Monday, December 20, 2010

December is HARD

This has been an extremely rough month.

My SAD has kicked in, despite the 1200 mg of calcium/day & (semi) regular use of my SAD light at work. My hormones are also crazy--I get majorly weepy & down for days at a time, usually a couple of times a month. Stinkin' hormones.

I know that I'm obviously grieving my Dad's death, too. Even though I didn't spend many Christmases with him the past 10 years, this time of year is still really hard.

I have plenty of good and joyful times, especially with the kids. But I've had lots & lots of break down & sob moments, out of nowhere usually.

And my weight is doing the opposite of what I want it to. Ha, I talk about it like it's something out of my control. Like my scale or my body has a mind of its own.

It feels that way, a lot of times. Like in the early days of my blog, when I complained how I had no idea WHY I do the things I do. I don't want to eat cookies at 2 am, but I do. I don't want to eat ice cream when I'm not hungry, but I do.

I joined Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago, trying to force myself to get on a plan. And I got on a plan. For a week. Then I fell off. Now I'm back on.

It's not sticking yet, but I'm not giving up. I walked on the treadmill tonight for the first time in ages. I even was able to jog for 2 minutes straight at 5.5 mph (did this several times). I did 4 miles in 62 minutes. That is slow for me (well, the thinner me) but it's better than 0 miles in 0 minutes.

I'm not giving up. I don't know why I do the things I do when I don't want to do them. Neither did the Apostle Paul. He talks about this exact thing in the Bible. He didn't give up, & he didn't beat himself up & call himself a loser or hate himself over his affliction. I guess I shouldn't either.

The rest of the month is going to hopefully be OK. The big stuff is done--our Christmas cards are out (I sent out almost 200), our office open house is over & was a success, our client gifts have been ordered & delivered, two family Christmases are done, gifts are all bought, and I'm off work starting this afternoon until after Christmas.

I still have to wrap all the kids' and Mark's gifts, but I'm hoping to get a lot of that done tomorrow when Mom takes the kids to her house for the night. And we have Christmas eve at church (Sophie & I are singing in the choir) and Christmas day at Mark's sister's house.

The next time I post will probably be in 2011. Here's praying it's a better year all around.

A very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & your family!!!

Thank you all for your kindnesses and for sticking with my blog this year. A girl couldn't ask for better cyber friends than all of YOU.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December 1st, Not January 2nd

So.... I'm still alive. It's been crazy around here-- just like your life, I'm sure. I've been sick, the kids have been sick, we hosted Thanksgiving, and it's fourth quarter. Whew! Lots & lots & lots going on.

I had one great workout week at the gym the week of 11/15, and then NADA. Between the holiday and health issues (I've had a killer virus for 7 days now, and Luke is still sick too) I haven't been back.

But. I had to buy size 12 clothes at JC Penney (luckily BIG sales on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) so I had something to wear for the colder weather. And it's been a big eye opener for me. I don't want to be a size 12. More than that, I don't want to be a size 14.

After Thanksgiving I weighed 172 pounds. UGH! That's way way way more than I thought I'd be again. It can't go any farther than that. It just can't.

So I'm trying again. I'm really, really trying. I hate the word TRY, though. It inherently has failure baked in. Like Yoda, I believe in DO or DO NOT... there is no TRY. But regardless of the word I use for it, I'm making the mental effort again.

I just don't want to be one of those people who start a diet or exercise program on January 2nd. Because that's also laden with failure-vibes.

I want to be a regular at the gym the entire month of December. Or if not the gym, on my treadmill at home (yeah, um, we have a treadmill for the first time ever & what do I do? I gain 20 pounds in a year).

So that's what's up with me. Going into the busiest time of the year, & I'm hoping to get back in the gym & start eating right again.

I'm watching The Biggest Loser episodes online for inspiration. Those people are amazing.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving & have a joy-filled holiday season.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good week

I'm doing ok this week. I joined a cheap gym last week, Fitness 19. Have you heard of this chain of gyms? I paid a one time joining fee and then pay $9 a month with no contract. And it's a great facility. No frills, but all the equipment and nice and bright and new.

My focus is weight lifting. I need to build muscle and I like being strong. I've missed my muscles! I went once last week, on Friday when I joined. This week I went 3 times and did weights (Monday I also did 2 miles on the treadmill), about 30 minutes of weights and 10 minutes of TM each time to warm up. Also stretching after for a few minutes. I got one more day in of 30 minutes run/walking. Four days of sweating. Not bad.

And I'm already feeling stronger.

I had one really great night of saying no to night eating, and I felt great the next morning. Next time I want a bowl of cereal at 11 pm, I'm going to remember that feeling. The rest of my nights were half ok and half horrible. I'm shooting for more good than bad nights next week.

Tomorrow we are going to dad's house to start packing his stuff. Not going to be fun, but it will be okay. It's already been 6 weeks since he died. Hard to believe it's gone by so fast.

Kids are great. Luke turned 5 last Saturday. He had a fun party. Sophie is doing so well in school. We keep the bad foods out of her body, she stays migraine free. It's amazing.

We are hosting Mark's family for turkey day, which will be work but fun. He's got a great family.

Next week, my goal is weights and cardio, 3 times each.

I don't know why I used "great" so much in this post. Tired and lazy tonight, I guess.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

One small change--a success. One big change--in the works.

I've been wanting to post for days, but of course there's been no time. I can't believe how packed my hours are, & how little I get to do for ME.

I'm sure I'm not the only one. Heh.

I made one change last week, as several of you suggested--baby steps. I had been in a horrible habit the last couple months of getting a Starbucks latte every morning on the way to work. This is a horrible habit because it's: (a) expensive, (b) exacerbates my bad habit of not eating breakfast at home, and (c) a lot of unnecessary calories. I get skim milk, but the pumpkin spice is not sugar free and a grande has over 200 calories.

My sister equated the cost of my almost-$5 a day latte habit with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, which actually made me feel better about the cost. There are millions of people who don't think twice about spending $35 a week on cigarettes. Why should I feel guilty about spending that on my guilty pleasure?

But it was also just as addictive as cigarettes (almost anyway). I'd tried to stop myself going every day several times, but somehow my car just found its way in the drive-thru.

So last week, I decided I'd eat breakfast at home every morning, & I'd brew a second cup of coffee to take with me in the car to work (I have a one-cup at a time coffee maker, since I'm the only coffee drinker in my house--I LOVE my Keurig). And I did it. I had a latte on Friday, which is my plan now, to have one a week. And my breakfast has been a toasted English muffin, egg in the microwave, & a slice of cheese...tasty, quick & easy, with protein & enough fat to be very filling.

The habit is sticking so far.

My next baby-step item to tackle is a biggie--no night eating. I'm still plagued by that Pavlov's response of "it's late, I'm tired & feeling down, I'll eat a bowl of cereal and a few cookies." It's usually not a binge, but 500-600 calories at 11 pm every single night is going to add pounds to my body, and undo any good I've accomplished during the day.

I managed to drink hot tea last night while doing laundry & watching election returns with Mark. I still wasn't asleep at midnight, but I stayed in bed and gritted my teeth when the urge came. But, then at 2:30 am, when insomnia hit (which doesn't happen often, but it does happen occasionally), I hit the pantry. It was too late to take a xanax--even .25 mg puts me out for hours. So I filled up on sleep-inducing carbs.

I felt awful when I woke up this morning. That sand paper in the mouth, puffy fingers, achy belly yuckiness that always, always follows sleeping after eating. I don't know why this is such a hard habit to break.

But I KNOW it's breakable. Many of you have done it. I've done it before. It's going to take some time for it to stick (21 days minimum, right?), and some practice on using other things to substitute for food.

No exercise for over a week. I carried my gym bag in & out of the office last week three times, and not once had time to go running/walking. I brought it in yesterday--same deal. I'm hoping today will break that streak. The park where I usually run was calling my name as I drove by it this morning.

I am signing up today for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon next May. It's the 100 year anniversary of the 500 race, so it should be a cool year to run the Mini. It will be my 6th half marathon. Maybe my 7th, if I decide to also run Evansville's SIC half marathon in April. The only way I run consistently is to train for races. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Vickie, no Halloween party this year. Mark was out of town on business over Halloween. The kids missed him, but we went trick or treating with my sister & niece, so it was OK. I'm glad we didn't have to dress up. Halloween costumes for adults run really small. I'd never have fit into anything this year.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Remember who you are

In high school I attended a Senior honors banquet before graduation, and there was a speaker who gave one of the only memorable speeches I've heard at that sort of thing. What has stuck with me over 20 years is his main point--remember who you are. I can't remember all his examples, but I remember the sentiment.

Yesterday you all made me feel for the first time in a long time like I really could get back to my fit, thin self. All this year, I've been on this slippery slope that has seemed hopeless and endless. You've had front row seats for the train wreck that was my life at times. And yet you all see in me what I obviously haven't been able to see in myself.

The me I am meant to be. The me I worked hard to create. The me I can still be.

I just need to remember that me, and I know I can get her back.

Remember who you are.

In my dark times, I remember the me I don't want to be, the obese me I started to become after only two years of marriage and six months on prozac (which causes some people to gain weight unexplainedly, but my doctor didn't know that in 1997), and I feel the helplessness wash over me.

