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I am not on fire

Usually, I post when I am feeling good and motivated and making healthy choices. Not today. I like to keep things positive but I also promised I would be honest on this blog, so if you’re not in the mood for my honesty then I’d suggest you check out some of my older posts (like this one) instead of reading on.

These last few weeks have been tough. I didn’t know how losing my dad would affect me. How could I have? Generally, I’m ok, but I have moments or tasks which bring up my sorrow and make me want to shut down.

Just today I yelled at my husband (who never, ever deserves to be yelled at because he is a saint of a man) because he was talking about packing up my dad’s house as being simple and we “just need to do it”. A fire built up inside me that unleashed anger I didn’t know I had when I shouted out, “MY DAD DIED! NONE OF THIS IS EASY! These are his things. This is all hard and I would rather not do it.”

Sweet man that he is my husband just wrapped his arms around me and whispered comfort and kindness and apologies into my ear.

Along with my avoidance of packing I have been neglecting my fitness goals and nutrition. It has been so much easier to buy food instead of preparing it. Sleeping in is more enticing than early classes at the gym. Everything that I was doing with such ease last fall is suddenly unimportant and a huge inconvenience. My change in focus is showing on the scale.

I didn’t even take a camera into the bathroom on Friday when I weighed in. Maybe I should have because I’m embarrassed to tell you that I’m back up to almost 222. I hate it. It made me cry.

But I suppose I’ve been crying a lot lately.

For now, I’m going to gym even when I don’t want to. Sometimes, it’s half an effort but I suppose that is better than no effort. I bought groceries even though I don’t feel like cooking, but I will.

I will.

This sucks.

But I will be fine. It will take some time and facing things I don’t want to do but I will be fine.

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My daddy.

Wish me luck

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Loss

 

Good Riddance 2014.

It was a tough year for me personally. I found some success improving my healthy habits which resulted in shedding a few pounds (I still have a ways to go), but other parts of my life were… challenging.

In the past few years I’ve been more involved in helping my dad out: doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, balancing his checkbook & paying his bills. This summer I found him on the floor and unable to get up which started nearly 6 months of being in & out of the hospital and nursing home with only a few short weeks in between where he was home…and fell again. He was pretty steadily getting crankier, needing more attention, and finally began to refuse treatments. I drove the 20 miles to see him at the nursing home 3 and 4 times a week. Because of his condition and refusing medical treatment he started getting confused easily, too, so we never knew what to expect when we went to check on him. The kids and I had a wonderful Christmas visit with him last week and then on Sunday he was no longer responsive. By Monday morning his breathing stopped and he was gone. My daddy died. He was only 73.

This is the hardest loss I’ve ever had to cope with. Yesterday, I spent most of the day crying at the drop of a hat and hiding in my room. But because I have children I put on a brave face and hung out with them to count down to the New Year. Perhaps all the yelling and throwing of Pop-Its was cathartic because as I got into bed I felt a little better. I felt ready to get to work.

Part of that work is getting back into my fitness routine that I abandoned as the holidays came. Healthy eating and exercise will be necessary to combat what I found when I stepped on the scale this morning.

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The pounds are creeping back on! NOOOOOO!!!!

My dad and I both have…had… Type II Diabetes. I was diagnosed younger than him. He never really changed his habits and that was part of the reason his health was so bad. I don’t want to make the same mistake. It’s going to be a tough battle to get rid of this extra weight but I know it will be worth it! Maybe I won’t get rid of the Diabetes but I will get healthy.

This morning I woke with the same desire to get to work and with a need to spend time with my family.  I suggested we go on a family hike. The closest hiking trail to us is a loop. My husband, our boys, and our cute doggy, Lula, hit the trail. About a quarter of a mile in the trail splits and you can take one of two trails: a 2 mile or 5 mile loop. The hubs and I agreed we were in the mood for the long loop.

I’d never done the long loop before and I’m not sure I knew what I was getting myself into (my legs are already sore), but the views were both a reward and a triumph. This is at the top of the trail before we started descending. I swear it was the highest point surrounding our valley. It was so fulfilling to stand up there and look how far away the car was parked!
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That hike was exactly what I needed.

The other part of getting to work is learning how to exist without my dad. I have lots to keep me busy (going through his stuff and getting his place on the market is not a small task), but I know I will miss him in unexpected moments.

This morning I wrote in my journal and when I was finished I turned the page. The sight of these clean, fresh pages coincided with exactly how I was feeling this morning.
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It is time for a fresh start and I am ready for the task. Coincidentally (or perhaps not so coincidentally) it came on the first day of 2015. I’ve only made one resolution for this new year and I think it fits nicely with all that is happening in my life right now: I will not give up on myself, on my goal of ridding myself of this excess weight. Happy 2015!

Wish me luck.

