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The long and winding road

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November 16th, 2008

Bad weather forcasts trigger comfort food cravings. 
It's been raining here in NJ for over a week now, and
Jello pudding is wiped off of the grocery shelfs.  So are
Premimum saltine crackers, and that gooey rice pudding
that comes in little containers.
This afternoon, a tornado watch was in effect. 
All hell broke loose in the peanut butter aisle.
It is now 12:15 am, and I'm making a huge pot of minestrone soup
enough for a few days.  If the power goes out, we can always sit
on it to heat it up.

October 31st, 2008

feelling kinda helpless

as my boy and hubby get ready to 'beg' for candy tonight, i feel the old
anxieties and worries creeping up my back and throat.
tell me why, again,  people have to trick or treat? sugar is poison. i've got a disease
that's not quitting, no matter what i do to control it.  my eyes, my kidneys, my hands, my feet, my toes have all suffered. 
yet, hubby and son ignore all of this, and insist on participating in the sick fest of
ultimate refined sugar glut.  not only do they collect, they hoard and eat the crap.  it
lasts for days. i do as much as i can to get rid of the excess while my boy isn't looking, i have to say i'm sure he doesn't get all of it, he gets a good majority, tho.
he told me recently that he hates me for throwing his candy out.
he said one of his earliest memory was being 4 and having to give up his loot.
trying to decipher if it's me, or him i think i'm helping.  i won't be tempted by the junk, it's not about that.  i actually think it's concern and fear for him, and for my hubby who could do with less refined sugar. 
tonight is a tough time for me.
as i stay close to the front door, handing out little pouches of 'famous amos' cookies, which don't have high fruitcose corn syrup, but do have 280 calories i'm dressed in my witch costume. 
and i feel the part.

October 14th, 2008

My daughter is a big girl.  She was born 28 years ago and weighed in at 6'0 even, and by her first birthday, she had tripled her weight to 18 lbs.  I was very pleased that whatever her age in her toddler
years, she wore that same size in clothes.  When she was older, she was still a nice, healthy, unfatty sized kid, and she had no trouble in school being teased or tortured like I did all through my formative years.  In high school, she weighed in at 150 lbs, and she was perfectly proportioned.  And then, she had a baby.  Her weight ballooned so quickly, it was alarming.   After my grandsons birth, my daughter proceeded to gain weight, it seemed like a dam had burst.  Eight years later, another precious grandchild comes along, and her weight is now double the amount she was the first time.  Her poor body is loose and lumpy,  she has no spring in her step any longer.  She looks like she is about 50 years old. 
Last summer, I handed her my old size 26 jeans and hoped they would be too big on her, but, they were snug.  This past weekend, she informed me those jeans no longer fit her, she had jumped up to a size 30/32.  This made me very sad.  Trying very hard not to harp on or lecture her this weekend took quite a bit if restraint.  I see how uncomfortable she is when she moves her body.  It hurts me to watch her.  I feel as if it were me, once again, trapped in my cumbersome body. 
I realize that some of this is just  my problem projecting my hope and dreams onto her.  As soon as she was born, I was determined that she wouldn't suffer the same life I had had.  I went through my school years embarrassed and umkempt, teased and traumatized, holding myself back from career and education because of my weight.  I felt on the outside of things, never really commanding the respect I deserved, and probably settling for second best all the time.  My child would not be sujected to that fate.  And for a long time, I felt pretty confident that I'd done the right thing by giving her health foods,  carob dipped rice cakes in her easter baskets and protein shakes. 
The reality of it was, I was so rigid and restrictive that she snuck things like milky ways and ice cream every chance she got.  She stole money from my wallet to feed her rebellion, the local grocery knew her as a regular customer.  Her teenage years was spent chasing from one crash diet to the next, in order to keep her weight down, and doing the worse thing she could do:  permantley damaging her metabloisim. 
And I worry about health concerns!  We are inclined to have diabetes, heart disease, and thyroid problems.  Cancer is running rampant in the family.  Depression is as given as her genetically dominant red hair. 
Yet, as my daughter flippantly told me she was now wearing a size 30/32 I had to bite my tounge and keep the words back.  Because I know if I suggested weight loss surgery to her, I would be seen as judgemental or disapproving. 
And I just mean to tell her, it would be coming from a loving perspective, and she would be free...

