Thursday, June 30, 2011

JUNE 30th The Meltdown & The Hero

Hi Journal & Friends,

This morning I had a Mini Meltdown.

Yep, a good old fashioned cry, whine, Pity Party Deluxe. The only thing missing was the pig-out. Well, at least I've made progress there!

Poor Jim... he'd been working his tail off for the last 5 days, replacing the sub-flooring in the kitchen, then laying new linoleum. Scrambling to get it all done before he had to go back to work today. The "experts" told us that it will take a few months to really cure and harden up, so Jim put down a thin carpet with a hard rubber backing over the new linoleum, so the wheels of my rolling stool that I use in the kitchen won't chew it up. 

Except... that didn't work. The wheels bogged down, and I couldn't roll. It was painful to be jerked around, and I almost fell off the stool. And I cried.

It was just the perfect storm... It was first thing in the morning, when I am in the most pain... my pain pills haven't kicked in yet... I am under pressure to get his 2 meals made in time to take to work... I haven't had my coffee yet... everything hasn't been put back together yet in the kitchen so it's taking longer just to find stuff... I'm feeling cranky... I need a shower... but not even any clean underclothes since the laundryroom is on the OTHER side of the kitchen and has been unavailable for 5 days... I haven't had my coffe yet (yes, a thing of that importance needs to be noted twice)... on and on the Whine List went.

And then, the poor guy has to take OUT the protective carpet he spent time carefully fitting in there, and throw down a simple entry mat that works with my wheels. And he makes the innocent "mistake" of repeatedly mumbling about how it might not work... that it might chew up the new linoleum... that it might wreck it... that.... that...

And I blow!

And he blinks... huh??

And I, with great martyrdom, says "I'm sorry!" 

And he, with great patience, responds "It's not your fault."

And I, with self-pity and guilt insists "YES IT IS!!!"

And he, with puzzlement, asks "You mean because you're overweight??"

And I, with anger, answered adamantly and loudly "YES!!!"

Then he totally got me... and started me back to sanity, by saying gently: "Yes,  but you are doing something about it, and for that I applaud you."

More tears. But now there is a shift... Gratitude has snuck into the mix. 

Gratitude that he could have said sooo many OTHER things. Things that could have hurt me, could have demoralized me, could have devastated me. I was vulnerable and on the edge already, and he could have pushed me over with his words. 

Instead, he gave me love and acceptance and encouragement and approval... all in that one little sentence.

I'm better now. Feeling silly and sheepish... wondering if I have really learned ANYthing... but better now. 

In the moment, it seemed everything I thought I had learned just vanished, and I was left crying, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering if anything would ever change. 

Never underestimate the power of a kind word.

From Dr Phil's book: "What you really want is to feel better about yourself."

My verse for today: "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me."

My quote for today: "Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure, and separates the victim from reality.." --John W Gardner

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 685

Saturday, June 25, 2011

JUNE 25th Under Construction

Howdy Journal & Friends,

My kitchen is a construction zone... everything moved out to tear up the floor, fix it, and install new linoleum. Ack! Getting the most important nutrient of the day-- my coffee-- was a major undertaking!!

This will probably go on for 3 or 4 days... I'm trying very hard to roll with the punches. Pre-cooked some stuff, boiled up some hard-boiled eggs, etc etc. 

The hardest part, honestly, is my attitude.

The floor was wrecked because I can't stand more than 30 seconds or so at a time, and I've been using a rolling stool when I work in the kitchen. And the cheap linoleum on the floor couldn't take it, so the wheels chewed holes in it over time. I've been battling the self-talk about that... the old "this all happened cuz you're fat" tapes. Why do so many things always go back to THAT root cause?! Well, maybe because it's true... there are consequences to our choices.

I've acknowledged that... there ARE consequences to our choices. I own that. But am trying to answer those old arguments with new truths: Yes, I made poor choices in the past. But now I am learning a new way. I am actively changing and making better choices. I am learning. I make mistakes still, but I am making progress. I refuse to hang my head in shame and beat myself up. 

A swatch of my new kitchen floor, from the roll...

As part of my effort to treat myself with respect instead of wallowing in self-blame, I went with MyGuy and picked out the new linoleum... a pretty marbelized pattern of subtle creams and pale blues, that goes nicely with my kitchen color scheme. 

And... I've decided not to settle... I am going to finish the kitchen in the next few months, and paint the walls a soft cream with tan trimming, and use my cobalt blues as the color notes in the kitchen towels and accessories. And after Jim retires in a few months, he said he'll put in a real tile backsplash over the sink, picking up the cobalt blues. Finally... my dream kitchen. I am worth it. :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "What you really want is to feel better about yourself..."