Life Goes On

I remember vividly when my grandfather died. I was far away at school and the rest of the family was within a few hours of each other. His death was a shock. I felt like he would be around forever. Handling his death in a place where no one else knew him was torture. I couldn’t get a flight out until the next day and I had a few things to do to arrange for being gone, like tell my professor’s about my tragedy. I had a difficult time in that 24 hours focusing on anything… even while I was driving. At one point I remember being angry at all the people on the road simply for going on with their lives, for acting like it was just another day when I knew the world would never be the same with my grandpa gone. I felt like my world had stopped and I didn’t understand how others could function!

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions as we have waited for red tape requirements to be satisfied so my step-dad could get to the hospital he needs to be at for testing and to get put on their liver transplant list. Plus, winter break ended and my kids went back to school, my husband is waiting to interview for a promotion, the laundry needs to be done, and my foot hurts. Life keeps going even though someone I love is going through this insanity.

I tell you all this because I feel a bit guilty that my little family of 5, in the middle of all this, is taking a mini vacation that we planned before Christmas. I am having fun. Really. I’m also texting back & forth with my family a lot and worrying about my kids and husband having fun and frustrated that I forgot to bring my good walking shoes.

In the midst of all this life stuff I have been good at remembering to take time for me and using workouts as stress relief. I need all the stress relief I can get.

Life, some days it is amazingly fantastic and other days it doesn’t matter how beautiful the weather or how cool the venue – it is just hard to smile. I’m gonna put on my swimsuit and give it my best shot though!

Wish me luck.

Death still sucks

I lost my uncle this week. I know. It’s unreal how many people around me have died in the last 6 weeks. People are starting to think it’s dangerous to associate with me. I’m starting to think they are right.

I’m tired of being strong. I’m tired of coping. I’m tired of starting to excited for something (like Christmas and a break from school) only to have my parade rained out. This week I was in finals and trying really hard to not think about how my amazing Uncle Bart will never give me that loving look of praise again or call me “AB”. He’s the one who gave me the nickname when I was a munchkin. There won’t be another holiday where we are all sitting around waiting to eat because he will be here “soon”. How boring is that?!

I didn’t step on scale this week. I didn’t even exercise. I did take 4 finals and go to my check up at the doctor’s office.

My weight loss was as expected and I won’t know until next week what my A1C is…but I have a feeling that he’ll be upping my medication. Because despite my efforts in both diet and exercise my blood sugar has still been high. My blood pressure was high, too, but he’s giving me a pass because of my week. I have to go back in a few weeks to have it checked again.

Please, please do not make me go on an additional medication for that!

Since my schedule will be freed up after tomorrow afternoon (services for Uncle Bart), my plan for the week is to exercise every day Monday thru Saturday for at least 30 minutes. Cleaning the house won’t count. I’m going to get lots of water in and watch my carb intake. More veggies. And I’m going to pray every day that it’s a long time before someone else I love dies, because I need a doggone break. I would like to spend this Christmas season enjoying the people I love and not stressing out about anything. I hope that is not too much to ask.

Wish me luck!

death sucks and i hate being wrong

It has been rough week. Last Friday my Friend got the call that every wife dreads. She has said countless times this week, “You never want to see ‘LA Coroner’ on your caller ID.” Her husband of 200 months was killed in a tragic accident. I think it is meaningful that my post last week was about how we have to adjust to whatever happens in our lives, because the unfortunate truth of that is very real this week for my Friend and her family.

Honestly, it seems to be going beyond her family, this inability to process, accept, and move on. Many from our ward (that’s Mormon for the group we attend church with) have been affected by this death in ways we cannot explain. Yes, it has only been a week and the pain and shock are fresh, but life (carpools, school, music, jobs…) cruelly does not stop because we feel this loss in our lives.

I remember when I was away at college and my brother called to tell me about my grandpa dying unexpectedly. Later that day in preparation for going home to be with my family I had to drive somewhere. I distinctly remember being surrounded by many cars on the road and thinking, “How can they just go on like this? How can they function in a world where he does not exist?” I imagine that my Friend is experiencing exponentially similar pain and confusion.

How do we deal with the pain? How do we come to terms with living while those we love are not? I’ve started by trying to remember that for which I am grateful, an appropriate activity for this month of Thanksgiving. I’m also taking my Friend’s advice: Treasure your husband (she is quite wise and wonderful and an amazing example of strength, testimony and love). Yesterday I went on a date with my husband. Yesterday was a hard day. The day after the funeral. The day I weigh in (and am supposed to blog). The day I found out I gained a pound. Woe is me right? But my reward at the end of the day was time with my husband. After a little shopping and dinner at Five Guys, we ended up at the movies where I did something I was not sure I wanted to do. Something that I had debated back and forth within myself and discussed with my husband many times. I’m pretty sure I even told a few people there was no way I would support this effort. But alas, I was too tired to wait an extra half hour for a different movie, so I bit the bullet and went to see Footloose.

