faster due to pain, I see it on my face every day and it is worse on bad days, I am covered in stretch marks, I lost half my body weight, my husband doesn’t care about all that why should scars matter?)
I need to be under 200 pounds for a while (think back, that was my plan, the surgeon was willing to do them at 250 pounds, I wanted to lose to a magic number and I don’t think it will happen without the surgery, don’t lie to yourself)

So no more excuses, in a week I will know if we can do them,I want them done in April, I have 2 major events in March, I want chances of snow and ice to be slim and if the cortisone helps I would like to build up some more muscle.  If I have to have them done sooner, oh well it will have to be.
No more excuses.

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Filed under Accountability, Arthritis and health issues, challenge, changing how I think, confession, fears, goals, health, Motivation, pain, taking steps to improve things

What if I told you…

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I have been afraid to go forward with getting my knees replaced for a lot of reasons, one of which is pain, but a few months in hell, pain wise, for taking a chance at making things better has got to be better than a lifetime in a painful purgatory being punished for what you were not brave enough to do at all.
My knees will not get better by themselves, even if I lost another 80 pounds they will hurt for life without being replaced, I also don’t think I can actually lose more weight without being able to move easier.
I am now thinking of pain like grains of sand filling buckets…a slow but increasingly painful trickle over the next 15 to 20 years will be far more suffering than a short deluge that may give me peace and comfort for the next 15-20 years.
I want to live a long time and part of that is me losing weight and I don’t think I can without being able to move more, what would the point of going through weight loss really be if I still end up immobile? I want to walk with my husband and not be a burden on him.
3 years ago on April 26th 2010 I had most of my stomach removed and my upper intestine rerouted and since then I have lost nearly 200 pounds (I had lost 52 pounds before surgery so I weighed 411 when I went in and I am between 212 and 217 now) 4 and a half years ago I asked myself basically the same question, do I want to be in the same condition and most likely worse in 10 years if I last that long? I realized I was more afraid of the consequences of standing still in the middle of the battle my life was than I was to fight to win. 
Now I realize that I am only half done with this battle, time to fight on the second front and win back my mobility and vanquish pain.  I can’t let doubt cause me to surrender without trying.

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, fears, goals, Motivation, taking steps to improve things

Resolution #1 treat myself right and learn from my mistakes

Ive been pushing myself, day after day, more and more lately.
Not because I want to prove something but because there is so much that needs doing. Things that need cooked, things that need cleaning, or need organized or created and I just don’t seem patient enough to take time, to wait for help, and I keep thinking I will be fine, that I can just do this one last thing and then one more until my body rebels.
I give myself just enough time for the pain to fade a bit (but not enough time to heal the damage I am doing to my joints, my back and my still weak muscles or messed up nerves) then I go back to pushing myself too far.
I should be the last person to be accused of a Puritan work ethic but I guess you could say that is the problem if by that you mean that I suffer a lot of guilt about weakness, real or perceived, or that somewhere deep inside I have a no pain no gain mentality, despite knowing better, and that no matter how often I see it to be otherwise I have a general conviction that if I can just push past the pain this will be the time I get blessed, get strong, get better.
The thing is while I can do more than ever before I still take a lot longer time than most people to cover and the more I push without letting myself heal the longer and worse the pain is during my recovery.
I have so much that I  want to do but I have to accept that when everything aches and I push everything begins to hurt.  I also need to accept that hurting is a sign not of personal weakness of character but instead a sign that I am harming myself and that in my case it breeds worse pain as it keeps me awake, keeps my muscles and nerves stressed and makes it harder to heal at all.
The hardest thing for me is not that I dont give assistance to others, it’s not that I fail to give understanding or sympathy or that I judge others too harshly but that I don’t give myself those things. I constantly judge myself a failure which is why I am so hard on myself and by being so rough with myself I set myself up to fail, thus making a vicious cycle of self abusive behavior and thought processes.
it is time that I learn to give myself time to heal, give myself the right to slip without it being a grand failing for which I berate myself then throw my hands up and give up trying.  Somewhere along the line I developed something of an all or nothing mentality  , either I succeed right off or I declare myself a failure and since I have already failed why try to do better?
This is one of the things I am going to resolve to do in the future, give myself time to heal physically, mentally and to learn new habits of action and thought.
  I need to allow myself to fail in small ways without declaring myself an epic failure and giving up, if I slip and have a small treat it is no excuse to berate myself as I eat more and more because I already blew my food plan, if something takes a long time to do it is no reason to hate myself and give up trying. For each small failing I need to simply start again, start over fresh and make myself succeed no matter how difficult it is without harming myself.  If one method leads to pain, to slipping where my determination is concerned then I need to look to find a better way to do things.
And so I resolve to be good to myself, to take care of myself and to find success from failures without giving up or repeating the same mistakes over and over.