Those 13 years of obesity pull and tug and drag me down sometimes. Like at night, when I'm all alone in our kitchen/family room (this is the real reason for America's obesity epidemic....all our houses are now built with the kitchen and family rooms combined, so family time = food, and tv time = food, and conversation = food, and kitchen = family room). That's when the siren song of cookies and milk and cereal and ice cream and little powdered donuts (sarcasm font--they're for the kids, really they are--sarcasm font) call me to that wretched island of false comfort. The sirens always lead to despair, and a promise that "tomorrow I'll finally get on a plan and I won't eat like this anymore."

I need to remember the me who knows how to get fit & thin, and then remember to forget the me who was obese for 13 years.

I need to remember the me I can be. The me I want to be. And will yet become.

Remember who you are.

Monday, October 25, 2010

2006 all over again

In lots of ways life is much, much easier now--the pain of watching Dad suffer is gone, my sister is back to work today and seems to be keeping it together, the drama is (mostly) gone, and the end of this year-long insanity is very near. We still have the usual estate stuff to do, but I am relatively certain that's going to go smoothly. As long as his wife (yes, he stayed married to her so she could have his VA benefits) stays five hours away & doesn't stir up trouble, we could have a fairly calm ending to 2010.

So why is my Fat Head in 2006 mode? Way back when this blog started, I was in that "I wanna lose weight but I can't make myself stick to a plan. I'm helpless around food. I'm out of control and can't stop myself."

I guess it's because when we're at our weakest points in life, we revert back to what we know. What I know is how to comfort myself with food. And I still need comforting.

But just like in 2006, I'm supremely unhappy with the results of my comforting efforts. My size 12s are tight. My bras are cutting off my circulation. My back fat rolls have returned. I can't wear my dress pumps because my feet have filled with fat just big enough that I get blisters on my heels.

I know what I need to do. And I've been here before. I want to get healthy & thin again. But I can't find the "want to enough" in me yet.

Maybe I'll try to make time to reread my own blog, instead of searching the web for "how to lose weight in your 40s" (which yields nothing helpful).

I have a pile of size 8 fall clothes on the floor of my den. It's killing me to have to pack them away & stuff them under my bed until "one day" I can wear them again.

I looked at one of my favorite Ann Taylor Loft dresses Saturday, and was shocked at how skinny it looked. When I wore that dress, I felt good about myself, but I never felt skinny. Obviously, 2 years and 20 gained-pounds later, I realize I was delusional. I looked great. Just because I wasn't a size 4 or size 6 doesn't mean I wasn't skinny. I was.

I hope I can find my way back into that dress again. Someday very soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's next

The funeral went well. No drama from dad's wife, which was a big relief.

I pretty much feel numb. It's really bizarre. We've been through so much the past year.

I ran the half Sunday and it was wonderful. Kate helped me so much. I'd have walk the last 7 miles without her. As it was, we ran until 10.5ish miles, walked 2.5, then ran the last stretch to the finish. We finished in just under 3 hours. I didn't injure anything and I felt ok the days after.

I'm still amazed by my body, that it can do what I do with it even without proper training. Kate and I were joking about how in 10 years we're gonna look back at these "glory days of our 40s" and long for them.

So we've a ton of stuff to do for dad's estate. That's my area, so it will keep me busy. But that's ok. I'm just praying we don't have anymore drama.

My food was not so great the past week, but I didn't gain much. It's time, though, for me to get back to a plan and start working toward taking care of myself the way I deserve. Again.

Thank you all for your condolences and kind thoughts.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Saturday, October 09, 2010

It's on

I'm running tomorrow. My dear niece in law and friend Kate drove down from Indy for the funeral visitation, and to run the race with me. So I have an accountability partner and I'm not going to bail. It's a good thing.

My running clothes and gear are laid out and ready. Just gotta sleep well and get up on time, and pray nothing falls apart on my body on those 13.1 miles.

Then the hard stuff starts. But at least I'll be able to tell myself I did it, because I can.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Thursday, October 07, 2010

RIP Daddy

My dad passed away this morning, at 6:50 am, the exact same time the sun was rising.

I'd like to think there's some God Poetry in that.

He was really non responsive yesterday, my sister told me last night. I almost went to see him around 11 pm last night, but it had been such a long day & I was just beat so I didn't.

Turns out, that was okay. My uncle Phil went to stay with Dad last night (& the night before). He didn't have to be there--he felt that Dad was very near the end and he wanted to be there. This is the uncle who spent Monday through Friday, every single night, with my Dad for nine straight months. Most nights my Dad wouldn't sleep, & my uncle often only got 2 or 3 hours of sleep before he had to leave for work at 5 a.m. And he wanted to be with my Dad the past two nights, even though he didn't have to be there. My uncle is an amazing man, & a true believer in Christ's sacrificing love poured out for others.

Uncle Phil called me at 5:30 this morning, telling me the nurse said to call the family in because Dad's vitals had gone down dramatically. I got there by 6. He was peaceful, sleeping, non responsive. They say he could hear us. I hope so. Nothing but love surrounded him for those last hours of his life.

My mom (who's been divorced from him for almost 12 years) got to the hospice center just before he passed. Mom told him she was there, that it was okay, to run to the angels. My sister took the oxygen tube from under Dad's nose then (the nurse had asked her to), and my dad took his last breath. I think he may have been waiting for Mom. I don't know for sure, but regardless, he finally let completely go after she spoke to him.

I can't express how hard this is. Wanting his pain to end for so long, so that our pain could end too. Now, he's no longer in pain and has a new body and is completely healed, body & soul. His pain has ended, and ours will too, eventually.

But right now it's crushing me.

Like it's supposed to.

He was a pain in the ass. But he was still my Dad.

The funeral stuff is Sunday & Monday. Lots to do before then. I don't know yet if I'm going to still do the half Sunday or not. It starts at 7; I'll be home by 10:30 at the latest. Have to be at the funeral home at noon. It's gonna be a push if I do the race.

But a huge part of me wants to run the thing, BECAUSE I FREAKING CAN. My body works. It's a gift. I should darn well use it.

I hope I make the right choice Sunday morning.

Thanks to you all for your love & support this past year. It has meant a lot, knowing you are virtually supporting me.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hospice and Half Marathon

I've been meaning to blog for a week. Sorry it has been so long.

We moved Dad to a hospice center on Monday. It's a 7 bed facility that's more like a 5 star hotel than anything else. The nurses are the best at helping people in the last weeks of their lives, with pain management and rest.

It wasn't easy but it went ok. He has been in his wheelchair 24/7 for the past year. Yesterday they moved him in a gurney on an ambulance and put him in a big comfy hospital air bed at the center. No option of his wheelchair anymore. The nurses are managing his meds, and he's sleeping finally. Dad has not slept a real nights sleep in 2 plus months. The fear of not waking up kept him awake and kept him from resting fully. But even he can't resist the medication from the hospice nurses.

Hopefully his peace will be our peace. I already feel a big relief, knowing his needs are being taken care of without us needing to be there. He isn't eating any more, since this weekend. He will probably sleep more than anything now. Since he can't use his computer anymore, that's what he needs to do anyway.

It's only been 2 days, not even 2 full days, so we'll see how it goes. But there's no doubt we are near the end. He still has a lot of body mass and his vitals are good, even though he's down to 1/3 of one lung functioning, so he will be with us a while longer, they think.

The half marathon is Sunday. I've not trained properly but I have increased my miles the past few weeks. And with cooler temps it's much easier to run longer distances. I don't plan to finish faster than 2:45, maybe 3 hours. It's going to be a gorgeous day Sunday, so I'm just planning to enjoy the journey of 13.1 miles.

We're all healthy, so that's helpful.

The year is flying to a close, isn't it? Luke will be 5 in a month. It's hard to believe.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Cooking, eating, running

I know this isn't a big deal for a lot of you. But it is for this overwhelmed working mom.

I didn't eat restaurant food once this week. I did rely on several frozen meals and frozen veggies, but anything is better than drive-thru. No fast food for me!!

I have been cooking, too. I rediscovered Roni's food blog, and I am in love. I have made a lot of her recipes the past few weeks, and not one has been a dud. The raspberry stuffed peaches are divine. I just had the chick pea/cilantro/feta salad, and it was fabulous.

There are so many great things about her recipes. Not too many ingredients. Serving size for 4 or less (I don't need a lot of leftovers). Quick and easy to prepare. Nutritional data included. Comments from readers with their tips and tricks. And they are yummy and healthy.

I don't know why she doesn't have a cookbook yet. I just hope she never stops writing new recipes.

I've run 3 times this week-- yay! Long run of 7 miles planned for tomorrow. Hopefully I can do it.

It's been a good week.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm doing OK on the food front. I wasn't, and I'd gained some more, but I've been doing better and I feel better. The pounds are creeping down. I don't feel food crazy.

But I hate to even whisper about doing well, because of the jinx factor. It's been inevitable lately...I blog about how well things are going, and the next day I fall apart.

I just want to be consistent. Consistency was key in 2007 and 2008. That's what I need to find again.