My verse for today: "I lift up my eyes to the hill-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

My quote for today: "Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them--a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill." --Muhammad Ali

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 680

Thursday, June 23, 2011

JUNE 23rd More Doggie Delicacies

Hello Journal & Friends,

Joey is still learning to NOT indulge her preferance for Doggie Delicacies. But a couple of days ago, when briefly out on the patio, she snuck over to the cat box and stole a nice plump Doggie Delicacy and took off running. She KNEW there would be negative consequences, but it was so irresistable she chose to do it anyway. (All together now... EWWWW!)

Well, I understand. Yesterday, in spite of negative consequences, I chose to do my own version of eating Doggie Delicacies. I overate. My goal calories have been 1599, and I had been doing excellent. But yesterday I just went kinda nutso. 

Basically, I ate too much sh*t and just didn't want to know the calories. Oh sure, I stayed on plan, eating "good stuff". Just too MUCH of the good stuff. Waaay too much, as in 2764 calories worth of it. 

At first I said "oh screw it", I wasn't going to add it up. But last week my Secret Challenge partner had a bad day, and she DID take responsibility and reported the numbers. So.... I appreciate her good example, and decided to be accountable too.

I'm glad I did, because I discovered something. I had been so sure it was at least twice that amount. It FELT like an abnormal amount. It didn't feel right. It was not the new me!! I was so surprised by my own reaction. And actually encouraged. My perceptions really are changing! 

I USED to eat those amounts and much more on a regular basis, and it was my "normal". Now... it seemed humongous!! I am not excusing my poor choice yesterday at all, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying I was surprised at how intensely it felt wrong... not normal... weird... not like the New Me.

So... back on track today, and actually encouraged by what I learned from yesterday's splat. 

From Dr Phil's book: "That's your priority. You must hold yourself to a higher standard now. You cannot be wishy washy."

My verse for today: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."

My quote for today: "I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God's help I shall succeed." --Vincent Van Gogh

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 678

Sunday, June 19, 2011

JUNE 19th Day of Rest & Favorite Photos... New Life!

Hello Journal & Friends,

Jim works at a small community hospital in Ashland, Oregon. All along one of the buildings, outside the patient windows, is a low block wall to provide a sound barrier from the parking lot, and some privacy. And inside that wall are little trees, lush greenery, flowers... a nice oasis for the patients to see.

Well, much to everyone's delight, there is now something else to see. Just a few days ago a doe came down from the nearby hills, and decided that the long secluded nook would make a safe haven in which to have her babies!! And she has stayed, and her little fawns are local celebrities! You see, she HAD TRIPLETS!! 

Here are the photos Jim took just a couple of days ago. He couldn't get a photo with all 3 babies together at once... Mama had them hidden among the foliage in different spots (all together now... Awwwww). So the pics you see below will not be of the same baby.

Everyone is protective of her and her babies, and no one gets close. There is plenty for her to eat in this little haven, and they are all safe in there.

I don't know why this touches me so much... maybe it's because inside those hospital windows, there might be such sorrow and pain going on. Yet right outside, the joy and hope of new life is gently going along, just doing it's best. The innocence of the fawns... the Mama deer trusting they will be safe there...

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have (can click any to enlarge).

At peace... under the protection of angels.

Enjoying the journey of these little creatures,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

JUNE 14th Strawberries, Sharks & Tears of Joy

Hello Journal & Friends,

For some of you, being told you needed a Size 3X dress would bring on tears of horror!! 

But for me... I had tears of joy. Yesterday was Jim's day off, and we went shopping and goofing off together. I got all dressed up and tried on a new lavendar dress, to see if it fit yet. YES!! It was a 3X. 

I've been buying clothing occasionally on clearance, but always in sizes too small for me yet. And I got this one a couple of months ago. It's been 26 YEARS since I've been able to wear a 3X!! When I was 460 pounds, I could barely squeeze into the largest 6X's that the Lane Bryant catalog sold. So... this is extremely encouraging to me.

While we were at WalMart, I spurged on some silly party plates to eat my lunches on.

For lunch today Tinkerbell and I had a small piece of the sugar free pie we also bought there.

And we couldn't forget Joey! Here is her new squeaky toy, which she loves:

We also picked strawberries yesterday...our barrel planter is overflowing with ripe strawberries, finally. Yay!

You know how you work hard, and wait, and expect results from your efforts...yet sometimes those results are not always exactly what you expected?? Hmmmm...

It's been a whole month since I started my Secret September Challenge. Wow... and we have both benefited so much! We've hit and overcome that "wall", where the honeymoon phase is over and the routine sets in. 

We've discovered some weaknesses we each need to work on, and I've had some new realizations that I think are going to help me go forward and make progress.

