Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Anxiety Mixed with Memories...

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
Thank you Lord for ending my wait…
~Grieving Mothers Prayer~

Cancer is horrible. Nothing about it is pretty or fun. For most people it is outpatient treatments every 21 days. When you first think or hear the word cancer you have an idea that pops into your head as to what things will be like. It never ever crossed my mind that Heather would have to be put into the hospital every 21 days for inpatient treatments.

Nine different times I packed my things and helped Heather pack hers to get ready for her trip to the hospital. I made sure we had nearly everything we needed. Of course the fortunate part with us was the house was only about 3 miles up the street from the hospital. If something else was needed, wanted or forgotten it could easily be brought or picked up.

Nine different times I made sure the house was all in order when I left. All the pets had all their needs and cages cleaned out. I made sure errands were done and food was ready. I tried to make Heather and my leaving as painless as possible for Bill and Jenn. Despite my best efforts this was not an easy time for the ones we left at home.

Nine different times I packed my air mattress and bedding. I stayed the nights with Heather so she was never alone. The night time was when the biggest fears came. Most of the nights I would lay in Heather’s hospital bed and hold her as she cried or fell asleep.

As I am less than 24 hours from my own surgery my thoughts are going crazy today. While I do have my own anxiety and just want this to be done and back on the road to recovery, my mind cannot help but think of Heather. How at age 20 did she endure all the things that she did? For her, eight different times she had to think ok tomorrow I go into the hospital and they will pump me full of toxic chemicals and I am gonna feel like crap. Eight different times she had to scared and worried even though it was becoming a routine. Eight different times the thoughts of what comes next, is there really anything else that can happen?

I felt horrible as I forced Heather to get things done and get into the car to go to the hospital. It was my job and she hated to go and I hated to make her go. She may have been 20 but she was 8 years old being forced to do something that is horrible. That was my job as her mom. I say that Heather only worried eight different times because she was so sick on the ninth one she didn’t realize really what was happening. The ninth time I did not get to bring her home.
As much as I know my surgery is different and I am doing this to myself, I can’t help but think I have nothing compared to what Heather endured. My thoughts are not really about me today as much as they are about Heather and her brave, amazing way she faced the most difficult challenge in her lifetime. I hope I can follow in her brave footsteps and make her proud of me as I head into surgery tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ups and Downs of Lifestyle Changes...

1. The sum of the food consumed by an organism or group.
2. The deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake

New Year’s resolutions usually include “this year I am going to lose weight” or “I am finally going to go to the gym on a regular basis.” Most of the time these promises are made because most feel that is what they need to work on. Everyone I know tells me they have 5-10 pounds or more to lose. I meet very few people that are happy with their weight or at their “goal” or “ideal” weight.

With the beginning of the New Year all the stores from department stores to gyms to the grocery store place ads that encourage weight loss. They all are trying to get you to buy into their means of weight loss and exercise:
Get these foods to lose weight and keep it off!!
Membership fee waived for all new gym memberships!!
Get the perfect clothes to wear to get moving at the gym!!
Buy this equipment and you can have your own gym at home!!
Come into our diet center; buy one month’s food get a 2nd free!!
We as consumers are eager for a fast and easy way to lose weight and get into shape. We are not really willing to make it hard to do. We want our cake and to eat it too.

Several things are missing from most “diets” or “easy sure fire way to lose weight fast” plans that are bombarding everyone right now.  First is the healthy part. Any “diet” that cuts out any food group should never be considered. Removing carbs or only eating one food group is not healthy in any way. Suggesting you eat the same thing over and over and over is not nutritious and is very boring. Second is the exercise portion. You cannot exercise long enough to eat the way you want to. Diet and exercise are the successful combination to losing weight.