I haven't been running according to my plan for the 10/10/10 half marathon. It's so frustrating. I have a treadmill so there's no excuse other than at the end of the day after I get home with the kids, I'm spent and have no energy to even put my running shoes on (by far the hardest part of working out is just getting dressed for it). I did 4.25 miles on Saturday morning, but that was it last week. So far this week I've done 0 miles.

Mark left for Philadelphia for work last Friday. He gets home late tonight. Sophie had a dizzy spell and a stomach virus (vomiting for 12 hours, poor kid) on Saturday, and the dizzy hasn't left yet. She missed school yesterday and today. It's her first spell since April, and it's not horrible. She can walk and do things, she just can't move quickly or bend down, and school is too much of a challenge for her. She can't think if her head is spinning inside. I think orange juice may have helped set this one off; it's the only migraine trigger she had more of in the days prior to the migraine. She's not had problems with it before, but she's not a big OJ drinker. That plus a virus plus a weather change on Saturday & Sunday must have been enough. I just don't know why it takes so long for them to go away, even with migraine abortive meds.

Dad is slowly declining. He's having more trouble breathing, is having more pain, is having more trouble moving his fingers to use his joystick mouse to communicate. We are hoping the hospice nurse allows him to go to the hospice center soon. I'm praying every day his suffering, and ours, ends sooner than later.

All in all, I'm doing OK. I just hope the universe doesn't hunt me down & put a pox on me for uttering that out loud.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I'm here

So sorry. It's been very busy with work, kids, dad drama, funerals (two in 4 days for men from church), and trying to just keep it together.

No slowing down over the next week or so, so no real update for a while.

But I'm here. Same stuff, endless days of it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Run Laura Run

Do you all know that movie, "Run Lola Run"? It's a foreign movie that stars the girl who plays Jason Bourne's girlfriend. It's been ages since I've seen it, and I couldn't tell you the plot, but I do remember it was super cool.

Well, if my life were a movie this week, I'd call it Run Laura Run.

After my meltdown post last week, I went through another "I can't take it anymore" dealies. Instead of printing a new diet plan, I signed up for a couple of races. I'd been planning on running a half in October but hadn't made it official (read: paid money) yet. And I really like Race for the Cure 5k's (and t-shirts) so I signed up for that one too.

I've run 3 times since Monday. I use the term run with qualifiers--walk a few minutes, run a few minutes, repeat.

But! Tonight I actually Ran, for really reals. It was cooler than any weather I've run in since January. There was no sun, since it was almost 8. And I guess the couple times a week I have been running/walking is starting to make a difference.

So I headed out and ran 12 minute miles, only walking to cross traffic and a small break at mile two. I did 30 minutes, 2.5 miles, because that's all I had time for. But it was the best 2.5 miles I've had in months.

I realized the other day that any time I post that I can't take it and I'm starting a new plan, I've screwed it up a few days later. Conversely, I post that my life is shit, and I get my shit together. What the heck is that about? Guess I better end this with "blah blah I can't take this anymore blah."

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not great. Same old story!

I feel like a broken record lately, singing the same tired refrain. I'm not happy with the way things are, I try to change, I fail, I try again, I fail, I try again, blah blah blah.

So the latest attempt lasted all of three days. I'm back in the "life's not changing any time soon, so learn to live with who you are now and change later." Honestly, is being a size 12 the end of the world?

No. But when you were almost a 6 two years ago, it sucks.

More than once the thought has crossed my mind that getting to a toned and fit 146 in the summer of 2008 was a horrible thing. I was in the neighborhood of that weight for a few months, and they were glorious. I loved my body, as much as I could love a still imperfect body, and I felt confident and kick ass. I had great clothes. I looked fabulous in pictures and my hairstylist's mirror.

But I remember the summer of 2007 when I went from a 14 to a 12, and wore a belt for the first time in years and bought a bathing suit. And felt great about how I was shaping up. I was more toned then, but if I still had the clothes from 2007 (I gave them away in 2008--dumb move) I know they'd fit.

Now, I have the old mind set of The Me from our original Amazon blog days in 2006. I just can't get it together, can't string enough days together to get some momentum. When I think I can finally do it, life comes up and bitch slaps me back down.

It's really quite annoying.

But. Life moves on. I bought size 12s. I can pass for "average" still. Not obese, "just" overweight. I can still run (and did, yesterday, 3 miles in 40 minutes), albeit only a few minutes at a time. I'm not buying boxes of powdered donuts and eating them all in one night. It could be worse.

I fully expect that, eventually, I WILL conquer this weight battle again. Some days are better than others. The weather changing for the cooler will make a big difference in my ability and desire to run/walk. When my dad passes away and I've gone through the proper therapy, I will have space in my head to think about myself again.

For now, things are too messy. Joy is fleeting. My dad's the one with ALS, but the rest of us live with a cancer of pain and guilt and sorrow and fear that's taken deep roots over the past year. And it's not taking our lives, but it's draining the life out of us nonetheless.

Dad's 3rd week in the nursing home is not going well. The first 2 weeks he had lots of family all the time, except at night. My sister's trying to pull away a bit, spending fewer hours and letting the staff take care of more of his needs. Well, dad doesn't like it--who would?--and he's making things more difficult for everyone.

I had a big project for church last week and didn't have time to see him for the whole week. I finally made it last night and he was horrible to me. As in, I left the nursing home sobbing. I called my sister and she's a great help because she understands him better than I do. He's angry and hates the place. He needs someone to blame for being there, and I expected it to be me. I just didn't know what form the blame would come in or when. I wasn't prepared. If it weren't for my faith in God I don't know if I'd go back to see him. I need heaven's power of forgiveness.

I told him I had to leave (it was 7:45 pm, I'd been there almost 90 minutes), hugged his shoulders goodbye, said I love you--and he shook his head no. As in, no you don't love me. I questioned him several times and it's what he meant. My uncle was there too, so he witnessed it. It was devastating. I didn't know how to respond. You can't have a conversation with him. It takes 30 minutes for him to type one short sentence. I told him he really didn't want to go there, what if he died and that's the last thing he says to me. I said it's not my fault you're here. He'd already typed "I hate this place" so I knew where his mind was. I said to type whatever his grievance was with me, and Crystal could read it to me the next day. I said more, but that's the gist. I left at 8 pm and cried my eyes out all the way home.

My sister said he does whatever he has to to make people stay with him. He sure did it the hard way with me. My sister and two uncles laid into him. He texted me an apology. I'll go see him in a few days. Who knows what awaits next time.

There's so much more to all this but you've gotten enough for one post. You're all so great to stick with me. It seems like it's never gonna end. But it has to eventually, right? This is only temporary. I keep telling myself that. But lately I'm having a hard time believing it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Friday, August 06, 2010

Day 1. Again.

Thank you all so much for your supportive & kind words. You gave me exactly what I needed. What awesome, amazing friends you all are.

The rest of this week has continued to go well for Dad, and for my sister. We have a new hospice nurse (because we moved from one county to another, and the nurses don't cross counties because of the miles involved) and this nurse (who is a man) has experience with ALS patients. He's really been a God send, because he knows more about what will make Dad comfortable and what can help deal with his body's changing needs. The nurse told my sister yesterday that the bottom half of Dad's lungs are no longer working, and he'll be surprised if Dad makes it another 3 months.

The nursing director at the nursing home said they've had ALS patients before, but they never get to this advanced stage--they die before they get this bad. But, I think because Dad has lived in his wheelchair for the past 10 months--always in a semi-vertical position--he's been able to continue breathing because there hasn't been pressure on his lungs. ALS patients usually die because of respiratory failure; when Dad is reclined in his wheelchair all the way back, he can't breathe. His lungs will fail completely, eventually, regardless of whether he's horizontal or vertical. It sounds like such an awful way to die. Knowing Dad, he's going to make it as difficult as possible for himself & for us.

But. Things are letting up a bit with him, I guess. At least for now.

Yesterday I declared I'VE HAD IT, once again. I made up my mind, again, to get back on a plan, again. So I went grocery shopping last night and bought the foods I need to do the Wendy Chant plan, only I'm going to try her new one "Conquer the Fat Loss Code." It doesn't have that awful carb deplete week. The last 3 weeks are tougher than the first 5 weeks. This first week has enough carbs that it doesn't make you want to collapse from carb fatigue (if you know her plan.....the first 2 weeks are -- 2 carb downs, 1 carb up, 2 carb downs, 1 carb up, & 1 baseline). I'm sure I won't drop 5 pounds in one week like I would on the "Crack the Fat Loss Code" plan, but that's OK. I have more than 5 pounds to lose anyway. I weighed a mushy 165.4 this morning.

Day 1 is today--yes, a Friday, which is bizarre, but I am done with the "I'll start tomorrow" BS. I just can't take it anymore.

I hope I remember that feeling tonight at 10 pm when the munchies kick in.

If I can be consistent, start running and doing some weights work, by the time the weather cools off around here I could be back in my size 10s & 8s. That would be a lovely, awesome, fabulous place to be.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dad's ok. Me? Not so great

So Monday went better than any of us could have dreamed. Dad is adjusting just fine to the nursing home. So far anyway. He's eating more than ever--every meal they've served so far. He's still had family with him all day - it's only day 2 - but no one at night. And my sister doesn't have the stress of running his household and doing everything, and I think that's helping everyone.