September 30th, 2008

I have a mantra I'm practicing as often as I remember to:
Life has been good to me so far.
I have a therapist who is working with me and Chris to smooth out
the bumpiness of our parenting styles with Gabe.
Gabe is working hard at his partial care out patient behavioral and emotional therapy groups.  This program meets 5 afternoons a week on weekdays from 3-6pm.  I pick Gabe up on the early side from regular school dismissal, and we schlepp to the rendevouz point f to meet the van.
This takes up my afternoon and again in the evenings, just being there to drop him off and pick him up from program.
I don't always embrace the idea that I'm helping to wrap positive behaviors around him and he will soon 'get' what the team's trying to accomplish.  I find it frusterating because Gabe's behavior when at home after a day of junior high and program is over the top aggressive and defiant.  He holds in the crappy behavior for the day, and let's it out on me.  You always hurt the one you love.  Since I'm the main caregiver, Chris is off trying to earn a living most of the day and night, I get the brunt of Gabes anger and defiance.  On top of that, I'm no bargin at all, being defiant and pissed off myself, so I find it difficult not to react negativly towards a fresh mouth and a nasty attitude.  So there we were, last Sunday afternoon, a rockin and a rollin over my demands that Gabe do a chore he flat out refused to do for the last week.  I had had enough lip thank you very much from him, and I was ready to rumble if he didn't comply with my demands. it was an ugly scene and then  things got physical,i went to smack the lips off of his face, he kicked me.  his head was sore, i think my rib is fractured, it still hurts a week and some days later. 
And so, I complained to his partial care program, claiming there didn't seem to be any change in the behaviors of this boy.  The only thing that actually changed was my own free time was whittled down to none... and I was pretty verbal about that aspect too. 
Things have changed, since last our free for all that sunday.
I have a lot of people hearing me for once. there's an entire team working out of the division of youth and family services, providing support in home and in the community for us.  Doors have been opened.  We're making progress.  I think there's a good chance to do over some not so good moments.
I met a woman at one of the programs who is currently the size I was before wls and I can give her some of the good clothes I've been holding on to, although I never want to wear that size again.  I've got a very nice black leather swing coat to give her, along with 3 pair of gently used jeans, and assorted shirts.  I'm comfortable enough  to talk about my wls with her. she shared her fears about surgery for herself. makes me feel hopeful , she's being very curious and asking all the questions I did from post ops.  I'm careful not to be too over zealous about my surgeon, or the 'procedure' itself.  My hope is to just give some options, she will make the right decision for herself. 
My struggles with food addiciton are never far from me.  I write this as my stomach sits uncomfortably inside of me, too full of water and humus and pieces of roasted turkey, wishing it was a year ago when I didn't dare overdo the food intake. 
Yet, life has been good to me, and I'll take the not good choices with the good ones.  I erred again at this particular moment.  The next hour will be better.  I'll find something to occupy my time, I won't put my hand into the cookie jar, I'll go to bed, I'll think about it tomorrow. 
Searching still for the perfect balance.

