Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grieving and Growing

This week has been a week of grieving. My 35yo nephew in-law died unexpectedly this week. His 31yo wife, 10yo daughter and 6yo son are left behind. It was such a shock. I spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday trying to find answers to all the "why's", "how's" and "what's". I talked to my niece on Thursday and was instantly put at peace and found solace in her outlook and attitude. How she could be so strong was inspiring to me. Then at the memorial, which she conducted, she was once again so strong. She gave comfort and support to everyone in that room in a fashion we should have been giving to her.

She asked us to write a memory of Peter. I found healing in the writing. I forgot how good it feels to write. At one time in my life I did a lot of writing, but strayed away from it many, many years ago. I have been trying to write more to process emotions and feelings since beginning my Back On Track classes with Ronda.

As I think of grieving in regards to my weight loss struggle, it centers on grieving over the types of foods and the amounts of food I can consume. I think about food all the time. I have to plan my meals and think about what I eat, when I eat, how I eat (slow, fork down between bites, chew thoroughly, etc.) where I eat and even why I eat. I have spent the last 2 weeks very focused on all these things. I have seen such great progress. I don't know if there will ever come a day I will be able to make eating natural; a day I won't have to weigh, measure and count to make sure I am eating correctly. I think it will in time, but until that time, this is the way of life for me. I am grateful God has provided the inspiration and desire to get back on track. He has given me the tools to be able to make this journey a success. Tools like Back On Track, Ronda, family and friend's support, encouragement from them, knowledge and desire, talents I possess, such as the talent for organization, etc.

I know if I hadn't had this surgery I would not have had the success I have had. See, for many, many, many years I tried this diet, that diet, this supplement, that supplement, Herbal Life, pills, Weight Watchers, counting, weighing measuring, dieting, dieting, dieting. Until the surgery I was unable to stay focused and be successful consistently. The big picture kept getting bigger (in weight) and my desire to be healthy continued to decrease. I figured it was just my lot in life to live with. IWLS provided the helping hand. The surgery doesn't fix the problem, but it gives me the tools and the springboard to succeed. It is up to me to use them to my best abilities. Through support from IWLS staff (Ronda, Jennifer & Pam) I have been able to see a healthier life. I can do things I haven't been able to do in so very long I thought they were out of reach.

This week I was told by someone she could see what surgery did for me. I am healthier looking and my happiness is evident. My energy is visually apparent and my speech shows my positive outlook. My posture shows the confidence. All this since surgery. There is no secret magic to the surgery. It is only a springboard to become better. I still have to do the work. I still have to have the focus and I still have to be dedicated to myself. Health is not a given, it is a present to me.

God has given me the drive to exercise regularly in order to be healthy. Before surgery that wasn't even an option. Before surgery I couldn't get on the floor and play with my nieces and nephew. Now I can! Before surgery I couldn't walk Wal-Mart, Dillon's or a block. I used the motorized scooter in the stores. Now I walk the entire store pushing a cart. I can walk miles in a day. I can stand for periods of time. I can bend. I can tie my shoes (with the bows on top). I can hug people closer. I can cross my legs. I can sit in a booth instead of at a table. I can walk through a turnstile forward instead of sideways. I could go on and on with this "grateful list", but I think you get the picture.

Yes, it is a grieving process. I grieve the comfort I used to find in food. I grieve the carefree days of eating what I want, when I want, how I want, etc., even if that mindset is what caused the dire position I was in before surgery. But the bigger benefit of my health, my abilities, my activity level and my positive outlook on life outweighs those grievances.

At the memorial service my niece chose 2 of her husband's favorite songs by Garth Brooks, "The River" and "The Dance". "The River" talks about living with the ebbs and flow of the river. We must adjust and carry on. "There's bound to be rough waters. And I know I'll take some falls. But with the good Lord as my captain, I can make it through it all." In Garth's song "The Dance" he talks about winning and losing and not knowing the events that will take place in life—"I could have missed the pain, but I'd of had to miss the dance." See, sometimes grieving is part of growing. Grieving is part of learning, Grieving is part of living and grieving is part of the progress. So as I grieve aspects of food and eating. I grow in health and I grow in happiness and I get to live with my family and friends. Thank you God for giving me a second chance with life. Thank you for this dance!