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Filed under Accountability, Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and mental health, goals, Motivation, obsessions, pain, spoonie, taking steps to improve things

10 Questions to ask myself about 2012 (cross post)

The best way to move forward into a better year is to look at the last one and reflect not just on what happened but on how it effected you and how you might deal differently next time.
1. What was the single most challenging thing that happened in your life that you over came or survived?
We moved out of the apt I had lived in for 8 years and moved into a house, first it was hard for me to give up the familiarity of a place though I had gotten to the point of hating it, secondly we have had to budget more money (still working on that) We managed to get most of the house put together and really wonderfully decorated. I have had a lot of anxiety about it and yet have managed to do much better.
I am also learning to keep up with the cleaning and maintenance for the house by following a Tumblr blog called Unfuck Your Habitat which is helping me realize that despite my health issues I can do what needs doing even if only 10 mins at a time.
2. We all live lives where we to some extent expect hardship but was there an unexpected joy in your life this past year?
Moving into our new house one house away from my grandma has both been stressful and amazing.

3. What was the single best thing that happened to you this past year?
Continuing to be loved by the most amazing person I know and being happy with him as well as realizing I can make him happy which motivates me to try harder to control my mood swings and stay on top of my depression and anger issues

4. what 5 words best describe the last year for you?

Creative, hopeful, loved/loving, impetuous, temperamental

5. What are 4 things you wish you had done that you did not do last year?
(1) I wish I had maintained better control over my eating habits, I managed it for a month then fell off the wagon and I want to get back to being in control because I spent most of 2012 not eating well.
(2) on the same note I wish I had exercised a lot more, I need to find a balance where I walk more, do more and yet not over do to the point of pain
(3) Yet again I wish I had gotten my art room/studio organized, first at the other place so that when we moved we could have it done here (which it isn’t)
(4) I wish I had learned to budget better and get my spending under control since it gives Alex undo stress to deal with

6. What were the biggest relationship changes in your life this last year both positive and negative?
I have had to realize I need to put my effort where it is needed and not waste my time on people and things that are a worthless drain to my physical and mental energy and that includes people who might be considered friends but are not worth the pain or anxiety. I have had to remove a few people from my life and redefine my relationship with others.

7. In what ways did you change (physically, spiritually, emotionally or mentally) in the last year?
I have had to deal with a lot of turbulence emotionally/biochemically with random bursts of anger and sadness and I have learned to recognize that it is starting and try to head it off or avoid people when it happens, I have not always succeeded but I am getting to the point where I will tell myself and others that NO I cant do something. I have also faced the fact this may be the way I am the rest of my life but I have to function with it.
Physically I lost a little more weight but I have not been building up my muscles and now have to play catch up
8. What one single thing would you have done differently over the past year?
I would have worked harder to gain self control, this effects every aspect of my life, spending, relationships and health

9. In what way did you waste the most time and what do you think you might of done without so much distraction?
The Internet…more art

10. What are a few things you would like to change about yourself in the upcoming year?
I need to work on my self control, on my spending, my eating (most of all) my self care, my emotions and my tendency to slack off.

