Category Archives: Family

What Would Mom Think?

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I will spare everyone the long sordid story, but there has been some extra doses of stress dealt to my family these past couple of weeks and as a result I have not been the best that I can be. I have kept the positivity up on the outside, but the internal struggle is overwhelming at times.

This is one of those times that I really, really miss my Mom. You know what I mean; I miss her all the time, but I can just imagine what she would say to me given my current state of mind and physical condition. These are her words which are ringing in my ears today:

Diana,

I really don’t know why you are killing yourself this way. You have spent your entire life trying to live up to the expectations of others and totally disregarding your own needs, hopes, dreams, and ultimately your health. I know it has been real hard for you since I was called home, but I am still with you and I can see all the positive changes you have made in your life.

Lately, some of those changes have not been so visible. You will never, ever make everyone happy. Ultimately you will destroy any chance you have at a healthy life if you continue to kill yourself over what you feel some of the family members and/or strangers think about you and your choices. Oh, and as long as we are on the subject, since when do you let people who don’t even know you dictate how you feel about yourself?

Do you not remember watching me try to live up to my sisters’ image and expectations? It drove me crazy and I spent many nights crying over things out of my control. Please, oh please learn from my mistakes and take care of yourself. I want your grandchildren to have you around. One of my greatest regrets is that my grandchildren have grown without being able to really know me.

So, Diana, this is my advice to you. Stop giving other people so much control over your life. Just be yourself and take care of yourself the way you know you need to. Reach deep down into that place where you still know that you can and will succeed in anything and everything you want to do. If you don’t you will follow in my footsteps and leave this earth long before your time and you have much more to give the world.

Love,

Mom

Dear Future Self

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Dear Future Diana,

I am so proud of you for getting your journey back on track. By the looks of it, I would say you finally kicked the dessert habit also. Good for you! What is it like to be able to get on the floor and play with the grandkids? Oh, I bet you can tie your shoes without feeling like you just had a full workout. I have so many questions to ask you and I am not real sure where to begin.

I guess the best place to start is by letting you know that I have already started some small little habits that helped you get where you are today. Just like I promised back in April, I have started drinking only water (Ok, I still drink my morning coffee, but the cream level has been reduced drastically), I eat breakfast every day, and my fruit and vegetable consumption is significantly higher.

To answer your question, yes it is a healthy breakfast about 98% of the time. If you don’t believe me, just check my tracker on MyFitnessPal because I may not log everything, but I do log my breakfast. I know, I should log everything, but I am getting there. Oh, this morning? Yeah, had some errands to run so I stopped at Wawa. I didn’t do too badly though. See, I am learning.

Now, to some of those questions I have for you:

  1. How did you get the determination to not quit? How did you get past the obstacles that life placed in your path? I seem to be struggling with that at the moment.
  2. How long did it take before you could climb the stairs without pulling yourself up or losing your breath? I have lived here for 6 months and I still can’t do that.
  3. What did it feel like the first time you were able to fly without fear of being ridiculed?
  4. Do you own those boots that you swore you would have someday? (If you don’t remember the boot story, you can read it here.)
  5. How was it when you were finally able to ride those roller coasters again?
  6. I know that you have a regular exercise routine, what did you do to start? How did you get past the pain and keep going?
  7. Did the eczema and asthma get better as you lost the weight and got healthier?

There are so many more questions I would love to ask, but they aren’t coming to mind right now. I am happy to say that I have outlined my next baby step for our journey. I have decided that the next goal is to not eat take-out and cook dinner every night.

I know, it is not going to be easy with “the husband’s” obsession with pizza, chinese, and drive thru cuisine. But, you obviously figured out a way to conquer it, so that is what I am doing this week. I am not saying I will never eat take-out again, but I am saying that I need to get in the habit of cooking for myself. So, if he wants take-out he can get it. I will still prepare my dinner.

Oh, one more question:

Were you ever able to get that husband of yours to eat any vegetables without tricking him? LOL

I Am The Author Of My Life

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I have always been a writer at heart. It has always been a dream of mine to write a book. The topic of this book has changed over the years depending on where my life is at the moment. I have gone back and forth in my mind and could never really answer that question.

Fiction or non-fiction? Mystery or romance? Biography or auto biography? Collection of poems? Well, you get the picture. I have the beginnings to many great stories in my floppy disks, cds, and usb drives, but I have never completed any of them. OK, you got me. That is not 100% true. I do have a couple of completed poems and some short stories from my high school days.