I was there yesterday and today until 8 pm. Monday I got there at 2, when he arrived in the wheel chair van the VA sent to pick him up. Today I set up his Internet with a Verizon hotspot wireless thingy. I was there 3 hours tonight. Not planing on visiting tomorrow because Sophie has voice lessons, and I need a night off.

Today I was in a terrible depression. I can't explain it really. I'm glad dad is doing well and not shutting down. But I'm afraid he could live like this for many months or even years. I don't know if I can handle that. It's still so hard to deal with it all.

And I'm angry with him. He's seen what his care needs have done to my sister and uncle. Yet he let them feel guilty and grovel over the nursing home. He was supposed to have 6-12 months. This is month 11 and I see no end in sight. I know he can't control when he dies but I feel like there was an expectation that's now blown out of the water, and he has fought to stay alive, preferring a paralyzed existance to heaven.

Which is a big issue for him, I think. He says he believes, but I think he has just enough faith to slide under the pearly gates. Of course, lots of people are afraid of dying. I don't blame him for that.

I blame him for putting himself first before everyone else for the past year. Like his illness has given him carte blanch to treat so many people like crap, and take advatage, and not give in return.

I feel horribly guilty about felling and thinking all of this.

The past 10 months I've not made myself a prioprity. At all. And now I'm in tight size 12s and dropping to the floor in front of my closet this morning, in tears because I'm terrified I'm going to be the girl who lost a bunch of weight and 3 years later is Fat Again.

I just can't go there. I can't.

I talked with Mark about it today. He said he'd support my time to exercise. He understands and thinks I'm being too hard on myself (I am). But I'm still afraid of the speed train to obesity that I'm on.

It's only been 2 days and my involvement with dad hasn't decreased yet. It will though, hopefully. The emotonal issues that are a big part of my eating problems aren't going anywhere. How am I going to fix myself this time? I don't know yet. I just don't know.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tough times ahead

My dad is going to the nursing home on Monday, August 2nd. The hospice chaplain and other family members thought we should tell him as early as possible. I thought we should tell him the day of or the day before at the earliest. But that isn't what they wanted, so we told him last Saturday. At least I got rid of the crushing guilt I had been carrying around, not being able to tell my sister when it was going to happen.

It's going to be a rough week ahead.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Runnin' Down a Dream"

I ran 3 times last week, just like my half marathon plan told me to.

Tuesday, 3 miles, 40:56
Thursday, 3 miles, 40:30
Sunday, 3 miles, 36:45

I shaved over a minute per mile off my pace. And it was hot & humid Sunday afternoon, and my asthma is still acting up after I run a mile in this heat. (I only use an albuterol inhaler. I need to go back to my doctor & get something more.)

By the time the cooler weather gets here, I'm sure to be back to my normal running self, in the 11 min/mile range.

The title today is brought to you by Tom Petty. I can run to the beat of that song for a short bit, & it puts me at a 9ish min/mile pace, which is super fast for me and I can't hold it long. But yesterday I let myself run to pace with the song, twice, for as long as I could, and it helped get my time to 12:15 min. miles.

I think getting 3 runs under my belt (even though I use the word "run" loosely here.... the first two runs were walking with some running thrown in) is a big mental hurdle for me. I actually packed my gym bag this morning with plans to leave work at 4 & run 3 miles, even though it's not on my training schedule. Like Forrest Gump, I just wanna run.

Even though the feel-like temperature is 100 degrees. Ick.

When I saw people running this morning on the way to work, I didn't have to envy them. Because I am one of them again. Finally.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This week marks 13 weeks from the next half marathon in our town. I've run the last 2, and I sure as heck don't want to miss the race on 10/10/10. I totally want a t-shirt with that super cool date.

So, that means I've got to get BUSY. And I ran/walked 3 miles yesterday, and put myself one step closer to my goal. I've got about 10 million more steps to get there, but it all starts with one.

I'd also like to lose 13 pounds in 13 weeks. It sure would make the race easier to run under 150 than at 161. Plus, I need to fit into my fall clothes. That, or go shopping for size 12 pants and I SO am not looking forward to that possibilty. When I stopped running I gained weight. Running again = lose weight? It better!

Goals are good. Now I just have to be consistent and stick2it.

Dad update: we are going to put dad in a nursing home the first week of August. My uncle (who spends the night with him through the week) thinks sooner is better than later. Between running short on funds (VA pays for nursing home so we will not have that cost to bear), caregiver fatigue, and his increasing medical care needs, it's time.

We can't tell my sister because she can't not share the info with dad. And we can't tell dad because it will make him an angry mess until the day he has to leave his house. Let me tell you, this has been a hellish week, carrying the knowledge around and not being able to tell anyone but my husband (no one from my family reads my blog, so it won't get to my sister from here).

It would be a huge blessing if he would pass in the next few weeks, but that's not likely to happen. His appetite is back and he has sort of plateaued. He's going to hate it so much, but we don't have a choice. I visited the home and it was nice, as far as those things go. It didn't smell bad, which is a big deal. And they'll give him a private room. The grounds are really nice, and he can have his special hospital bed the VA bought him (which he's never used) and he can have his fancy wheelchair (where he stays, by his choice, 24/7).

He'll probably not want to even see me after the move, since I'm the one "responsible" for him leaving his home. I handle the finances--had to break the news we are almost out of money and can't support the ridiculous cost of 24/7 care any longer. I and my uncle made the decision. Dad is going to need someone to blame. It's likely to be me. I guess we'll see.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Not easy

Life is nuts right now and has been the past couple weeks. All but Sophie had the stomach flu. Thankfully that seems to be over.

But the big stuff going on involves my dad. My sister's leave may not be approved and if it isn't my dad will likely go to a nursing home. And while this will be hard, it will be a relief too.

Getting dad to agree to it is another matter all together.

Nothing is set yet, but it's going to be a rough time for a while. Every day is one step closer to this being over.

I weighed 159 this morning. Could be worse.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Friday, June 18, 2010

Photo update

It's been a looonnngggg time since I've posted a picture of myself, for obvious reasons. Who posts anti-progress pictures?

But, I got my crappy camera replaced with a refurbed camera (thank you Panasonic warranty), and I thought, oh well what the hell.

So, for your viewing pleasure (HA!). Here I am. Weight, 162 (yeah, yeah, I know). Size 12 shorts (Levi's), size Large shirt (American Living, JC Penney). I don't like my hair this short, by the way. My girl got a little scissors happy on Tuesday night. It grows fast, so no biggie.

Food's not been great, but could be worse. I finally used my treadmill yesterday. Did 50 minutes on it, & ran 14 of those minutes. I've printed a half marathon training plan. I really, really, really want to do Evansville's half on 10/10/10. I mean, I totally need that t-shirt--10/10/10.... how cool. It's just over 17 weeks away.

Completely doable, as long as I don't. freaking. quit.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. It's hotter than hades here, supposed to be over 95* for the next week. And it's only June.

Friday, June 11, 2010

158.2 - Not so perfect

First the good stuff.

I've worked out 3 times already this week. Sunday, Mark & I did a Body Pump class at the gym. Oh. My. Gosh. There is nothing I can do with my body that empowers me more than lifting weights. I love that class. I wish I could take it 3 days a week. If only it would fit into my schedule.

Then Monday, I walked & ran FOUR MILES! It's VBS week, & so I have had my nights to myself. It was a gorgeous evening, the humidity hadn't set in yet. I mostly walked the first mile with only a few bouts of running. I think my time was just over 14 minutes. Then the more I moved the more I wanted to run, and by the time I'd hit my fourth mile my pace was down to the 13 minute range, which, at this point, is really good for me. I was running .3-.5 mile at a time with .1-.2 mile walk breaks in between. For the first time in a very, very long time, I felt like a runner again.

Then Tuesday, I could barely walk, my legs were so shredded. Tuesday night after I'd dropped off the kids, I went to the gym & walked a slow mile on the treadmill, then stretched for about 30 minutes, did 15 pushups (on my toes, 100-Push-Up-Challenge style-- 5 pushups, rest one minute, repeat 2 more times), then walked another mile. I figured I could work out some lactic acid, and it seemed to help. I was much less sore on Wednesday.

I'm planning on hitting the treadmill at home after work today and will shoot for at least 30 minutes, maybe more if there's time.

Now, the not so great stuff, on the diet front. I've been on a roller coaster the past two weeks. I had some "fun" weekends which meant I totally fell off track on The Perfect Plan. The week after Memorial Day I couldn't get there to weigh in--they are only open on M-W-F. And this week has been insane, too. Mark left on Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. for Philadelphia for a business trip, and I haven't been over to weigh in this week either. Plus, I've gained a couple of pounds. The last time I weighed in I gained .4 pounds & the girl made me feel like a criminal for eating cake on my daughter's birthday. So, yeah, not so motivated to officially weigh in.

Plus--and I'm trying not to make this an "excuse," it just is what it is--I don't think The Perfect Plan is going to work for me. For several reasons.