One of them is that my perceptions are skewed. REALLY SKEWED. Remember, I started up there pretty high, at 460 pounds. And when you are that overweight so long, I think it messes with your head... at least it did for me. 

What *I* think is normal, is not. 
What *I* perceive as bigger or smaller, is not.
What *I* feel is more or is less, is not the same as other people.

A perfect example: my new lavendar dress. I am sooo excited to be "down" to a 3X. Yet most of you would be aghast if you found yourself in a 3X. It's all in the perceptions. 

And... I think that's been working against me. 

Both my Secret Challenge partner and I have been having trouble ratcheting down the calories. And I finally realized just recently it's because, TO ME, the 1600 I was aiming for SEEMED VERY SMALL. But that was because I was--without realizing it--comparing it to what I USED to eat.

What I USED to eat was abnormal, not normal. Okay... intellectually, that's obvious. But I'm talking here about feelings... senses... perceptions... emotional reactions, whatever you call it.

I was using an ABNORMAL YARDSTICK as my comparison. I need to change my perceptions. To compare to a healthy, normal, moderate amount. 

I have the same trouble with portion sizes. A "normal" portion seems mighty tiny when I am hungry!! Yet invariably afterwards I am satisfied. But beforehand, it didn't "look" like very much. Again, I was comparing to the amounts I USED to eat. Skewed perceptions.

I know this will take time... to get so used to a new thing that it becomes my New Normal. But that's what I'm working on. Visualizing, accepting, enjoying, embracing and celebrating a Healthy New Normal. 

From Dr Phil's book: "Having specific, carefully mapped out, vividly envisioned goals is an absolute requirement for success."

My verse for today: "...put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love."

My quote for today: "If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell." --Lance Armstrong

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 669

Monday, June 6, 2011

JUNE 6th Memories & Determination

Hidy Ho Journal & Friends,

I've been thinking about my June 1st weigh in number... 333.

That number, 333, brings back painful memories. About 25 years ago I was horrified to hit 333. It was a wake up call, and I went and joined an expensive hospital-based program, where we had to weigh in weekly and get our photo taken at the beginning. I still have that photo somewhere. I remember feeling so humilitated when it was taken.

I couldn't find the original photo, but this one was at about that same time. I remember tucking my t-shirt in, thinking I wanted it to be accurate, and be a reeaallly bad before pic. If you would have told me I would have GAINED 127 MORE pounds, no way would I have believed you. Why, I would NEVER let that happen... not to me. My point is, don't think it could never happen to YOU. I didn't plan it... I didn't want it. But I didn't CHANGE on the INside, so kept making the same mistakes over and over.

Anyway... the program turned out to be a bad experience... won't go into all of that. I bombed out and eventually re-gained what I had lost, adding more to it, getting up to my all time highest of 460 lbs. 

But I remember the feelings of when I had started that program... the shame, the fear, the desperation. At that time, I was looking outside myself for help. I believed I "needed" something else to help me... a program, someone to pump me up, someone to tell me I could do it, that there was hope, that it was possible. I had failed so. many. times. I didn't know I could do it myself. 

I'm not talking about doing it without God... He is my Rock and source of strength. I am just saying I was dependent upon OUTside motivation.... OUTside inspiration. 

Is it easier when others support and encourage you? Oh, you bet your sweet bippy it is! But it's not necessary. 

It's more fun with companions, but it's not necessary. 

It's easier when my husband isn't fighting me every step of the way, but it's not necessary.

But for too long, I didn't know all that. Now I know different. Now I know God has given me everything I need to make it. It's up  to ME to motivate myself, to believe in myself, to accept that He has equipped me with enough know how now that I can do this. 

It's all in my choices. And I have the freedom to choose long-term health over immediate escape from whatever perceived stresses would push me to soothe it with food. I am determined to get this. I am determined to never, ever quit. I am determined that this WILL be my time, my turn.

Are "programs" good? Some are, absolutely... they are tools for when we need them. But I was DEPENDENT upon some outside program or force to carry me. It took time, but I finally figured out what would work for ME, and cobbled together my OWN plan. I had to find the motivation from WITHIN to do this, regardless of what was or wasn't going on around me.

Do I do it right all time?? Ha ha ha ha... nope. But in the long run, I'm doing it right more often than not, and if I never ever ever give up, I will get there. 

How fast is up to me...the less I putz around, the faster I will get there.

Okay, pep talk to myself over for today, LOL!

From Dr Phil's book: Don't just wake up every morning and react to what happens... Be proactive by setting goals and making plans for their attainment."

My verse for today: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge."

My quote for today: "People change for two reasons: They either learn so much they want to, or they hurt so bad they have to." --author unknown

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 661

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