Dang it if it wasn’t really good. Really good! The plot was updated. Costumes and names and vehicles (!) stayed true to the original (which was one of my top 3 faves as a teenager). I even thought several of the actors looked similar to those in the original. Overall, I thought it was a good tribute to the Footloose I knew as a kid. Not only did I like it (dang it), but I learned (or maybe was reminded of) some important things. First, everyone grieves. We have all had loss on some scale. We can find common ground and can grow together through our grief (bet you didn’t think the movie was that deep). Second, and probably most applicable to this blog: when your sad, pissed, or just need to blow off steam dancing is an excellent way to do it!

Yep, dancing.  I remember going dancing a lot in my younger years and it wasn’t always about cute boys. Sometimes it was just about enjoying the music and moving until I was sweaty and exhausted. Maybe you prefer running or kickboxing? But the point is that it is way more healthy to deal with those emotions through exercise rather than feeding your face…or sitting around pouting. Both of which I’m really good at. My Friend must know this (at least in theory) because before her husband’s funeral she signed up to run a marathon next May. See…she’s amazing.

My goal for this week is to dance. Dance until I’m sweaty. I doubt that I’ll look as good as either Ren MacCormack dancing around an abandoned warehouse, but dog gone it I’m going to feel better after.

Wish me luck (and add some prayers that I won’t have any other deaths to blog about next week)!

Giving up…

I’m writing this in between scanning pictures of my Great Aunt Joan from the last 70ish years. Tomorrow is her funeral and for some crazy reason I volunteered to put together a slide show. Maybe because I love her…not loved….love. Always will. She and Uncle Sam were a couple since she was a teenager and I loved to watch them together. Loved. Don’t get to do that any more.

Joan died exactly six years after her beloved Sam. I remember all the summer holidays at their house and, most importantly, in their pool. Every Christmas they would have a present for me…until they decided I was too old. Then I got cash on occasion and eventually they’d buy presents for my kids. They hated Utah. It reminded them of their sweet son who died too young of cancer while attending BYU. They sucked it up and came to Utah for me when I finished at BYU (or thought I was finished and walked in graduation). I’ll never forget that kind of love.

To the right of me is Rae. Yup, we've been friends a long time.

Uncle Sam flirted with every single one of my girl friends that I brought to the house. Aunt Joan always made sure she had something my picky husband liked to eat when we came to visit. Anyone I know who met them never forgot them and even asked about them years later. Those are the kind of people who make growing up fun.

My daughter’s middle name is Joan. That’s how much I love her…both hers.

I’m sure you’re thinking something like, “That’s sweet, but what the hey does that have to do with you losing weight?!”

Good question. I don’t know. Except that it happened in my life this week and life happens to all of us. Sometimes we get stressed, need to celebrate (or mourn), have no time, feel alone, want to bake….life. This week I might have just given up (at least for a few days) when my aunt died, but instead I stuck to my promise to Rae (NO CANDY), I went on an extra walk, I cried (I’m sure cranking out tears burns calories, right), I looked for healthy ways to express my grief. It wasn’t a perfect week, but it was better than the old me who may have eaten through a giant bag of M&Ms.

Nonetheless, my focus this week was not on losing weight. When I stepped on the scale this morning I did not expect this

I lost two whole pounds since last Friday. Wow. I didn’t happy dance. I almost kicked myself. My thinking was if I can lose 2 lbs without hardly trying (just the changing of the habits) then imagine how much weight I might’ve lost if I had put more effort into it! (Ok, maybe I happy danced a little)

By the same token, if you are trying to lose weight like one of our regular readers, Kris (thanks for your comment last week), and not having these kind of results…please don’t be discouraged. It’s just time to reassess. Basic math. Calories in vs. calories out. Maybe this would be a good week (with all the candy temptation!) to keep close track of exactly how you are doing in that department. If you need help keeping track (I know it ain’t easy!) May I suggest a free website that I’ve used before SparkPeople.com. The most important thing in tracking calories is total honesty with yourself. Yes, one M&M can count.

I also want to suggest again something Aims suggested. Measure. Take your measurements and keep track of the inches you are losing. Sometimes you won’t lose lbs, but you’ll see the inches coming off. I think it has something to do with muscle weight gain.

Don’t give up. We have hard days in life, but I know how bad you want to lose weight. I understand how it feels to look in the mirror and not see who you think you look like. I totally get how hard it is to work your butt off in an exercise class next to thinner women and worry about how they’ll look at you if when you can’t keep up. I appreciate the trainer who is gaining weight so he can see how hard it is to lose weight (have you seen that article?), but I know how you feel right now. DO NOT GIVE UP. Reassess.

Nearly done scanning pictures. Tomorrow is going to be a long day for me, but I’m going to try to start it out with a quiet morning walk. This week I’m taking things a day at a time and trying to push myself a little each day.

Wish me luck!

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