First, there's just too much food on this plan. For example, I stuck to it for 5 days and then had 2 days where I fudged a couple of times but mostly ate OK. I gained that week & could FEEL that I wasn't losing weight. In the past--and by "past" I mean when I was on LA Weight Loss in 2007--I could stick to the plan all week, have a few splurges on the weekend, and still lose weight because the plan doesn't allow for a lot of calories each day. That worked very well for me.

Second, there's no room for convenience foods on TPP. I'm not saying I want to eat a frozen meal every day. No way. But I need some flexibility. There is none with TPP. Also, the recipes are complicated! I'm not that great a cook & have little time or interest in making elaborate recipes. If it takes more than one pan, I'm probably not going to make it. I have gotten a few really great food ideas from the diet that I'm still going to use, so it's not been a total waste.

Third, I don't know HOW I had time to weigh in 3 times a week in 2007 with LAWL. I guess it just wasn't as busy at work, & I (and my husband) felt the urgency of my need to lose weight when I was over 200 pounds. Now, work is the priority more than a weigh in. I would love to go back to the days when I could leave the office for 45 minutes 3 times a week, but it's just not realistic right now.

Fourth, the cost is going to be prohibitive. I signed up for 6 weeks, and I'm going to have to sign up for another 6 in a week or so if I continue, and I just don't have the cash right now.

So.... does all this mean I've just given up on The Diet? No, no, no. I have been in search of a new perfect plan (will the search ever end?) and I think I've found it.

Did you know you could buy diet plans on eBay? I found the LAWL plan there for $12. The whole plan, for every weight level, is there. There are the guidelines, the diet diary, the food exchange lists, even some recipes. Yesterday I made myself a diary book with my copy machine, paper cutter, and stapler. It's just like the old days in 2007--little circles to fill in when I have a food group. Two LA Lite bars--which I'm currently substituting with Luna Protein bars--which satisfy my chocolate cravings. Flexibility for treats & eating out & frozen meals. I can't help but feel like I've come full circle, back to the plan that I KNOW I can do & have had success with.

I realize I've been on/off/on/off this plan or that plan. I don't know why I can't just find one & stick to it. Obviously, though, I'm not unique or the diet industry wouldn't be the multi-gazillion dollar industry that it is. I guess the important thing is that I haven't given up. Right? Right?

I had been back up to over 161 again. I stuck to the plan yesterday fairly easily. I love filling in those little circles. And it paid off with a quick loss this morning. With some exercise and some controlled fun food times this weekend, I should be off to a good start.

If I fall off the wagon, at least I've got plenty of practice climbing back on.

Friday, May 28, 2010

156.8 -- Summer's Here

2 pounds in two weeks. Better than a gain, but not what I'm looking for. I've got to step it up a notch this week. And stay on plan over the weekend. Weekends can undo a week of good work. And what's the point of that?

I haven't been exercising. That has to change.

The good news is we have a summer membership at our old gym, the one with the great pool and exercise classes. It's the gym where I learned to love running and Body Pump. And where I built some killer arms in 60 days.

So starting June 1 I have no excuses. Plus, I'll have to wear a swimsuit soon. Is there anything more powerfully motivating to getting in shape than that?

School's out and summer' here. Time to take advantage of the next 3 months and get these 15-20 pounds off for really reals.

Vickie, on the cake leftovers-- the first one we had a tad left, and I had one more slice at home after her party. And felt like crap after. The one on her birthday we had quite a bit left over, and I left it for the restaurant staff. No way was it coming back to my house!

GG, thanks for the body bug idea. I'll have to look into that.

Thank you all for commenting. It feels good to be back.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

157.2 - All or Nothing

I've been struggling this week with the whole all or nothing thing. You know, the self talk of "I ate a piece of cake, so I might as well eat whatever else I want because I've blown it today. I'll just start over tomorrow."

Almost every day I've had something to eat that I shouldn't have. I've had to decide--am I going to let it derail me? Or am I going to soldier on like I didn't stray?

Some days have been better than others.

Saturday was nuts. It started off well--I ran week 1, day 3 of C25k. Then we had Sophie's birthday party Saturday at noon, then she had a Brownie outing from 4:30 - 8:30 pm (I actually took a nap for a couple of hours, but it was a carb-induced food coma resulting from leftover birthday cake).

Saturday night I helped my sister with my Dad for his overnight care. I got there around 10:30 p.m. We didn't lie down to try to sleep until 3 a.m. It's just the way Dad is. He doesn't operate according to anyone's clock but his own. Saturday night I ate pretty poorly. But, hell, having a quarter of a pumpkin pie at 2 a.m. at my Dad's was frankly the least amount of damage I could have done. My sister keeps his house stocked with packaged sugar bombs. At least I chose one based off a fruit.

I barely slept--my bed was a split-rocker love seat, so it was too short & had a hard line running horizontally across the middle of my body. We were back up at 7:30 taking care of Dad again. I was obviously exhausted, and when I got home around noon I was pretty much good for nothing. I don't remember what I ate Sunday--nothing horrible and I think I stayed on plan the best I could. But I was a slug.

This week has been a challenge, too. We've had something every night--Monday a visit with an out of town friend, yesterday was Sophie's birthday at her favorite restaurant (and of course she got another cake). Today I had a work lunch and only ate a small portion of the linguine that came with the chicken breast, but I did have about half the lemon pie that was sitting on the table when we arrived (next to the salad plates.... irony of ironies).

I could have thrown in the towel for the entire week, I guess. I haven't lost any more weight, but I know I'm holding onto salt (we did eat Japanese hibachi last night, & even though I didn't order the fried rice, I did eat the grilled veggies & chicken & used the dipping sauces, and, oh yeah, had a piece of my 9 year old's birthday cake). And it would be a lot worse had I said screw it & started eating oreos at night again.

So, instead, I'm eating my 2 cups of raw veggies now, and not going to freak because I can't be perfect in the face of LIFE. I'm going to celebrate birthdays with my family & have a piece of cake. I'm going to eat what's served to me at a networking business lunch with 300 other women that I paid $14 for. I'm going to eat pie when I'm helping to take care of my dying father. I loved Jill's post on this issue. It makes me feel not so alone.

My waist line is shrinking more slowly than I'd like. But at least for this week, I found the middle ground between all or nothing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

156.4 - Sharing the good stuff

Yes, I know it's a shocker. Here I am just a few days after a post, posting again.

Funny, it's easier to get on here when I'm doing well.

Also? No one but you guys cares about what I'm eating or how much I'm exercising. I've found that over the last 6 months while I've been sedentary & a slave to food, the last thing I want to read about on Facebook (which is my primary social media venue & how I stay connected to a lot of you... if you're not my friend yet but want to be, email me your name & city & I'll send you a friend request) is how great someone else's life is. If I'm in a crappy mood or my life feels like it's falling apart, I have a hard time dealing with all the "I'm so blessed! I love my husband! My kids are brilliant! My life is so great! The sky is blue in my world even when it's raining!" Blah blah blah.

I'm in no way saying that these happy things shouldn't be shared on Facebook. They should. It makes people feel good to share their joy, and it's MY PROBLEM, not theirs, when I get all bah humbug in the face of someone else's good fortune. Hell, I've posted more than my share of blue-sky updates.

But, being in the curmudgeon camp has taught me something--a lot of people on FB don't give a shit that I'm on a new diet plan & am having a great week. A lot of people, probably the majority of them actually, are struggling & unhappy & their dark sides get the best of them when they read a bunch of "Happy Happy Joy Joy" on Facebook.

All that to say--I know that I can come HERE and spread the joy and you all will be nothing but welcoming and pat-me-on-the-back supportive.

So, onto the good stuff. I lost 3.5 pounds during my first week on The Perfect Plan. I haven't felt hungry or deprived at all. I've had a few cravings & slipped a couple of times (darn golden Oreos), but my slips have been minor (3 cookies in a week and a half is nothing). I'm eating more veggies & fruits than I ever have on any diet. I'm eating nothing at all processed, which I find to be frankly amazing. I got the recipes Wednesday (the first week they only give you two--one for the best ranch dressing ever & one for muffins that you get twice a day) and there are a lot that will be fun to make & fabulously delicious. I can't wait to make my grocery list & start cooking.

And, icing on the cake, I've done 2 days of the Couch to 5K program this week. There's a great iPod app for C25K that makes it way easy to do this training program. I am totally psyched about it. To put things in perspective: the first time I did C25K was in 2007 and I weighed 195 pounds. I did the beginning weeks' running portions at 4.5 mph! Wednesday on Week 1 Day 2 I ran all 9 running legs at 6.0 mph. That's a ten minute mile! The running legs are only 60 seconds but the pace wasn't hard until the last two legs, so I think 6.0 is a sweet spot right now.

I'm already noticing a difference in climbing the stairs at work (I have about 40 pounds of crap I carry with me every morning--I kid you not.... 4 bags minimum... my purse, my "everything else" tote bag, my laptop, and my lunch with water bottle. It's a lot of crap). And I just don't feel as weak as I was feeling, even though I haven't started lifting weights yet (Vickie, I totally am going to set my weights by the couch & start lifting at night while watching TV. What a great idea).

I don't know why it's finally clicking now. I hope I can stay in this groove for a long time. Knowing I have a place to go to be accountable for my food choices & weigh ins make a big difference. I feel hopeful & motivated again. Getting the sugar & carbs out of my life also gets rid of the endless cycle of cravings and self flagellation.