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Filed under Accountability, blog prompts, changing how I think, depression and mental health, goals, Motivation, positive thought, taking steps to improve things

Trying to get back on the wagon

I have spent the last 22 days being dragged behind the sugar wagon I fell off of right before my birthday.  Before that I had spent over a month barely eating carbs other than dairy and vegetables.
At first I lost 8 pounds (I was in the 220s for quite a while) and was honestly hoping that I would break 210 and stay there for a bit. But the weight decided to yo-yo between 217 and a one time 209 no matter what I did or did not eat.
Now that I have lost control of my Carb intake I am still yo-yoing but the number is now between 214 and 219, not much of a difference so far but it wouldn’t take much to end up back over 220 on New Year’s Day.
But beyond the pounds is the fact that I feel awful, physically and mentally.  I feel as if I have failed myself and everyone who has faith in me, I hurt and I am embarrassed by the effects eating sugar has on my body.  There are times I cry even when I am alone and I am the only one who suffers the effects.
The sick part?
Every time I get upset I want more sugar.  I will be in pain, my stomach as tight as a drum and my joints aching and still if it is in the house I will eat it.
And that is the rub, it simply can Not be in the house, I am not strong enough to resist it long enough to let the physical side of my addiction (a form of insulin residence) play itself out.
As long as I can make it past the first 10 days with no sugar I am fine, I feel more in control, I can see it in stores, I can smell it and even be around it and I can resist.  IF I can take the first step, if I can break the habit.
Maybe this time I will make it longer and maybe this time if I fall off the wagon in a few months I will get back on and not be dragged behind it for days and weeks.

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, changing how I think, depression and mental health, goals, Motivation, obsessions, pain, taking steps to improve things

Gift of positive thought to myself and others

Lately some people I love have really been suffering and I realize I can’t give advice about changing things, changing the way we think, the way we deal and everything if I can’t walk the walk.
I am better than I have been but still I have a lot of negative self thoughts, and like a lot of us I vent them on line.  It is time to stop that, time to be more positive so for Christmas I am giving me (and my on line friends) a break.
I will not post negative stuff about myself or about life, if something bad happens (like blowing a tire) I will mention it but I will also post something positive about the situation.
I am going to retrain my brain to be more positive, rebuild neuro pathways that are currently dedicated to anxiety, self doubt and angst and through concerted effort stop the behaviors that reinforce those thoughts (which are largely related to long trained chemical responses that can be altered)
I deserve to be happy and my friends deserve to see that side of me.

Some of the changes I am making are:
stay on top of my meds
Keep my house tidy regardless of if we have company or not
Get the art room done by New Years and keep it that way
Start doing more art and crafts
Cook healthier for us
Be more positive, every time a situation arises to upset me I Ned to think of something positive about it
Be more honest about not just what upsets me but what makes me happy
Remove negative influences from my life
Do positive things to make myself and others happy
Fight my addiction without belittling myself all the time
Read more
Budget better
Organize things in the house to make them less frustrating
take better care of my appearance, I deserve it

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, challenge, changing how I think, depression and mental health, medication and vitamins, money, Motivation, positive thought, taking steps to improve things, Treat Yourself

New paths

Sometimes you get to a point where you realize you have taken so many wrong turns and gotten to a place in life that doesn’t service you well, where you feel as if you cause more harm than good and as if where you to keep moving forward, slogging through the muck and mire your own actions helped dig up you would drown.
You can not go backwards, you can’t take back failures, but you can learn from them, learn how to avoid this mess again.
You can’t go backwards but you can take a step to the side and take a look at how you got into this mess and replot your course, you can’t change the mistakes you made but you can figure out ways to not repeat them.
It is time to take a good look at things in life, step aside and look from different angles then wash away the pain and grime and move on to a new, more carefully plotted course.

