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Old 12-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #1
jimmduck
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Follow the yellow arrows.... (comments welcome)

Introduction - Part One

Sounds simple enough doesn't it?

Then why can't I do it.

Several things happened to me this year past that were, as Oprah calls it,
"aha moments".

The first was at the end of February, when I was leaving Disney World.

It was a disappointing trip because I was supposed to do the 5k at the Princess Event.

It was doomed before it began.

Most of you know that I started a journal a few years back. Can't even find it now.

Seventy times seven or something like that - some kind of numerology thing (well not really).

Seemed relevant at the time.

You see I have been dreaming of doing a half marathon at Disney since 2004 - when I weighed about 360 pounds and still have such a dream - as strong as it ever was.

I have been given a truck load of encouragement, have a husband who at first supported my attempt to "race" very strongly, even walked me over a few finish lines, but now, must be as discouraged with me.

He has provided all he can, beautiful, hand made series of t shirts years ago, in various sizes with the slogan "Here a little, there a little...".

Unlimited food budget, gym memberships, equipment, trainers.

What he can't do it fix my head.

Anyway, my goals were sidelined by some health issues that were not all my fault. 2013 is the first year since 2009 that I have not had surgery.

Emergency surgery in 2010, hernia repair in 2011 and breast cancer in 2012.

The drugs I take to prevent breast cancer from reoccuring cause joint pain and bone loss.

So the doctor never wanted me to do a "race" in Florida. As it turns out, the wheels started systematically falling off the bus.

The coach got snowed in and couldn't get there. My sister in law was throwing up and could not go.

I was in so much pain from all joints at that point that doing this would have been torture - I opted out.

Major failure, major disappointment.

The whole trip was difficult and there were times when the only thing I wanted to do was get back on the airport bus.

I went to the parks, swallowed my pride, rented a scooter and soon felt the magic - the reason why I love Disney World so much.

But the day I left my sister in law (who was staying an extra couple of days with her family) said something to me I have been pondering...

She said that I needed to love and care for myself the way that I loved and cared for others.

She was and is right.

The trouble is I have no idea how. It is so foreign to the way that I was raised, the message that was drummed into my head all the time I was growing up, that I was clueless as to how to begin.

But I think it is the answer...
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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Part Two

I am not sure anyone will read this, but I am posting in parts.

Since then, I have struggled to find a way to do this.

Life just seems so complicated. All day long I work hard, very hard, to meet the needs of others.

I balance a very busy practice, with all the duties of home, there just seems no time for me.

My second aha moment came from my sister in law again.

She was about to accomplish a remarkable feat - she walked the El Camino.

For those who are not familiar with this this, you could google it for a lot more detail. Essentially - it is The Way of Saint James - the full thing is an 800 k trek from France to Spain - through the Pyranes.

Many people do portions of it - they are called pilgrims.

A select few do the whole thing - Bonnie was one of them.

Every day they would wake up, not realize where they were going - they just looked for the yellow arrows.

If they followed the yellow arrows, they would eventually get where they were supposed to go.

Over mountains, down steep valley trails. Through water, mud, snow. Through people's backyards.

It was hard - very hard. She had blisters like she had never seen before.

But she got it done, by following the yellow arrows.

That is also the answer - surrender.

I cannot do this alone - I have struggled for nearly 56 years. It is time to get up each day and follow the yellow arrows.

Ignoring them would not have gotten any of the pilgrims to where they wanted to go.

The only way to complete the journey is to get up and follow them.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #3
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Part Three

The third aha happened just last night - December 20, 2013.

I have been in the church musical = we played three nights last week (got snowed out the last night).

I love to be in plays and love to sing. This year I was doing a solo - a four part acapella harmony of Silent Night and I had to start it.

It was terrifying - everyone told me how well I sounded.

But viewing the video last night was horrifying.

I am huge. Every time I move, the fat jiggles and follows right on behind me.

I have a huge lump of fat hanging down the right side of my stomach that hangs and jiggles in an unsighly bulge.

No matter how good my voice is, that is there.

I am trapped - I need to get out.

I am also a compulsive eater - former bulemic. I have been sneaking food since I was seven.

I spent three years in university binging and purging. In law school, I stopped purging. I went to Weight Watchers (nothing wrong with this program - the problem was my illness) binging, starving and purging.

My issues that led to surgery in 2010 caused me to throw up for two years intermittently.

Now I feel and am bigger than ever.

To make things worse my knees are shot - severe arthritis in them both making mobility difficult - I feel like I am falling apart.

I never realized the illness until a few years ago when I began to read books designed to help a relative dealing with anorexia. I realized we had the same disease - just the other end of the spectrum.