September 17th, 2008

according to fitday.com

i injested just under 1200 calories yesterday.  it wasn't easy not to
scarf down more than that and call it justified.  i can fit more in now,
even when i don't want to. ok: i'll just face it:  i eat too much.  lots of people
eat too much.  we're conditioned to take the 24 oz coffee to wake up in the morning, we are not put off by large portions of food at a 'good' deli.
according to a friend who just came home from madrid, the coffee bar  in the neighborhood where she stayed serves 6 oz cups of joe, to the tune of 1.25 american dollars, pizza is 24.00 for a medium pie, and she just couldn't afford to eat the same amount of food over there that she is naturally used to. 
there has to be a psychology study as to why the majority of the population thinks it needs to over do food intake.  i know it's not just here in the USA>  the UK has big problems (pardon the pun) in that area too. 
wondering if it has something to do with medications and the mental health issues, at all relating to food issues...

i bought out the grape tomatoes at the farmstand today.  I can't tell if i'm full or not, but do know that it's time for me to stop eating them . 
at the moment, it makes sense to stop, yet, i don't want to, nor do i feel as if i'd be damaging myself if i don't stop. the amount that i've eaten so far scares me- a lot.

no, i do not love food more than i love myself.  i like what i see in the mirror, how i feel with my increased mobility, how great it is to feel more than normal.  it does appear that food will never be the thing i forget to eat, and i have to learn more about leaving enough alone.
this is a lesson in restraint.  at the moment, holding back hasn't been my strong suit.

August 4th, 2008

(no subject)

 My mom passed away at 5am today.
I've spent the day packing up her belongings from the nursing home, and viewing her body.
She was so quiet, she looked like she was just asleep.  The skin on her cheek was so soft, I touched her face and rubbed her arm and I expected to see her open her eyes any moment, and say, oh, I must have drifted off.

I can't believe she's gone.
Now she's out of pain.  And so am I.

August 3rd, 2008

(no subject)

The last few days have been interesting for me.
I think I can see a change in how I'm taking bad news
and stress.  What is different, what is difficult, what is hard
to accept isn't the end of the world, woe is me, hide my head in the sand feeling.  Instead, I just feel like shrugging and saying, well, gotta get through it, nose first, and then start swimming forward....  
Still the same problems, more on top of that.My grandson Malachi is now in Providence Hospital in the psych ward for attacking his teacher this past Thursday.  My daughter has her hands full with all that it takes for Malachi to be observed, and her 4 month old is teething and cranky.  My daughter is finally realizing she needs to address her own bi polar in order   to take care of her family; she needs to be healthier.  I  am happy to hear her speak this way.  Too many times I've heard her say she 'wasn't crazy.  won't take meds.  nothing is wrong.'  I spent years kicking myself for letting her get away from me too soon.  Losing her to a life of hard knocks and living as a homeless person because she refused to comply with medical advice.  Glad to know that she's rallying around her seven year old Malachi and she's present for him.  If she needs me to be there, I will be there.  I've lived with 2 bi polar children, seems like for the last 28 years it's been much of my life.  I regret she has to go through this too, but at least she's not in denial.  
It is a relief to see how capable she is.  And a relief to see how uneffeted I am.  I'm there for her and the kids, but don't have to run and put myself right in front of them to put the fires out.  
God bless cymbalta and it's seratonin raising properties.

July 30th, 2008

my rebirth day

happy anniversary to me, it's been one year since my
weight loss surgery.
looking back  at my journal entries is going to be encouraging, i've come a long way
and although not easy, i'm very relieved.
i do feel lighter, easier to live with myself, more able, more agile.
weight loss surgery is amazing for me.
i feel defensive, though, when i say how much i've lost and someone will
comment- oh, wonderful, then, oh.....
you had help, hmmmm.
hell yes, i had help.  all this magic isn't going to happen with just
sheer determination.  
i was determined every day of my fatter life.
and then, at some point durning that day, i determined i had too long of
a walk.  my feet were sore, the hell with it, i'll go and put some salve (pretzels, maybe an entire bag) on them.  next day, wake up and determine again....
a year of a winding road later, i've had the jump start i needed.
the road is still long, sometimes narrower than not.
weight loss is still my responsibility, help is what we all need, in some form.
where i travel from here is up to fate, god, something greater than i can ever hope.
i'm keeping the faith.  and the calorie count down as low as i can.

