Friday, July 25, 2008

Memories we share

Ok a couple of friends of mine are doing this. I have made comments on their blogs, so I am going to do this on my blog. It should be fun. (But then again a little scary to see what type of memories people have about me.) :)

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, just anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I get what I want, not what I need

I have been really busy this summer. As a family we have experienced a little bit of stress, but hey that is life. In my pursuit of a healthier life, I have discovered how important it is to persevere. I have found that when my day is stressful, that I can handle it better if I eat more healthy and exercise. If I give in to cravings for sugar or fatty foods, I not only pay for it on my hips but I do not really feel any better.

Why do I crave things that are not good for me? I do not know. Maybe it is just habit, maybe it is because I have always used food as a comfort. I have always eaten when I am happy, sad, lonely, bored, or to celebrate. Just about every big milestone in my life has included a special food. At holidays we eat certain foods. It just would not be Christmas without cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, chocolate covered cherries, candy canes or cookies. Thanksgiving has to include lots of different foods and eating until you cannot move! Valentines is for candy, St. Patrick's day is corned beef, 4th of July is ice cream and fried chicken. Family gatherings include special dishes that you only get at that time. I have a sister-in-law that makes the best sugar cookies, another who makes delicious rolls, my father-in-law makes a fabulous brisket, a niece who makes the greatest fluff, sister-in-laws that make mints that melt in your mouth (only for special occasions) and yet another sister-in-law who makes yummy cinnamon rolls (she even leaves out the nuts, because of our allergies. I always think that is so thoughtful that she remembers and makes that effort to make sure we can eat them). My husband loves to cook for me when I am feeling down and he is a great cook. I really could go on and on. But it is not just the food. I look at many of these times in my life with a great deal of fondness, and certain foods bring a memory with those feelings. How do you compete with that? How do I find a way to feel those feelings without the food to bring on the memory or the comfort?

You know the song "You can't always get what you want." On many occasions I have told this to my children as well as "it doesn't hurt to want." But you know what? It does hurt sometimes to want something you don't have. It is not a bad thing to hurt. It just depends on how you deal with the hurt. Pain and desire are really good motivators. I have decided to embrace the pain and the desire for something. To use it to change, not drown my sorrows. I am not settling for the next line in that song, which says--"But if you try sometimes, you might find, You get what you need."

I used to say I need to change. I thought that would be enough, but it is not enough. I had to want to change. I have realized that I am not going to get healthy just because I need to get healthy. I want to get healthy! I want to relieve stress in more healthy ways. I want to feel happiness and love beyond chocolate ice cream or a soda pop. I want to look forward to family gatherings without thinking about all the food. I want to feel the satisfaction of reaching my goals. I want to feel the pain of muscles getting fit. I love it when I feel like I have pushed myself when working out. I know that I am changing my body for the better. You know the saying "no pain, no gain". I have come to realize that no pain, no loss.

I have to be willing to make sacrifices for what I want. But sacrifice is not a bad thing. My father used to say "anything worth having is worth working for." He would have loved to hear me say this, he was right. You have to work for anything worthwhile. A person who wants a degree, has to make sacrifices. Maybe they sacrifice getting a better job because a lesser job will work with their school schedule. Or maybe they drive a clunker and live in a one room apartment so they can afford school. Parents make sacrifices in order to have and raise children. It is not an easy job, but it is so worth it. My husband and I have made sacrifices in order for me to stay home with our children. Even though it is the right choice for our family, it has not always been the easiest. So why should I expect or even want the road to a more healthy life to be easy?

Maybe I think that getting fat was easy for me. Well not thinking about what you put into your body and not exercising is easy. But why was I not thinking about those things? It certainly wasn't because I did not know what was good for me. I think I know better than just about anyone, what I should do to be healthy. But changing is not easy. Something Dr. Phil said has made me think. I do not remember exactly what he said, but the gist of it was that you do what you have to do to survive, to get through the crisis you are experiencing. Then you have to face the after effects of the choices you made during stress. Like a bad habit or health changes. In my case both. I developed a really bad habit of turning to food to deal with depression and stress. This resulted in a weight gain and an unhealthy body. It became a cycle. Because gaining weight and being unhealthy lead to depression and the depression led to being fat. So now I am learning new ways of handling depression and stress.

YES the doctors knew what they were talking about when they said eating right and exercising will help your depression and relieve stress. NO WAY! Get out of here! They cannot be right. I have spent a lot of time and energy being angry at those doctors for telling me to watch what I eat and exercise more. For just not understanding. For blaming everything on my weight. I guess I wanted them to do it for me.

I do not know what made the change in my mind. I do not know how or why it clicked for me.I am glad it happened. I know when it happened and I know that I am on the right path. I have decided enough is enough. I am doing it now. I have had my set-backs, but I have not quit. I will not quit. This is not a diet. This is a fight, a fight for my life. This is my life. It is what I do now. I make better more conscious choices about my food intake. I am not perfect, I am human. But I record what I eat, no matter how bad or good it may be for me. I weigh myself. I know how much I weigh. I do not avoid the scale. I weigh and measure my food. I know what I am eating and the calorie count. I actually think about how much food I eat and how much exercise I have done. I think about whether I have eaten too much for the amount of calories I have expended during that day. I enj0y working out. This is way weird.

Why didn't I make these connections earlier in life? How do I keep my children from making the same mistakes I have made? How do I make up for the years of setting a bad example? I do not know. I am working on that. If I show them what I can do by making healthy choices, maybe they will want to make them too. I want them to see me enjoying my new choices. This is not a bad life. Working out is not a chore that I have to do. It is something I do to keep from going insane. LOL It is something I want to do. I am a better mother when I have been able to do something for myself. These days that something is not going out for cheesecake, but going for a walk or to the gym.