That's the scoop today. The sun is shining outside my window today, but the sky in my world was already back to clear blue. At least for today.

Oh, and my weight in the title is my Shout Out to 2007--the Year of the Big Loss. Here's to 2010--the Year of the Final Loss.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Perfect Plan

So I made it to the new diet place last Monday. It's called The Perfect Plan. I can weigh in 3 times a week if I want to. They provide recipes (which I need since I'm not a natural cook) and a food plan. It's the usual weight loss plan--but stricter in that there's no red meat and little fat, and I can have 5-7 fruits a day (only one high sugar fruit like bananas a day). Lots of veggies. Also can have eggs, light yogurt, and cottage cheese. No other cheese though. At least that's the plan for now.

I started last Wednesday and miracle of miracles, I'm doing great. I've been on plan a full week and strayed only on Saturday when we went to the movie with popcorn and chocolate. Knowing I have to be accountable to a weigh in is what I need to stay on track. I've even stopped eating at night. Getting the refined carbs out is a huge deal and gets rid of cravings.

It's only one week but it's a solid start.

Now the next thing I have to do is lift weights. Seriously, my body is getting weak and creaky and sore and I've only been 40 for a month. I'm not exagerating either.

No new news on my dad.

Sophie turns 9 next week. The years are flying by.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Starting Over

My hard drive on my laptop died last month. I got the blue screen of death one night while booting up to watch "The Office" on Netflix, and my beloved "C:" never was to be seen again.

Of course, I've been meaning for months to back the thing up. Even put an external drive into my cart at Sam's only to remove it after saying to no one in particular (because I was by myself, but that never stops me from talking while shopping)-- "I don't want to spend $100 today."

If only some fortune teller had been walking by to warn me I was making a huge mistake. Now I'm way over $100 in costs for the computer guy to have removed the old & put in a new hard drive. He is also trying to recover the data on my old drive, but it's a monumental task because (a) the drive was encrypted because it's also my work computer, and apparently decrypting the data is not easy to do, and (b) the darn drive stopped spinning altogether.

There's a lot of precious data on that drive. Pictures and videos of the kids, mostly. But there's one thing in particular that's dear to my heart. The excel spreadsheet that chronicles my weight loss & running journey from 2007 through 2009.

It's. Just. Gone. (for now anyway....hopefully my guy can bring it back to life through some miracle)

That spreadsheet was my accountability partner for 3 years. It's got my highest weight and my lowest weight. It's got the first time I ran a full mile without stopping. It's got my four Half Marathons and the training (or lack thereof, for the one I ran last October) I did for each one. Until last fall and the crisis with my Dad hit, I was in that spreadsheet almost every day.

Yesterday, on a sunny, breezy, 80 degree Monday, I decided I was finally going to walk/run outside again. The last time I used my Garmin to run outside was in January, in the bitter cold, when I was still planning on running the April marathon.

Since then, I've done some walking/jogging on our treadmill and have walked a couple times with a friend outside, but my beloved trips around the park with just me, Garmy, and my Shuffle have been absent from my life since last fall.

And so, on my walk yesterday--walking with intermittent running thrown in, because I'm WAY too out of shape to run much yet--while I was thinking my thoughts, it dawned on me that I lost my spreadsheet in the Great Hard Drive Crash of 2010. I realized that I would have to start all over again. Which is what I'm having to do with the rest of my fitness life, so I suppose it's fitting that I start over with a new spreadsheet.

I only did 30 minutes, 2.3 miles. I felt great the first 5 minutes, and then after I'd run for one minute it was obvious just how out of shape I am. My sports bra was so tight it was uncomfortable. My skin is so loose (no muscle tone) that it itched from the bouncing and the blood coming to the surface. My knees hurt. My lungs hurt. My heart hurt.

It's frightening how fast I've lost what I worked so hard for from 2007 - 2009. No, I don't weigh 209 pounds like I did in February 2007. But I do weigh almost 160 pounds, and I have next to no muscle tone in my arms, legs, stomach, and butt. And I am having similar kinds of food struggles as I did in my past--eating for comfort, eating in secret, eating at night.

I've tried off & on all year to get myself straightened out. It's not worked, obviously. I know I have a lot going on in my life, but honestly there's no reason to continue like this. My dad's situation isn't getting any worse for me personally, and I can't keep using him as an excuse for failure.

If only I had LA Weight Loss again. That kind of guidance, support, and accountability in my day to day life really makes a difference for me. I found an Evansville center called The Perfect Plan which sounds like it might be helpful. I left a voicemail for them to call me back--the fact I had to leave a voicemail makes me doubt them, though. If they aren't it, I'll keep looking. I'm not going to let this go any farther than it already has.

For today, I'm taking it one meal at a time. I'm going to walk/run again this afternoon. I posted a blog entry today. I had protein with breakfast & lunch. I'm trying to talk myself back from the ledge with "It's OK! It's happens to everyone sometimes. You've done it before, you can do it again." But it's still really hard to face facts, which now include the nasty reality that I'm no longer in my 30s.

So that's the scoop. Lots of work to do. I've done it before. I can do it again.

Update on my Dad: He's slowly declining. We did get him to agree to hospice, which means we won't be doing a feeding tube at all. We already had palliative care, and the level of care hasn't changed that much since we added hospice. But knowing we have hospice in place for when he's in the final stages is comforting.

When those final stages are likely to happen is anyone's guess. One week, he won't eat and won't have a BM, and the next he's back to eating and digesting. His circulation is still very poor. His breathing is weaker. He sleeps for days, but then he's awake for days. He does have a lot of body fat to keep him alive if he doesn't eat, but he is starting to burn through it. His upper body is wasting away; his lower body is swollen from fluid retention; his middle body is distended and swollen. His urine production is way down and his knuckles and fingernails have a blue hue. His BP was down to 112/60 last week. It's quite possible he's with us all summer.

He's still being very demanding at times and can be a big jerk most days. I haven't "spoken" with him for almost a month. I visited on Sunday, but he was asleep the whole time I was there. My sister is there 4 or more days a week and she and I talk every day, so she keeps me in the loop. He can still move a pencil around a letter board to talk, but my sister says he's losing control of his right hand too, so we don't know how much longer he will be able to communicate. He has an expensive eye-gaze machine (thanks to the VA) that allows his eyes to choose letters to talk, but he won't use it (it won't work with his glasses on, and he won't use it with them off--I don't know why, b/c he can see the letters with them off).

It's heartbreaking to see him like he is. It's just as hard to think he's going to be gone soon, even though I wish for everyone's sake--especially his--he'd let go & pass on. But he can't or won't. Eventually this will be over, but it may be months and months yet. We just don't know.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Well it was a great birthday and I survived turning 40. I really did get spoiled rotten.

I've put on a few pounds, which I can feel in my clothes. I keep thinking I'm going to do something about it and I will have a day or so of good eating, but then something gets me off plan again. I know it's not the right time to diet. But I have to maintain. There are so many changes I need to make. I just can't find the "right time."

I realize this is BS. But it's all I got right now.

Sophie has had 3 great weeks with no dizzies. It's been wonderful! Luke is fabulous as always. Mark graduates with his BS on May 7. He's also working on getting his CFP, which is harder than any class he's taken. He's under a lot of stress. But what's new, ha.

My dad is the same. It's hard to believe he's still here. I don't know if he's plateaued or what. I'm going up to see him today.

So that's the update for now. I hope you are all enjoying this lovely spring.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Birthday month

So I will be 40 in 10 days. April 13 is the day. I've been dreading it since before I turned 39.

And I'm still working through issues with getting "old," but I guess it's getting easier. Everyone says I look better than I ever have. Women in their 40s or 50s tell me the 40s are wonderful. And if my life weren't so topdy turvy because of my dad I would feel like this is one of the best times in my life so far.

I'm going to pamper myself on The Day. Hair cut and color then s massage and pedicure, all at the Aveda salon. Then will do dinner with Mark and the kids. Then on May 1 I'm having a girls night out and we're going to dinner and dancing at a club that has Ladies and 80s Night so we can all be silly and carefree.

I've asked Mark to get me something sparkly. I love getting jewels on big birthdays. :)

Diet and exercise are still blah. I have used my treadmill a couple times and the weather is getting better so I'm hopeful for more outdoor activity.

Dad has had some small heart attacks, we think. He stopped eating for a couple days but ate some yesterday. I still feel so guilty for wishing he'd just finally pass and give himself and us some peace. He wants to see his 2nd wife one more time to get some closure. That's got us all in a tizzy but we don't see any other option. She lives 5 hours away. I'm praying she comes and sees dad and can only handle a couple of hours with him. If he asks her to stay or if she refuses to leave we'll have problems. This is the woman who didn't want my sister to even go to Indianapolis to see the ALS doctor with them. No way she can handle seeing my sister or me wipe my dad's behind or put ointment on his catheter entry point. I just hope that after she comes and leaves dad can let go. I don't know how much longer we can all keep handling this.

Today should be busy and good. It's my favorite holiday.