July 26th, 2008

My mother is failing fast.  Thursday, when I went to sit with her, she managed to get herself to the bathroom with great deliberation, but she did it on her own, using the walker.  Today, I needed to wheel her to the bathroom from her wheel chair, and help her pull her pants down so she could sit, I had to wipe her, I had to flush for her.  My mom, who is so fastidious about her hygeine didn't even care that she hadn't washed her hands.  She will be gone very, very soon.  She's in so much pain, that she doesn't care if she eats, she is in so much pain that she's out of her mind crabby, she's feeling so much pain, she can't get comfortable laying down, or sitting in her recliner, or in her wheelchair.  She just keeps going in and out of sleep, she pops her eyes open to whine a little and to say 'oh, god' and to sigh.   I wish she would just go to sleep.  
Her stomach is distended, it must be an organ inside that is inflamed , she keeps complaining of pain in her stomach, but she's on so much pain medication and not eating, that it's likely she's just nauseaous from the chemicals.  She's declined since last week, when my granddaughter, 4 month Aurora Jane was placed in the bed with mom, and they kind of grinned and cooed at each other.  Mom is not even aware this week.  This is very, very sad.
I didn't feel like talking to anyone after visiting the nursing home this evening, I was still processing the fact that I had just wiped my mothers butt, and changed her clothes a few times this afternoon.  I went straight to the produce store, and bought fresh veggies to make a roasted veggie pasta salad.  And, 32.00 later, i schlepped it into the house, turned the oven on 450 degrees, and got to work chopping and peeling red peppers, yellow and green squash, egg plant, vidalia onions, portorbella mushrooms as big as my head.  I peeled carrots, and snapped 2 pounds of pencil asparagus.  I doused it with olive oil and I set it all to roast.  The apartment filled with smoke and I turned on the air conditioning, and fan- full blast.  The apartment continued to fill with smoke, and when I opened the oven door, there were little fires dancing around the electric element.   I tapped them out with my tongs.  Now, a few days ago, I made some very nice, healthy brownies for the guys.  They had whole wheat flour and agave nectar in them, and I was proud that I was feeding my family good for you food.  The pan I used was too shallow, and the brownies spilled over the top, running down the bottom of the oven and causing quite a smokey mess that day.  Then, I lazily allowed the roasted veggies to bake in this filth, and thinking they would take on the taste of an outdoor grill (ok, live and learn) I baked off veggies for an hour.  
The taste is unbelieveable.  I can't describe it, but it's foul.  The fact that I spared no expense, wasted so much time, effort, energy, and cooked enough for an army that I never intended to feed, makes me feel even stupider.  Yes, I continued to eat veggies as I cut and chopped and baked.  That part is the surface addict in me dealing with the pain of my mothers condition.  The part that I am scared about is under neath it all- not stopping my mission to assess the situation, I plowed through it, even when I knew it wasn't going to work, I'd over did the task, I could not apply the brakes.  
In my kitchen sits a huge, huge restaurant sized silver bowl of roasted veggies, marinating in olive oil, ready for service.  They're set for the garbage disposal, since that would be the only willing recipient of the whole mess.                                            


July 25th, 2008

back to reality

It was nice to return to work this morning and be welcomed back 
as if I'd been missed.  Seven weeks have passed quite quickly: although
lean times financially, I know it's time to get back to work for the paycheck, and for the fact that sitting on my butt this long is not helping my weight loss goal.  I've managed to lose only 11 lbs in this time frame, and yes, I've maintained the loss.  I've done nothing but eat, and sit, with very little activity in all these weeks.  I'm grateful I haven't gained, I appreciate 
the pouch restriction, now it's time to work again.  Time to move and look
toward future goals; my summer goal was 50 lbs by September.  I'll have to change that to the end of fall.  I think that would be a more realistic timeframe.  
Life ebbs and flows,Setbacks are  speed bumps.  Life is not a microwave.  Slow and steady has its own rewards.
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