She controlled every morsel that went into her mouth and thought she was big when she looked in the mirror.

I had no control over food at all and did not see a particularly huge person in the mirror.

The video changed that.

My poor husband is so discouraged by my disability (as well as his own issues) that I feel he loses faith daily.

I need to change.

I started last night - nothing radical. I didn't listen to the small voice in my head telling me to go eat some ice cream and start tomorrow.

I did not eat it...

I have done well with food all day - planned out the calorie count and followed it.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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The plan

Is a private (except for here, mostly private) one year journey.

Charting out calorie counts.

Try to get as much exercise as I can - that is difficult due to the knees.

I found an Octane bike at the gym that works well (seated eliptical) plus weight machines and hip exercises.

I will still do some walking using my Nordic poles and knee brace.

Weather is a real factor here - lots of snow and ice lately - I have to be very careful, walking and driving on this.

Post here at least weekly.

Getting up every day - and following the yellow arrows.

Its not too late - I know it is not.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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1 day at a time, 1 step at a time. That's all we can do.
Sending supporting pixie dust your way, for I know how hard a road it is.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Go for it! Yes, it's going to be hard, and health problems suck to be dealing with while you're trying to lose weight. But just stick with it, even though any slow times. And remember:

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Old 12-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
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You got me at Follow the Yellow arrow. My DH and I walked 300 miles of the Camino last year...Leon to Santiago then to Finisterra and Muxia. I celebrated 18 years of "clean" living (recovering drug addict) while on the Way. One day at a time and often one step at a time.
Your life has been overwhelming, but you can be an overcomer. Some things we can control and others we can't. I was struggling this fall and then GOD showed me the way just a day before Thanksgiving....I believe it is because I continued to seek HIM and trusted HIM. Open the gift, it may not be the first time, but do it again...open the gift HE gave us 2000 Christmas' ago. The love, forgiveness, understanding, hope, etc. Count every little blessing...there really are many every day... a smile, a glass of water.
I hope you find what you are looking for this Christmas and in the days ahead.
God Bless.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the support guys - and you are all right.

This is a journey, it is not a long distance jump

There are no quick fixes.

I remember Oprah saying that if there was a quick fix, she would have found it - taking every dime that she had (and that is a lot of dimes!) and sent some one to go to the land to get the pill, shake, etc.

But there is nothing.

Even weight loss surgery (and please, I am not knocking this, it has literally been a life saver for some) requires a lifestyle change to be successful.

It is basically just a forced compliance that is temporary - I mean I lost weight while I was sick - of course I did. You cannot gain weight if you cannot eat, but I could feel my body weaken.

I have had at least two friends that had this surgery recently and they have gained all their weight back and still have some things that they cannot digest well.

The lifestyle change has to come as well because you eventually can go back to eat what you want - I basically feel like I need the surgery on my head.

The last couple of days have been pretty good eating wise. I have charted every day and yesterday went over calorie level because I went to Starbucks and had an Eggnog Latte.

I love those things and usually have one or two around the holiday season but I have learned they have 470 calories! Um - I think we are done with these until next year.

I generally do not like sweetened coffee - but I do like these.

The only frustration is the weather, it is just too risky to go out right now with all this ice (I live in the Maritimes).

We did not get it nearly as bad as some folks did and I am hoping to get out to run some errands and go to the gym today - but it is not looking good.

Pretty bad ice out there.

I will stay home and be safe, I am actually totally exhausted.

The gym is open all the holidays except Christmas Day and New Years Day so I should be able to get there.

In the meantime, proper nutrition and hip stretches.

I will eventually need to get both knees done, but I know that strengthening the muscles and taking weight off will really help and may even be a necessity to getting the surgery.

As for diet, I really have to walk a fine balance - I must be balanced but not too restrictive.

I cannot eliminate this or that, treat certain foods as "bad" and forbid tons of things. If I do, I will turn into the seven year old who snuck her treats when threatened with a "starvation diet" like the one my aunt was on if I did not stop eating them. Can you imagine what that word meant to a seven year old?

Or the 10 year old whose father forbid her from having three meals (no bed lunch, no breakfast and no dinner) due to the fact that I ate a 5 cent chocolate bar (about the size of the modern day fun bar).

My grand mother thought he was nuts and fed me anyway. But more sneaking...

I am 56 and I still sneak food. I need to stop - a friend of mine says the keys are eat real food including some treats (stop with all the meal replacements), not too much, get your exercise in and get enough rest.

It is the key - for the next year, that is my plan.

Linda
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:06 PM   #9
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Happy New Year

This is the time of year when everyone makes resolutions.

They are going to a) quit smoking; b) lose weight; c) exercise more; d) spend more time with their kids, etc. etc.