Easter blessings to you all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Friday, March 26, 2010

Update from my new toy

Has it already been two weeks? It doesn't seem like it. I have been keeping busy, as usual, like all of you. I did a nice thing for myself and bought an early birthday present--an iPod Touch. I've had it for a few weeks but just realized I could update my blog from here. I'm on my iPod all the time at home after work. Somehow it's less offensive to use the iPod instead of my PC at the end of the day. Being on my laptop all day at work is enough computer time--the iPod doesn't feel like a computer though. Probably has a LOT to do with being able to hold this little baby in one hand. My laptop is 3 years old and weighs a ton.

Anyway...... Maybe I'll be able to blog more often.

Things are mostly the same. Sophie went through a horrible migraine spell last week and we figured out she's now sensitive to all chocolate. We've eliminated that and several other common triggers to see if it will help. So far so good. She's had some dizzy days but nothing horrible. It's been hard for her, giving up chocolate especially, but she knows it's worth it.

My weight and body are the same--152ish and squishy.

No changes with my dad. His decline is still happening but slowly. We are all surprised he's still with us. He could be here another 6 months but I hope not. His mind is sharp and he isn't ready to die but his body is done. It's so hard to watch.

I bought a book from Kindle (also on my iPod) that Jilligan recommended called Bad Childhood Happy Life. I've just started reading it. I see a lot of myself already.

Leaving for St Louis this afternoon for a Brownie weekend with Sophie and several other moms and daughters. Should be a good time. I'm so thankful she's health enough to go.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 08, 2010

When you feel like you can't say anything nice, don't blog anything at all

It's really hard to blog when you feel like you've got nothing positive to report. And mostly I've just felt like keeping my mouth shut. But I realize I owe my friends a report once in a while, or you might think I got hit by a big bus. Thank you to Vickie for always pulling me back. It does mean a lot that you are keeping tabs on me!

So, here I am....trying to figure out how I can write something today that won't sound dire and pathetic.

I guess I'll start with the good points in my life.

My husband has FINALLY decided he's getting healthy. A few weeks ago he had a calcium score done on his heart, & he has mild heart disease on the right side. For many this might sound like horrible news. But for Mark, it's good news. His dad died at 50 & his oldest brother at 57 of massive heart attacks. Mark will be 48 this year. Last year he pretty much felt like he was under a death sentence. But the term "mild" implies that impending doom is not so impending after all, and it also helps him realize he still has time to make changes to his diet & exercise to keep his heart as healthy as possible. He's already lost almost 20 pounds, he looks better, & he feels better.

The kids are wonderful. Sophie did just go through a long dizzy/migraine spell. 10 days this time. She missed 6 days of school. She's still a bit dizzy but it's not debilitating and she made it back to school today. We see the neurologist for a follow up in April. I'm guessing Sophie might need her meds adjusted. We'll see. Luke is healthy and hysterical. He keeps us all in stitches. He's the most loving and precious little boy ever. Not that I'm biased or anything.

There are probably other good things. I've got a roof over my head, clean clothes, plenty of food in the fridge, business is OK right now, spring is on the way.

But so much of my being is tied up in the negatives. My brain must be sucked nearly completely free of happy chemicals, despite the wellbutrin (and calcium & other healthy brain supplements) I take daily. I cry a lot & at the slightest things. I feel tremendous guilt over my Dad's situation. I was trying to take care of him 2 days a week, so I could "do my part" and alleviate my sister's time at Dad's. I just couldn't do it. I did for a few weeks, but it got so overwhelming--I basically had one day off a week (Sunday) and it just wasn't enough. I spend a couple hours almost every day at work on Dad's financial & medical stuff. I handle all his bills, his medical appointments, his VA paperwork & requests (thank God he was a veteran, because he's getting a lot of money every month which is paying for his supplemental nursing care and his specialty equipment--we'd never have been able to take care of him properly without the VA), his Visiting Nurse schedules, and the overall schedule of who is going to be there at what times to take care of him. It's not like I'm not doing anything for him. It's just that my stuff is behind the scenes & no one sees it but me. All the paperwork and phone calls are time consuming and can wear me out.

Mostly, though, I can't handle my dad's physical and mental state. He can't do anything for himself--and I mean nothing. He has to be moved with a Hoyer lift, which is difficult and frustrating because he weighs 240 pounds and his belly is hugely distended. He can barely swallow anymore. He can't talk at all. Everything takes hours--an hour to take his medications, 2 hours to feed him one meal, 2 hours for a bowel movement (and yes, I had to clean my dad after a BM...that about did me in), 2 hours for washing & grooming, an hour for a simple conversation because he has to spell out every word one letter at a time on a letter board (he can still move his hands, just a little bit).

Just writing all the things that he can't do brings me to tears. As hard as it is for me, I can't imagine what kind of hell Dad is going through.

Admitting that I can't be around him anymore is excruciatingly difficult. Worse than that, though, is my ever present thought that if he'd just die already, I could get on with my life. I can't even describe how hard it is to live with that thought. He'd be better off gone, we'd be better off if he was gone. ALS is not curable and there are no meds to make him better. His doctor gave him 6 - 12 months to live back in September. But Dad refuses to give up. He just got an eye gaze communication device last week and a new laptop computer so he can do whatever he thinks he can do with his hands while they can still move. He is as difficult and stubborn as ever. He can be very abrasive and hurtful--even one letter at a time.

Last Thursday I drove the 30 minutes to his house after a long day at work, to see him & his new eye gaze machine & to let him see Luke. I didn't have long to visit, maybe 90 minutes. Instead of asking me how I was or how my kids were (Sophie had been sick over a week at that point, & he knew it), he spent his time with me asking how much he could spend on a new laptop PC and explaining all the bells & whistles he wanted on it. He spent around 30 minutes on this with me. Not once asking me about me or my family. I don't know why it surprised me. I guess it didn't surprise me, just disappointed me.

There's a reason I haven't been part of my Dad's life the past 10 years. It's not gone away just because he has ALS. He's an emotionally disturbed & unbalanced person. And he's still my Dad.

Remarkably, I'm not the size of a house yet. My weight is steady at 152, give or take a pound. I am squishy, though, & haven't worked out in over 3 weeks, despite now having a treadmill in my bedroom. I've completely scrapped the marathon/half marathon on April 11th.

Which brings me to my other crisis of mind--I'll be 40 in a little over a month. The marathon was going to be my big "F--- You Forty!" Instead, I am probably the most out of shape physically and mentally that I've been in several years. I wish I didn't feel so freaked out about turning 40, but I do. It's just one more thing messing with my head.

I've talked with Mark and a good friend from church about all this. I need to talk more. I have an appointment for my quarterly meeting with my psychiatrist next month. I'm doing lots of pampering things for myself. Last week I had my nails done, my hair done, and my toes done, all in the same 7 day period. I can't for the life of me make myself get on that treadmill. I know if I would I'd feel better. Maybe just writing about it will make me try again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Still the same

Just a quick note to let you all know I'm alive & doing OK. Dad's still the same--declining very slowly, but still declining.

On the diet front, I started taking Alli to go along with the phentermine (which I had to go to a new doctor in town for because the old place got shut down for some reason--probably because they give out meds WAY too freely. I was never once weighed or had my BP taken after that first visit, which is ridiculous. But I digress). Only been taking it 2 days & only taking 2 pills with lunch. The new doc prescribed Xenical, which is the 120 mg Rx version of Alli. Two Alli are much cheaper than one Xenical. I've not had any problems yet. It has made me rethink my food choice a ton over the past couple of days. I don't eat high fat foods because I'm afraid of what will happen. THAT's why this drug works. Mark said it's the Anabuse for dieters.

On the exercise front, I did 45 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, but that was the first time I'd worked out in almost 2 weeks (I think...kinda lost track. I haven't kept track on my handy dandy Excel sheet for a couple of months). I think our treadmill isn't calibrated correctly. I know I'm walking or running faster than it says I am. I've been doing this for almost 3 years, I think I know what 3.5 MPH feels like. And 3.5 feels like 4.0. 5.0 is a fast jog for me on our treadmill, and that speed is usually a piece of cake. It's not that I'm just out of shape, either. I know how hard my legs work when I'm going certain speeds. Anyway, it's just not right. We are supposed to get a new console because the first one has some issues. I'm going to ask the tech about recalibrating it. Anybody have experience with this on your treadmills? Or am I deluding myself?

Family is good for the most part. Luke gets cuter and funnier every day. Mark is doing well; going to Colorado this weekend to see his brother. Sophie's been dizzy the past few days, off & on. Today she had a massive attack. I had to give her Maxalt, an anti-migraine med, for the first time. It worked. Her dizzy spells are becoming more migraine like. She had a big attack the morning after we had some Dutch ice cream from Target. I didn't realize it had dark chocolate in it--I just thought it was really good! I get migraines for the teeniest bit of dark chocolate, & that same morning I had a horrible migraine. She was so bad she threw up. So, we've at least established she has food triggers. I'm watching to see what else can be setting her off. Unfortunately it's going to be trial & error.

So that's it. Nothing new, it's the status quo. I'm just thankful things are as good as they are right now.