I like the new me. I like feeling like I have some control over me. I like how I am handling stress in my life now. I like that I am making things happen, that things are not happening to me. My life is not necessarily any easier or harder than it has been in the past. I still have my weaknesses and my struggles. But it is how I am choosing to deal with them that has changed. I am not the sum total of what has happened to me. I am the person I am because of how I handle what happens in my life. And these days I am handling things with a little more wisdom and determination. I will succeed, because I usually get what I want.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I feel happy

On Saturday I went the NWWR and walked a little over 3 miles. I walked with my EQ buddy Johnna. Walking with her was so fun that I did not even realize how long we had been walking. We probably could have walked more, but I am still recovering from bronchitis and breathing is important. The air quality that morning was not very good. I blame pollen and fourth of July fireworks. Anyway, walking with Johnna was a joy. She notices flowers, wildlife, even a worm that was crawling on the sidewalk. She pointed out things that I did not notice. It made the walk a great way to start the day. Walking with together gave us a good opportunity to talk. We do not talk as much during EQ. It was really nice getting to know her better. I look forward to more walks with her. Saturday morning when the alarm went off only a couple of hours after I went to bed, I really debated rolling back over to go to sleep. But knowing that Johnna was going to be there expecting me really motivated me to get up and moving. Just one more level of accountability that makes this journey easier. I am so grateful for the new friends that I am meeting. That is definitely an unexpected blessing of this work I am doing. I feel so good today. I went to EQ this am. I worked hard. I laughed and choked because of the bronchitis. Laughing right now makes me cough. I kept saying don't make me laugh. But no success there. That is what makes working out with those ladies so fun: our ability to laugh and have fun while working hard and sweating all over the place. :) I feel really happy today, and that is a good thing. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A timely reminder

I do not know if this is true, don't even really care. Because it is so moving and symbolic of the love we should have for each other. The love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. This video really touched me. And it came at a good time. I was just talking to someone this morning about remembering to ask for help from the one who is always with us and willing to help us. Sometimes, it is a good reminder to pray for all things. I tend to think that I have to do it all myself. That it is what Heavenly Father wants me to do. To be independent. I made out the plan to accomplish my goals and I am working towards them, he gave me my abilities. But somewhere along the way, I forget to be grateful and to ask for help. He is willing to help me and yes all things are made possible through him. I am so blessed. I have been humbled and reminded to be grateful.

A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with
me?'. The father who, despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'.
They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on
to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's
request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his
father, 'Dad, let's join the Ironman together.' To which, his father
said 'Yes' too.

For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever.
The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86
kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike
ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the
coast of the Big Island . Father and son went on to complete the race
together. View this race at.....


When I am thin, I will be .........

It has been too long since my last entry. Not because I have given up on losing weight. I have just had way too many things going on. I need to find a way to balance it all. I have had a myriad of mini challenges in the last month. Nothing that is serious and nothing that has made me quit, just life. My life has always had challenges and the way I deal with them is what has made up who I am. I am a fighter a survivor. I have fought my way out of many things and plan to survive this new healthy lifestyle. I have not lost any weight recently, but I have not gained any back either. I really just want to make this work. I have done a lot of thinking in the last month about my life. I have met a lot of people along my path and have built up a pretty good support system for myself. These people have been diligent about checking up on me. So just for them, I want them to know I am doing alright. I am still on the path to a healthier life. I still want to rid myself of the extra person I am hauling around. But just because I am trying doesn't mean that I do not have to face the consequences of my bad choices. I am still fighting for my life here. I am still not the healthy person I want to be. And you know what losing weight may not change that about me. I may still have to struggle with my health. I may still have to treat my asthma and other things that I have blamed on being fat. These things may just be what I will have to deal with even when I am thin. So I need to find a way to deal with them in the here and now. And still be able to fit an active life with healthy food choices during all the struggles. I need to not turn to Mt. Dew or chocolate to feed my woes. There are other avenues that actually make me feel better than they do.

I have met a lady who has lost a lot of weight. She has made me think about what it will be like for me when I lose weight. I know that I have said that I am changing what I have put off because of my weight. But I realize that I still play the games in my head. I still make excuses for myself. Like blaming being fat for everything. It has been an excuse to not participate, to not be liked, to not being included, accepted or desired. It has become a shelter for all that is bad in my life. My shield to protect me from the harsh realities of life. Of things that may have nothing to do with my weight and everything to do with me. It has kept me from changing things that I could change even without losing the weight. It has become a way for me to put off living by basically saying to myself "I will be happier when I lose weight." Losing weight is not the fix all. It is not going to make me someone that I am not. I think I will still have the same personality, the same problems. Maybe even some new ones. This is life, it is time to live now and not wait until I lose my weight.

I have such an all or nothing personality. I throw myself into something totally or not at all. I need to find a happy medium. I need to be able to do all that I want to do, and not be so overwhelmed by it all that I give it all up. I am working on this. I believe this will be the hardest part of my journey, balancing it all. Doing it the way I want to, not trying to be perfect. Accepting that I am human and not a super human with super abilities to do it all and do it all now.

I grew up hearing "If you are going to do it, do it right, or don't do it all." and unfortunately I have lived my life that way a lot. I am not saying that trying to do your best is a bad thing. But my best may not be perfect, and it must fit into my whole life. My life as a wife, mother, sister, volunteer, friend, and as a happy person.

So this is where I am today, trying to find a balance. Trying to find out what I really want in my life. What will continue to make me happy. But then again aren't we all trying to do this?