I have made dozens of them over the years.

The gym was relatively quiet last night but I am dreading next week - it will simply be a zoo.

I am only resolving two things:

a) Keep moving

b) Make a supreme effort to love myself and treat myself better.

As I said in a previous post - the latter will be the most difficult.

It is completely foreign to everything I have learned all my life. I was taught that everyone and everything came before me and that my needs really were not that important.

Over the holiday season I did two things that were a step in the right direction:

a) I took a badly needed break from work and I have basically stuck to it.

Except for about an hour today when I check the mail and changed the voice mail (ok I wrote one email and answered a couple of email) I have been off work since December 20 and do not intend to return to the office until January 6th.

It was close - I was offered the opportunity (actually asked) to do a trial on the afternoon of January 7 and 8 - but I would have had to have the paperwork done by noon today.

I would have had to work yesterday and today.

I turned it down - hard for me but the right decision. We (my assistant and I) needed the break more than the money from the trial.

Huge thing for me, it really was.

For years I have planned to take the full Christmas break but never did.

I have not had a vacation since February and then it was just a few days - right back at it after a brief, and pain filled due to the joints, trip to Disney World.

b) I made at least one trip to the gym so far and did not over indulge (mostly) during Christmas. Sure I had some treats - maybe a few more than I would normally have.

But it was not a five day pig out session where I binged so hard that I made myself physically ill. I have been so stuffed that I could not get off the couch. So glad that I do not do that anymore.

And I am ready to keep going.

Writing in this blog may not be something I can do everyday - but will strive to do so at least once a week.

Having said that, some challenges await.

I have been afraid of the scale and have not been on it in months. Monday I have to face the music.

I believe I am going to join one of those Diet Bets, or thinking off it anyway.

But I do need to own that number...

Although I was invited somewhere, I elected to have a quiet, restful evening and stay in.

I am hoping to have a movie day with DH tomorrow.

I want 2014 to be my year - the year that I get up everyday and follow those yellow arrows, to complete my own El Camino so to speak (and I am hoping to do part of the real thing some day)....

Happy New year folks! May 2014 be grand for anyone who reads this!




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Old 01-01-2014, 12:39 PM   #10
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Sending you a hug Linda. What a lovely journal you are sharing with us. I have always identified with so much you have said, including the food sneaking and shame associated with it. Just take it one minute at a time. Three things that might be worth looking into to help with your knees and your healthy journey. One--yoga. I fight so many problems in my back, but yoga has enable me to keep going. Two--if you have a lot of inflammation in your joints, there are foods that can make things worse. It might be worth investigating a little and seeing if cutting back on some things will help you feel better. And three, one thing I am doing to help calm my brain a little and move me forward is 8 minute meditation. It is a meditation program that takes 8 minutes a day, but I am finding I can draw on the 'skills' I am learning throughout the day.

Last, thank you Joan for sharing as well.

You can do it Linda. One minute at a time. You don't have to be perfect, just keep trying.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:30 PM   #11
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OH Linda,

Your journal has touched me in so many ways. So sorry for all of your struggles, and I am SO VERY PROUD OF YOU too! You are coming to terms with where you are right now in this journey, you are "owning" it an dealing with a lifetime of pain and issues. I know you can do this! You are a very strong woman, but you are also right, it is time for you to take care of yourself, just as much as you take care of others. It is OK to do that. Way to go on not taking that case. Reminds me of the airplane instructions... give yourself the oxygen first and then assist those around you. It is time to give yourself the oxygen. as far as the Elcamino goes... very similar to something for me too. others have achieved great things... you inspire me... follow those yellow arrows and you will achieve your own Elcamino! I believe in you, and I will cheer you on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joan4mickey View Post
You got me at Follow the Yellow arrow. My DH and I walked 300 miles of the Camino last year...Leon to Santiago then to Finisterra and Muxia. I celebrated 18 years of "clean" living (recovering drug addict) while on the Way. One day at a time and often one step at a time.
Your life has been overwhelming, but you can be an overcomer. Some things we can control and others we can't. I was struggling this fall and then GOD showed me the way just a day before Thanksgiving....I believe it is because I continued to seek HIM and trusted HIM. Open the gift, it may not be the first time, but do it again...open the gift HE gave us 2000 Christmas' ago. The love, forgiveness, understanding, hope, etc. Count every little blessing...there really are many every day... a smile, a glass of water.
I hope you find what you are looking for this Christmas and in the days ahead.
God Bless.
Thanks for sharing and congrats on your recovery! your words are very special and touched me too.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:14 PM   #12
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Good luck with your goals! If you have a history of bulimia, it might be worth it to try to see a therapist, they can maybe help you with the psychological aspect if you are struggling.