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Filed under changing how I think, depression and mental health, Random Thoughts, taking steps to improve things

Black soap for white heads

When I lost the first 100 pounds or so my hormoans went insane and even 250 pounds later they still act up.
I am having hormonal acne really bad, this month is the worse ever with small, hard whiteheads that itch all along my jaw line, under my chin and even down my chest and now for the first time they are on my cheekbones and forehead. They don’t look bad but make my skin look rough and dull, that is until the itch got to me one really stressful day and I tore up my face during an anxiety attack. I had tried this Black African Soap my friend bought me and it was amazing except it cleaned my face so well that it pulled so many impurities that I broke out worse. I knew if I could stick it out I would see better results as it can take more than a month for a skin care regiment to work (up to 3 months in the case of really bad problems) but I could D never stick it out. But after trying to scratch my own face off in a parking lot I realized my face could actually get much worse on its own and so I have started washing once a day with this and then twice a day I use a clean wet warm cloth and wipe down my skin. I have made up a face oil with about 30 to 1 coconut oil to tea tree oil and I rub just a drop of it in each time I clean my face. It is taking time but the itch is mostly gone and while I am still getting the tiny clear/greyish bumps they ate not as bad or as painful and my skin doesn’t look so dull. We will see how I do in 3 weeks when my cycle gets back to the point where it tends to go into hormonal acne overdrive.

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Filed under DIY Spa Treatment, health, taking steps to improve things, Treat Yourself

Feeling in control for once

Nov writing month blog challenge day 3

CONTROL
The thing is in the last 11 days of not eating any sugar my only cravings have been purely mental ones after the second day, usually when I try to cut back or just have even 1 piece of dark dark chocolate a day I crave the sugar physically far worse than mentally but I realized that due to a long term problem with chronic fatigue syndrome dating back to my teens when my weight went insane I have major physical reactions to sugar and caffeine and they can increase my pain and inflammation. 
Without any processed sugar and less than 25% of the caffeine I was drinking just 2 weeks ago I now have less pain, anxiety and anger issues and I am not as exhausted all the time but I have to accept that I will always face triggers but I am the one who aims the gun so to speak.  I choose if I eat, I Choose what I eat, I am not helpless to my cravings and if I keep resisting them physically at least I will be more able to resist the urge. 
I did not give in last night despite the list of excuses and I realize I don’t have to ever give in if I don’t want to. 
Maybe for one of the first time ever in my life I am not just exerting real control over what I eat and why but more to the point for the first time ever I FEEL IN CONTROL.  I have quit sweets before but I always thought of it as a transient condition.  I was always just waiting out whatever goal date I had set for myself, such as no sugar for a month, counting down the days til I could indulge my addiction. 
This is the first time I have no deadline, no end date, I am not telling myself that we will have cake for my birthday in a month, or if I behave I can have Christmas as a free day and yet I feel safer and more in control of my eating than I ever have before.  Accepting that there is no way for me to have free days without them becoming free months is also truly for the first time accepting I have a biological issue that effects how my body deals with sugar and that while my addiction is not my fault my recovery is my responsibility.

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Filed under Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, challenge, chronic fatigue syndrome, Food, obsessions, positive thought, taking steps to improve things

EXCUSES SUCK

Nov writers month blog daily challenge day 2

EXCUSES

Here were my excuses for eating the kinds of Carb laden food I have avoided for 11 days:
*I am so sad and stressed about POE’S rash
*I feel so much guilt over having hurt him trying to make it better.
*I was hungry no matter what I ate or drank
*I made the guys an epic batch of Chex Mix and wanted to taste it so bad
*Pain from shots and doing too much as always after them
*Anxiety because the house is getting messy and I am too sore and stiff right now to get on it and Alex is busy
*Can’t find anything in my garage or art room and know it will be weeks of work before it is organized
*My guts act up regardless of if I eat “good”carbs or “bad” carbs
*I was oddly more lonely than usual
* I couldn’t sleep

My answer to that plethora of excuses?

NO!
EXCUSES ARE BORING
STOP MAKING UP REASONS TO DO WHAT WILL HURT YOU
GO THE FUCK TO BED

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, challenge, changing how I think, depression and mental health, Motivation, obsessions, pain, positive thought, Random Thoughts, taking steps to improve things

Giving up so much but getting more back

So it seems that not eating carbs, sugars, and drinking lots of milky tea this week has finally made a difference, in 3 days I lost 5 pounds and I am now at my lowest adult weight of 217.