The point is, I guess that I never really had enough faith in myself that I could actually produce a finished product which anyone would like. I have never believed the positive feedback received from family, friends, teachers, and employers. I felt it was “sympathy praise”. Some of you may find that statement crazy, but I am pretty sure that there are plenty of you out there who know exactly where I am coming from.

When you have no faith in yourself it is pretty difficult to believe that anyone else can genuinely like anything about you. Well, that is how I have felt most of my life. I could go into a long drawn out story about my childhood, dysfunctional relationships with my parents/family, the death of my parents and brother, being called the fat kid, or even feeling like the black sheep of the family. But, when it comes down to it, you can only blame the world for so long before you have to take responsibility for your own life.

What about the story of my life? It has gotten off to a pretty slow start. The first 44 years of it has been filled with a lot of self-esteem issues, insecurities, and emotional baggage. Does that mean that the story can’t go in a different direction halfway through the book? Not at all. I am the author of this story and a huge twist is happening NOW!

With a lot of support from my children, my husband, and the people I have met on my Facebook page, I have actually started to believe in myself. The next few chapters are going to be filled with ups and downs, but the finale will full of love and self acceptance with a lot of action mixed in.

Oh, and about that novel that I want to publish? That is coming as well. It is never too late!

Non Scale Victories

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I decided that I needed to kick the scales to the curb because like many of us, I was placing all my worth on the stupid number it showed me. That does not mean that I no longer weigh myself, but I don’t place so much importance on the number when I decide to. Well, this morning was one of those days where I was wondering just where I stood with my love/hate relationship with the darn thing, so I decided to pull it out of hiding.

I have lost “only” 4 pounds since this whole journey began. Really? Four pounds in four months? A woman my size? That is just plain …… oh, wait a minute. I am no longer letting that number rule my moods. So, let’s take a look at the past four months and see what has happened.

November: The holidays were creeping up on us and I was already starting to stress about family get togethers. This is not an excuse, it is just fact. I have one of those families that creates a lot of stress even during simple gatherings much less a major holiday. So, let the bingeing begin.

December: Please see November. It is just a repeat, only this time it is Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

January: I was off to a decent start. I had started losing the 7 (no, that is not a typo) pounds that I gained over the previous 2 months and even made a last minute trip across the country to surprise my daughter at her baby shower. Then, BAM! It was three days after I returned that we rushed one of our family members to the ER for what we thought was the flu. Since Jan 12th, my family and I have spent all of our time either at work or the hospital when we aren’t sleeping. The past couple of weeks have gotten better because our bodies basically made us slow down and take a break.

February: We are finally settling down into a routine between work, the hospital, and home. Yes! Finally, a little bit of time at home. There are still many adjustments to be made before this whole ordeal is over, but at least we know that she will be coming home eventually.

Now that we have reviewed my four months on this journey, I am choosing to take a moment to recognize all my non-scale victories (NSV’s) because if you all remember, I no longer define my worth by the number on the scale.

  1. While I may have lost “only” four pounds during these past four months, I am choosing to look at the big picture. With the seven pound gain over the holidays, I have actually lost 11 pounds since the beginning of January. Still not a huge amount, but way better than standing still. I promise, this is the only one that has to do with that evil scale AND I do understand that this is not exactly a NON scale victory, but it is a victory.
  2. On that last minute trip across the country, I was able to fly three out of the four flights without a seatbelt extender. This I have not been able to do in a very long time and soon, it will be 100% consistent and I won’t even have to stress it. If I had listened to the scales, I would not have even tried and immediately asked for the extender.
  3.  I have started and continued some positive habits which will get me to my goal eventually. I now consume between 8 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, drink only water, and find some way to fit a little activity in everyday even if it is only 2 sets of wall push ups every single time I use the restroom. It may not seem like much, but it is much more than I used to do.
  4. With all the craziness and stress from the past couple of months, I have not given up. In my book, the only way you fail is if you give up. So, I am in this for the long haul.

To those of you who still depend on the numbers on the scale to validate your success, I challenge you to kick your scale to the curb and look at everything you are gaining by making little changes. I have not made any huge changes in my lifestyle yet, but I can tell you that I actually feel so much better and have more energy now than I did when I was obsessing over the numbers.

Obstacle or Opportunity?

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As everyone knows, I have really been struggling that past couple of months. There are so many external factors which I let dictate my life AGAIN! If you want to read about the pep talk I gave myself you can find it in this post.