"...wisdom is the application of knowledge."

     ~Helen Kaitlyn Barclay~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Procrastination Can Kill

Procrastination: to postpone doing something, especially as a regular practice.

What an interesting thought, procrastination can kill.  I was thinking about a few areas in my life and how procrastination has slowed or killed something. 

Procrastination can kill dreams.  How many times have you dreamed of something you wanted (a career, an item, an event, a person) and because you procrastinated the opportunity passed you by?  If you have a dream of any sort and you do not actively pursue it, it can just slip away.  The dream may die or the opportunity to fulfill that dream may pass you by.   Maybe a career you always wanted may never be obtained because you procrastinate about making changes, seeking education, acknowledging a door that is an opening to that career.  Maybe you are fearful of failing so you procrastinate until the opportunity is pass and the fear is then alleviated by the process of elimination and missed opportunities. 

How many relationships have you lost or never established because of procrastination?  It takes "effort" to keep a relationship healthy.  If you procrastinate about keeping in touch, getting together or just letting someone know you are thinking about them, the relationship may die and that is a loss .  Sometimes we procrastinate because of the place we are in life and don't reach outside of ourselves.  This can be because of sadness, hard times, fear of rejection, loneliness, self pity, busyness, and so many other reasons.  If you reach out, most of those circumstances/feelings will be taken care of.  To lose a relationship because of procrastination or neglect is such a sad thought.  I've had it happen to me a couple of times.

While I am talking about lost relationships I think of my relationship with myself.  Because I have procrastinated about caring enough about myself and putting myself on the back burner I have lost myself in some ways.  I have a tendency to place others before me.  I think this is what we are supposed to do, but we are also supposed to take care of ourselves.  Several years ago I procrastinated about taking time for me and devoting too much time to my job.  In that vein I lost my health.  I have decided to do something someone else wanted done when I really needed time for me.  Have you ever canceled your plans in order to fulfill the plans of another?  I think we all have.  This is a form of procrastinating about taking care of you.  Sometimes you have to take care of you before you can give to anyone else.

Now I hit the real nature of my procrastination.  We all know I had gastric bypass surgery July 21, 2008.  I followed the rules to the letter.  I ate all the right stuff, in the right portion sizes and exercised like I was supposed to.  I was dedicated for about a year.  Then for some reason I began to experiment with foods (crackers, cakes, carbs, sugars, etc).  I found my tolerance for these foods was very high.  The more I knew I could eat them and not get sick the more I ate them.  Many times as a priority of choice over the protein and low carb foods.  Then there came a time when I realized I was doing the wrong things, eating the wrong foods and eating too much.  By then I was in over my head and couldn't see a way out.  I would tell myself I will get back where I should be next week, after this holiday or that holiday, once I get past this event, etc. etc. etc.  I finally decided I was only "fooling" myself and trying to fool others.  I had friends that knew I was frustrated, but had no real idea of how far I was in over my head.  I procrastinated about being honest with them and myself for fear of rejection, fear of being seen as a failure, seen as being just like I was before surgery.  By procrastinating about being honest with myself I fell deeper and deeper in that emotional feeling denial pit.  It became easier to nourish that "stuffing my feelings routine" with the routine of  eating food.  Instead I should have nourished it with dealing with the feelings, asking God to lead me and asking my friends for help.  I finally decided to get back on track.  I reached out to Ronda at IWLS.  Even after talking to her and seeing a way out I procrastinated.  Circumstances kept us from getting started as soon as we wanted with the Back On Track program she teaches.  In the mean time I could have started making changes before we started the classes, but because I procrastinated I didn't.  I continued to sink slowly lower and lower into despair.  I became more frustrated with myself,  my situation, my dishonesty with myself and my tainted honesty with my friends.  I think my family saw some of it but they didn't know the depth of my despair.  It was just a couple of weeks ago in my blog I talked of the fear of failing.  I feel like I have overcome that fear by working with Back On Track.  I am a success in many ways.  I exercise regularly.  It is that exercising that has kept me afloat.  If I hadn't had that established and active I would have gained weight.  Instead, exercise maintained me and I just teetered between 6 pounds for the last 5 months.