Lets just hope I can stick with it and lose 13 more pounds by Dec 7th (my birthday) to reach my goal of half of what I weighed the day of my weight loss Surgery when I was 411 pounds.
Personally if at all possible I would love to lose 20 pounds by new years day so I could strt the year under 200 pounds.

I just wish it was easier for me and not such a constant struggle.  I really wish that I had more self control but the fact is I have major impulse control issues, right now I am having to give up so much for my health and to reduce my pain on top of all the stuff I have had to give up due to my altered anatomy (but much of which I wasn’t giving up enough which explains why I have been stalled)

Just to give you an idea here is the stuff I can NOT have:
*Simple carbs/sugar, including alcohol,
*Large amounts of gluten,
*Pasta, bread, actually regardless of if it is gluten free my body can handle almost no grains/rice of any type, except very small amounts of Quinoa
*Almost every raw vegetables (only a small amount of well cooked ones)
*And almost all fruit due to the fiber,
*Anything at all with MSG or most nitrates
*Anything deep fried regardless of how little breading is on it
*Fibrous, dry or under cooked cuts of meat
*Too much Splenda sweetener
*Any sugar-free candy
*And I have had about an 85% reduction in caffeine from what I was drinking 2 weeks ago
Here on the other hand the kind of stuff I can eat:
Milk (lots of it…especially in tea)
Lite (low sugar) yogurt
Cheese
Very tender Chicken, fish, non fatty Beef and Pork (this gets old fast BTW..and it is expensive even when you eat small amounts)
Scrambled eggs in small amounts but not Boiled as they can make me sick
Small amounts of Quinoa
White or black beans super well cooked
Tomatoes and cucumbers (if peeled)
Well cooked peppers in small amounts, same with onions
Nuts like Almonds (though too many hurt my guts)
Peanuts and Adams Peanut butter
Split pea soup if I cream it
Decaf coffee and tea
A small amount of regular tea
When I stick with eating only what I can then I feel better eventually but the first week or so is hell, last week I tried to let myself have about an oz of dark chocolate but I think it was making it harder.
By the way when I list what I can and cant eat, or the meds/ vitamins/ supplements I take I am not looking for Pity not even from myself.
I knew most of what I was giving up with my surgery before it happened in late April 2010 (30 months ago) but I have cheated A LOT.  I realized recently that beyond slowing my weight loss I was having issues with sugar and carbs exacerbating my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and causing many symptoms to flair up and because it was getting so bd I can not eat Sugars (carbs) very much at all with out exhaustion and increased pain sensitivity and a serious increase in inflammation which leads to lower mobility and even more pain.
All of this is my choice, my choice to give up those things just as it is my choice when I eat things I shouldn’t, yes Insulin Deficiency makes it more difficult to resist sugar but it does not make it impossible nor does it force feed me against my will.  No, I am the only one who puts the food in my mouth and I can choose even if it is difficult to the point of tears not to eat something.
Everyday for years I had to make the choice to walk despite horrible pain (there are still days like that even nearly 250 pounds smaller) I could of chosen to give up and never walk anywhere but I kept moving s much as I could.
I make my own choices…I could have kept going as I was, not having surgery, not changing anything and simply continued to get bigger and by now I would be in a wheel chair and compulsively eating to deal with stress and pain and making everything worse and I would be in so much more pain than now and so exhausted (as I have been most of my adult life) that I would not of been able to help myself get better.
For that matter I could have kept going the way I have been for the last year or more since surgery, eating the foods I knew upset my stomach and guts and having no energy and stalling weight wise for months on end, and just hating myself for failing to behave.
So no I am not asking for pity, I made my choices and now I am trying to live up to the decisions I made.
sadly I realize that this means I get to change things like how I socialize since food is a huge part of that, there may be times when I shall simply have to avoid certain social situations until I can feel more in control of myself.

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, chronic fatigue syndrome, Food, goals, health, Motivation, pain, positive thought, spoonie, taking steps to improve things, the past, weigh ins