That lit a fire in me and with the help from my friends; this week has been just one success after the other. Now, has everything been perfect? No. But, I have not given up and I am actually starting to feel better.  I have been able to control my food intake without too much of a struggle and I have gotten activity in every day, even if it is not the amount I wanted it was better than the ZERO activity I was getting before.

There are a lot of changes going on in the little world of me. I am working hard at becoming the best me I can, and at the same time I am trying juggle a family, work, and other responsibilities. I know, I am not the only person who has responsibilities, but they are still a contributing factor to my current stress level. On top of putting my health as a priority above all else, my family and I are moving out of our home into an apartment. (Very long story which I will not bore anyone with)

Because this is kind of a scary move for me, I have decided to make this a positive experience by looking at it as an opportunity to clean out all my closets and garage like I have been wanting to for a while. Just think of all the treasures that my local shelters and/or goodwill will receive AND I will have a nice, clean slate to start from.

I am also a bit excited because this apartment complex has tennis courts and three swimming pools. Let’s just say I see some additional opportunities for activity in addition to the fact that I am pretty sure we will be on the third floor. In preparation for the stairs, I have been forcing myself to go up and down the stairs here at work a couple of times a day. Hopefully I will be conditioned enough that I don’t feel like passing out the first week we are in our new place.

That is really all I have going on right now. How do you handle change? Do you look at it as an obstacle or as an opportunity?

Fabulous February

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It has been a while since I blogged, so let me catch you up on what has been happening.

On January 12 a member of our family landed herself in the emergency room of the local hospital for what we thought was the flu. Without going into great detail, I can tell you that she came home 12 days later just to have to return the next day. At this time, she is still not home and we are not sure when she will be returning.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because for the last three weeks or so, I have been either at work or the hospital with about 5-6 hours of sleep at home in between. As you can imagine this has had a significant impact on my plan for health since I have been consuming mostly hospital cafeteria food and take out and have had very little time or energy for exercise.

The one thing I have been able to somehow remain consistent with is the food I pack to take to work with me. I have kept my routine of oatmeal for breakfast and some type of protein with a side of veggies for lunch with some smart snacks. The problem I have been having is after I leave work and head for the hospital.

I mentioned something to one of my co-workers today about my frustrations of working hard to take care of myself and at the same time feeling like I have absolutely no control over my life right now. She made a great suggestion and I can’t believe I did not think of it myself. Going forward I am going to pack all three of my meals before leaving for work. Adding dinner to the list won’t be too much extra time in the morning and I can eat right before I leave for the evening so I am not hungry when I hit the hospital. All I have to do is make sure I have plenty of fruits and veggies in the house to snack on when I get home and I should be good to go!

What am I doing about the activity? Well, I have been creating little “office workouts” to do a few times a day while I am at work. While this is something I want to continue doing, I really don’t consider it a “real” workout. I have committed to participate in two challenges for February which I think will help me get back on the path with my activity.  HealthyFitFamilies has started a “Jump Start 2012” Challenge on Facebook which I started yesterday.  I have also committed to participate in “Fab Ab February“. I do not know who originated the challenge because there are several forums with this challenge, I decided to do it on my own and invited my Facebook followers to join me.

For the month of January I logged less than a pound loss, but it is a loss. With these changes to my routine along with a positive attitude, I plan to make February a success!

Taking Responsibility

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The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I went from such happiness having spent some time with my children and grandchildren to feelings of hopelessness and despair as our family found one of our own in the intensive care unit with not very good news. For a little over a week now I have been surviving on lots of coffee and cafeteria food or take out since all my waking moments are either at work or at the hospital.

There are some who might feel that the stress from the current situation might be the perfect reason excuse to put my goals aside. I have to admit, I was starting to lean that way. I found myself focusing on all the “what if’s” and things that just HAD to be done rather than slowing down and making a plan. Last night I cracked and had my moment of glory craziness where my husband was very aware that I needed both sleep and a break.

Thank goodness for great husbands! This morning I woke up thinking a little more clearly and I am ready to take responsibility for my life and leave the things I have no control over to God. He knows what to do and I just need to let go and step back. I am in the fight for my own life and I am not helping anyone by continuing the path of self-destruction which I have followed for so many years.

This morning I took the time to pack my breakfast and my lunch for work and took something out of the freezer which can be prepared quickly for dinner tonight when I get home from the hospital. No more grabbing fast food just because it’s convenient I did not plan ahead and it is the “easy” way out. I also have fruit on my desk and almond butter in the kitchen here at work for snacks. I am no longer using life’s road bumps as an excuse to stop caring about my own health. I have taken responsibility for my own health and well-being and this is one battle I intend to win!