Ronda and I started Back on Track March 5th.  This week was the week to get my eating back on track.  I read my material on Tuesday and was instantly frustrated and angry.  I was angry with myself for allowing myself to get so far down, for allowing myself to deceive myself, for not being honest with myself or anyone else.  I was frustrated because I had to begin doing something I hate--keeping a food log with calories, fat, carbs and protein.  There are so many foods I want to eat I can't eat for now.  There are foods I have been eating and enjoying that I will never eat again.  This is a time where procrastination can NOT be an option.  I must plan and do in order to become healthy again. 

See, procrastination only delays progress and maintenance.  Whether it is progress or maintenance in a career, dream, relationship or health, it is hindered by not facing the truth, doing what needs to be done in order to reap the benefits.  The benefits of a career you love, a dream you've worked for or a relationship you've formed.  Procrastination can kill.  If it doesn't kill it sure slows things down.

Determination gets you started and keeps you going for a while,

but it is never enough to bring you across the finish line. 

     ~Joyce Meyer~

   Only God can do that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


"not develop or make progress—to fail to develop, progress or make necessary changes; stop flowing—to stop moving; become inactive—to become listless and inactive". Yes, that certainly defines how I have been feeling.

This week a very special person in my life said to me, "they don't need inspiration.  They need to hear you where you are because that is where they are." When I began this blog it was to keep my friends and family updated on my journey. It also developed into a following for other patients. I have wanted to be an inspiration and when I haven't felt inspired I haven't written. Well, I don't know how inspiring this week will be to anyone, but it is certainly a portrait of where I am.

I have been so frustrated and discouraged lately. It just seems like all I do is eat. I told Ronda (IWLS) I don't get my needed daily water in because I have to wait an hour after eating to drink and means I eat all the time there isn't an hour between. I kept a food log a week ago and it seems like from 2pm-5pm and 8pm-10pm I ate all the time. One thing to the next. Not because I was hungry, but because I was bored and the food was there so I ate it. It wouldn't be so bad if what I was eating was celery, carrots, etc., but it is cookies, crackers, candy, ice cream (Skinny Cow at least), etc. I am so sorry I ever took that first bite of the "forbidden foods". That ugly sinister voice saying "Just one bite won't hurt." Well, it was wrong, it did hurt! It lasted longer than the time the bite took and the time it took for the calories to be worked off. It has lasted for months. That one "little bite" has become a little bite over and over every day, many times throughout the day for many months. The taste of the food wasn't even pleasurable. Many times I didn't even remember eating it. There are so many "old" habits I have gotten into. Eating too much, eating the wrong foods, eating all the time (commonly known as grazing), eating too fast, etc. The nasty Carb creature has certainly taken over my new lifestyle and pushed me back into the old lifestyle. Now to look up out of this dark pit and focus on the small penlight I can still see at the top. Hope is not vanished. Inspiration is rumbling in the pit of my soul. I just have to focus my ears on the positive; on the possibilities I once ran towards. I will set new goals which may be the same goals I had in the beginning of this journey. I will follow plans to fulfill those goals. I will succeed. I will be a winner! I will overcome and reignite my resolve to be the best I can be and not be just another statistic of failure or a statistic of stagnation…

I have worked so hard to get this far. I still work hard with my exercising, but it is like wasted time if I don't change my eating habits. I am too stubborn to give up on the exercising. I thank God for that. Who said perfectionism is a curse? It is the only redeeming trait that has kept me moving and working hard. Exercising always makes me feel good (pain and all), but it hasn't been as effective as it could have been means I eat inappropriately.

I just have to remember, as Nicole C Mullen sings: "Call On Jesus"

"But when I call on Jesus,
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles' and soar
When I call on Jesus,
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call"

I can't rely on will power or my own abilities. I have to look up and call.



Love is a tricky thing. 

Our hearts were created to crave it.