Since my blog is called Confessions...I am about to confess things that no woman in her right mind would confess. My weight...beginning and ending...
March 2005-187 pounds
 In 2005 I weighted the heaviest I had ever weighted. I was 187 pounds. I began trying to exercise to lose weight and had the idea that an hour in the treadmill meant I could eat fries for dinner. Our whole family joined gym and we began exercising. But not really watching what we ate. Then in 2006 I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and triglycerides. I began looking into clean eating. I had begun to lose some weight but still did not have it all down just right. I felt I needed to reward myself with food and treats for things. By early 2008 I weighed about 160. Not too bad but I was still not happy and did not have the right concept down for losing weight. Then Heather got cancer and my life was tossed around a bit. I was able to maintain the weight loss with the interesting hospital food. End of 2008-to the beginning of 2009 I had begun to go back to the gym and was getting the idea of how to exercise right and eat healthy.
March 2008-165 pounds
March 2009-160 pounds
Then April 2009 hit and my world took a tail spin. Did everyone know that the average grieving mother gains 75-150 pounds in the first year? I understand why. Going to the grocery store is so hard and difficult. I didn’t feel like cooking and all I want were the comfort foods. Exercise was out of the question. Pizza hut delivery was a 3 times a week staple at our house. I am sad to say the deep dish pizza, wings and breadsticks as well as cookies, cheesecake and candy cane pie got me thru the depression. But it also added a good deal of weight back to my body.
December 2010-178 pounds
 In about the middle of 2010 I decided to go back to the gym and get healthy. I didn’t want to just “diet” I wanted to look and feel healthy and in shape. I began reading about nutrition and how foods all work together to make a healthy way of eating. I began to exercise for 45-60 minutes in the treadmill everyday 6 days a week. I am talking sweating buckets and not able to talk working out. Then I added circuit training with weights 3 days a week and the results began to really show. This seemed easy to do. But then Thanksgiving hit along with Heather’s birthday and Christmas. It just seemed easier to eat and not exercise. This “break” from the gym lasted till April 2011. I also had decided to go back to school about become a personal trainer and nutritionist. I wanted to work with cancer patients to get exercise and eat healthy during chemo. I began classes and doing lots of research and finally it all clicked. This was a lifestyle change. I needed to get my thinking right.
February 2011-155-160 pounds
 Everything clicked and the weight began to come off very quickly. I began seeing muscles and some nice rewards for all my hard work. By January 2012 I was holding steady at 145. Harry had come to visit and had raised my blood pressure with his selfish talk and uncaring way he felt about his wife. I realized as I had before that when I exercise I feel better. I eat better. But most important it helps control my depression thru the tough times of the year that hit. I finally had a good handle on exercise and eating but could not seem to drop below 138-139 pounds. In April I discovered a book that has changed my whole way of thinking about food and eating. It is entitled “THE SKINNY RULES” by Bob Harper. He is the trainer of The Biggest Loser. Finally what he said made sense. After a few weeks of eating “Bob’s way” I dropped all the final weight I wanted to. Now, I do not follow every single rule that Bob has. But I follow the ones that fit my life and keep me healthy. I also continue the exercise and circuit training. The two go hand and hand forever.
November 2011-145 pounds
 I eat 3 apples a day, and drink a large glass of water before meals. I have switched to Ezekiel or sprouted breads. I also limit the amount of grain carbs after about 3pm. I eat all the fruits and veggies I want to. I have not cut out anything but have learned to limit the carbs greatly helps reduce the weight. I have discovered the love of almond butter and agave nectar as well. I still go to the gym and sweat as hard as I ever did before. Nothing really has changed in the workout except sometimes I don’t go as long. I am coming close to my one year anniversary of eating what I consider very clean. You know what…I love it and I crave apples and the good foods. This is not to say that I did not enjoy some of the sweets over Christmas. I had candy cane pie and some bars. But I didn’t do it every day. I ate small pieces and enjoyed it when I did.
December 2012-goal weight
 I am proud to confess that I weight 125-127 pounds. I have managed to keep my goal weight for over 5 months now. I am very proud of what I have accomplished. I also am the picture of health as my blood test results were some of the best the doctor had seen. My cholesterol was high for the overall total but when you look at the good cholesterol number, it is 119. I was told the only way to get this high of a number is to be born with it or to exercise. Also my hydration level was one of the highest ones my doctor had ever seen. The proof is in the blood work that I am healthy and doing the right things.
September 2012-goal weight
 While looking good and feeling great are benefits of lifestyle change in eating and exercise it also has a way of shaping your body into something I am not sure I have ever seen. I have muscles that I never knew existed. I also have hip bones and a near flat stomach which is amazing since I had three kids. While all this is great and awesome there is something that happens that not many people talk about or warn you. When you drop over 65 pounds some areas of your body do not handle this well. I am talking about my boobs. (ok giggle now everyone!!)

I have seen three Valley plastic surgeons trying to find one for a mastopexy (breast lift) with augmentation (implants). As soon as I tell them I lost over 65 pounds they have no doubt that I need what I am asking for. I do not feel this is vain or a pride issue. This has to do with how I feel as a woman. I am not ashamed of needing a breast lift and will proudly wear my new look. After visiting 3 doctors I found the one I feel is the one for me. He reminds me of Dr. Fastenberg…or I should say his hair does..lol. He is a very caring and compassionate man. His office staff and his nurse have gone way beyond my dreams to meet my needs and make me comfortable.

On Wednesday January 23 I will be heading to the Virginia G Piper outpatient center to have surgery. They have scheduled me for a 5:30am check in time so I can get my IV while my hydration level is better. I also have been given the “A-Team” staff for Wednesday. And the anesthesiologist was hand-picked for me and is the best. I feel very comfortable with decision. However for all that being said, I am nervous about the IV. I have a difficult time getting IVs. I also am not sure how I will feel being in a medical situation with all that happened with Heather. Please pray for calm nerves and a quick and as pain free as possible recovery.

Truth be said...for as good as I look and feel today, if I could have my Heather back and have her healthy and well, I would gladly weight 300 pounds to have her here with me again. Yes, I miss her that much. I would lay down my own life to have her back.
Christmas 2005
Remember it’s a lifestyle change. Diets offer a quick was to lose weight but rarely offer a long-term solution. Think of nutritional plans as just that—plans to rethink your eating patterns permanently.
~Weiss~Runner’s World