As for the difficulty exercising: Many gyms have trainers and will do an introductory session where they can set you up with a program that meets your own individual needs and abilities. You may also want to check with Susan G. Komen or American Cancer Society for support in your area. One of my best friends is a leukemia survivor and their YMCA did a free 8 week class for cancer survivor and their families to help them get started with exercising. They were able to help them navigate some of the common difficulties related to surviving cancer treatment. (Like you, my friend has serious bone degeneration and joint issues. By 23 she had both hips replaced and is needing to also have both knees done.) I know that helped her a lot and made it much less intimidating. They also got a free three month membership for her mom and her. I think some hospitals also offer those kinds of classes for free or some insurance will cover. It might be worth looking into. Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:29 PM   #13
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Back to work I go...

Well today was my last day of "break".

Actually, it would have been a day off anyway I fear -we had a very nasty blizzard - I did not set foot outside of my house and do not intend to do so until tomorrow.

DH was home also, the city pretty much came to a standstill.

Fortunately, no widespread power outages. We were fine and the worst is pretty much over. The snow is light and fluffy - no ice storms this time, and it is blowing around.

But old man winter has been packing a wallop here.

I am doing pretty well food wise, but not getting to the gym for obvious reasons.

Do hope to go tomorrow.

The real pressure will come when I return to work full time on Monday.

This break has been so wonderful - cannot remember when I have had two weeks off in a row before - well actually, yes, I can.

In 2011 when we went to Iceland and then it was kind of jam packed.

I need to do more of that for myself.

Already planning some more time off - just a few long weekends to start but something,

Appreciate all of the comments and support.

Rose and Mike, have been checking out the food/inflammation connection on the net and trying to be watchfull and do some yoga stretches already.

What meditation program do you use?

Relaxation is a challenge for me too.

Princess Vija, my friend, so glad to see you posting again.

I hear you on the knee - I am dealing with something similar on the right side.

Recent Xrays show significant deterioration in both knees, but the right is way worse.

Painful, the bone slips out of place and has to pop over when I stand after lying for a while. I worry if the day will come when it will not pop over.

But the Canadian health care system is different than in the US

The good news is that it is free - covered by medicare.

The bad news is the long waits. I will wait months to see a surgeon and we are trying to get an MRI done in the meantime - also takes months unless you go and buy it.

You will get seen way before I will, I will need to make the best of it and keep moving all I can, strengthen and stretch the legs all I can and try to get some weight off.

Am thinking of a Diet Bet to start Monday.

Most people get good results - they do lose weight and they do get money.

Again - it gets down to following the yellow arrows - I know what to do, I just have to do it.

If you don't follow the arrows, you stay still and do not move forward.

The bullemia is no longer active - when I was doing it I did not really know what it was.

I explained my frequent vomiting to my friend as having the "flems".

I am a lot more aware of the emotional side of things now and do work with an on line wellness coach.

And I am thinking of Disney again, sometime in 2015 maybe, who knows.

For today, I am grateful for this break, looking forward to the weekend and hoping the snow (and the ice) will give us a break.

Yesterday, I had my assistant come out and together we weeded out a lot of junk to start the new year with a much more occupied living space.

I need to de clutter

When Bonnie did the Camino, she carried only a 22 pound backpack and even that was too heavy.

She had no choice but to stream line and simplify to achieve her goal, follow the arrows and reach her destination.

It is what I have to do also.

Be well friends.

Going to try to cook some over the weekend.

Take care

Linda

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Old 01-03-2014, 06:48 PM   #14
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Meditation:
http://www.8minutes.org/

I have the book and it is a very easy read.

Also, do you take Vitamin D? I am noticeably calmer and at ease when I take it regularly. We have very grey winters, so I always feel sunshine deprived.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose&Mike View Post
Meditation:
http://www.8minutes.org/

I have the book and it is a very easy read.

Also, do you take Vitamin D? I am noticeably calmer and at ease when I take it regularly. We have very grey winters, so I always feel sunshine deprived.
Thanks! Will check it out. Relaxation, sleep and rest are challenges for me too.

Yes - I have taken 1000 iu of Vitamin D for several years now. It is also a "Post cancer" requirement as the hormonal pills I take (Laterozole) causes bone loss and joint pain. I need to take this plus calcium supplements in the form of Calcium Tums as recommended by the medical oncologist.

Nice calm after the storm today - sunny although continuing quite cold.

Gym should happen today.

Return to work full time on Monday - going to see "Saving Mr. Banks" with sister in law tomorrow after church.

Trying to make weekend as relaxed as I can.


Linda

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