Although if we don't get a break in the weather soon, I think I'm going to pack up the family & escape to Florida. This has been the longest winter ever. But, thanks to calcium & fish oil, no SAD for me this year. Woohoo!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Happy Day

Today is Sophie's talent show. She just finished her 1 p.m. performance, and I am on the laptop while she's talking with her friends, waiting for the finale (all the kids go back out to the stage for the finale). She has one more show at 4:30, which is when all the family is coming to see her. We have 17 people! And that doesn't include Mark, who is chaperoning her during the 2nd performance.

She aced her song. She sang Starry Starry Night. She was perfect.

I didn't expect my Dad to still be with us now. I didn't think he'd get to see her sing. But he will.

He's coming at 4:30. My mom & her husband are bringing him. Amazing how life works out.

There won't be a dry eye in row F, section B, around 4:40 p.m. today.

In body issue news. I am still weighing in between 151 - 152. I had to buy new jeans yesterday because my 12s were too big & my Old Navy 8s fit but are too low waisted now (my belly is more poochy because my muscles are weaker. I got at 2 pairs of size 8s and 1 pair of 10s. That made me feel good. Did 35 minutes on the treadmill this morning, but that's the first exercise I've had in 2 weeks. At least it's a start.

If you're snowed in-- take comfort in the fact that March is not far away. And hang in there!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Dad

It doesn't seem like it's been over two weeks since I last posted. My days and weeks are so filled, they are flying by. Yet, in some ways it feels like time is moving slowly. Makes no sense, does it? I think it's because my days are packed solid, but they are not my own anymore.

I work, I take care of kids, I take care of household stuff (the best I can anyway), and I take care of my dad. I finally ran/walked yesterday for 30 minutes (I have lost so much strength and endurance and can barely run 5 minutes at a time now), but it had been 8 days since my last short run. We did get a treadmill a couple weeks ago, which is awesome. I've only used it twice, but at least it's there. I wouldn't have gotten in 30 minutes yesterday without it.

My weight is holding steady at 152-ish pounds. I am squishy and definitely not ready for spring clothing, but at least I'm not bursting my seams any longer.

I had strep throat last week & was completely down for one whole day. Thank God for antibiotics. I was back at it in about 36 hours.

My dad takes up a lot of my time now, at least 2 days a week when I'm staying with him (including Saturdays). And I spend at least two to three hours a day on phone calls or paperwork for him. He's been approved for one of the highest VA benefit levels (as of Monday) and we are getting a lot of help from the VA (finally--we applied in September). We are so blessed that we can take care of him without having to worry about how to pay for it. My sister has exhausted her FMLA and is now on personal leave from her job with Toyota. Since my Dad worked at Toyota, too, they are very accommodating to my sister.

He continues to decline, but slowly. He can barely lift himself from his wheelchair now. He insists on getting himself off his chair & onto the toilet (which is a slow, painful, difficult process), because he has a little strength left, but that's not going to last much longer. He already has a catheter, though, so his bathroom trips are usually only once a day. We are getting a power Hoyer lift from the VA soon so we can lift him when he can't any longer. He can't feed himself. He can still swallow food but liquids and pills are getting to be impossible. He's now on liquid lortab & my sister is opening his capsules and giving to him with food. It won't be long before he's on a feeding tube.

We are getting a hospital bed from the VA on Friday & it is going in the family room. Dad won't like it. He doesn't even sleep in a bed. He spends all of his time in his scooter wheelchair. Literally, almost 24 hours a day in that chair. Thankfully he is getting a real wheelchair in a couple weeks from the VA. This one will recline so he can put his feet up. His body is horribly swollen even though he's on two water pills, and his belly is distended (he was already a big guy, but 4 -5 months of not using his muscles is taking it's toll).

He needs care 24/7. We do not have anyone but family caring for him. My sister stays with him, my cousin and two uncles stay with him, my sister's best friend helps out, I stay with him, even my mom and her husband are spending time there when one of us can't. But it's getting hard to keep all the hours covered. I can feel the tension when people feel like they are spending too much time there. It's really hard. My dad is so stubborn, he doesn't even want a stranger (as in, a VA-paid-for Visiting Nurse person) to come help out 3 hours a day to cook and clean, even with my sister there with him. There is one visiting nurse girl that went to school with my sister who can come twice a week, but my dad doesn't want anyone else but her. So for now, we have to give up 3 days a week of help. My sister "handles" my dad and she has to bear the brunt of his displeasure, so if she says it's OK then she just gets 2 days a week. Personally it ticks me off that he can't be flexible, but he has nothing left--literally, can do nothing himself any longer--so him exerting his will is all he's got left, I guess.

His speech is also almost completely gone. When he's not tired he is easier to understand. But last weekend when I was leaving around 7 p.m., I couldn't make out anything. It's extremely frustrating for everyone. He has a talking computer with a keyboard on loan from the MDA, and he can type with a pencil slowly, but he won't use it. I don't understand his choices. We are waiting to see if he is going to get a communication device with eye-gaze speech, but they are very expensive and we don't know if medicare or his insurance or the VA will pay for it. Who knows if he'll even use it.

It's very hard. It hit me the other day the kinds of things I used to worry about and spend my time on before Dad got ALS. A lot of it seems silly now. Some things, like running and training for races, I miss terribly. I know this is temporary, and I know that I will not regret spending time with and for my Dad after this is all over. It still doesn't make life any easier right now. Thankfully my husband is supportive. My mom is amazing. My sister is a saint. And my Dad's brothers are there for him like they've never been before.

I think we are all in mourning now, before he's even gone. It's unbelievably hard to watch someone go through this. And sadly, it's just going to get harder.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good news, bad news

The good news is I weighed 152.0 yesterday. My clothes fit much better and I feel better about my body. I'm still squishy--I need to lift weights again--but at least the squishy stuff takes up less space. More good news--we bought a treadmill & it should be here next week.

The bad news is my life is getting more insane, not less. I am going to my Dad's on Thursdays & Saturdays now to take care of him. Mark has agreed to let me miss work on Thursdays & he will be studying and working on Saturdays & my mom will keep the kids.

What the Saturday thing means is this--I have to cancel the marathon in April. I can't run for hours & hours on a Saturday morning & still go to my dad's to take care of him. It's just not possible. Plus, Dad will either be in really horrible shape in April, or he will have recently passed away. There's no way I can deal with that emotionally, and my family (the ones who are helping with my dad) can't support me in a race that took time away from my responsibilities. So it's off.

I'll still run the half marathon on 4/11/10, because after running four halfs I know I can train for 13.1 miles without too much trouble. And I'll either run Chicago in October or wait until next April & run Evansville's 2nd marathon (assuming they do it again).

I was really upset last Friday when I committed to staying with Dad every Saturday & realized what that meant to my plans. It's a big dream, celebrating my 40th birthday with a marathon run. But it can wait. I got over being upset pretty quickly.

Seeing my Dad barely able to lift himself out of a chair puts things in perspective. I'm damn lucky to be able to run at all.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Thankful in 2010

Even though my life is crazy right now, I've got a lot to be thankful for as we start a new year.

And if I had more time, I'd list them all right now. But, since I'm sneaking in a post between getting the kids to bed & preparing a client review for a meeting tomorrow, I'll name just a few.

I'm thankful I have my health. Seriously. There are so many people around me who are seriously ill, it's a miracle to me that I am healthy and can even run.

I'm thankful for my husband and children. Mark has worked a miracle this year, working hard and keeping us in business during one of the worst stock markets ever. He also made all A's in his college courses. He's just two classes away from finishing his degree.

My children are, without a doubt, the best thing that have ever happened to me & my husband. Sophie is astonishingly talented and beautiful (not that I'm prejudiced or anything) and is doing well in school. Her dizzy spells are gone but they are manageable and she's missed only a handful of days of school this year because of them. She was accepted to sing a solo in her school's variety show; kids have to audition if they want a solo because so few solos are allowed. The theme is "{School's Name} is Out of This World" with songs around stars, sky, moon, etc. She is singing Don McLean's "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)," which is significant because Mark loves Van Gogh, Sophie painted a copy of Starry Starry Night for Mark when she was 6 years old, and Sophie is an artist in her own right. She has a great voice. I'm so excited for her. Luke is full of energy and life, is more clever than any 4 year old has a right to be, and keeps me on my toes as a mother. He is the most loving little boy I've ever met, and is rough and tumble and is always ready for fun.

I'm thankful that I am not experiencing the horrible Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms from last year. This is a HUGE deal. I am almost paralyzed every year by SAD. This year, I think the difference is because I'm taking calcium every day (600 mg day & night), taking fish oil capsules twice a day, and I'm using my SAD light on a regular basis. I'm also running outside more than I have in past winters.

It doesn't hurt that I'm down to 153.6 too. Fitting into my clothes and feeling better about my body always helps my state of mind. Not drowning my emotions in food (thanks in no small part to the Adipex I started a little over a month ago) helps a lot.

Not running enough miles to be trained well for the marathon in April, but running enough to stay in the running, so to speak. We just bought a treadmill today. Woohoo! I ran Saturday in 20 degree weather with about a 10 degree windchill for 6.25 miles. It was supposed to be 10, but my face & hands weren't protected well enough so I had to cut it short. Cold weather running I can handle; frigid weather running I wasn't prepared for. Gotta research some good gear.

Hope you are having a happy new year!