Holding my "before" favorite shirt after losing 125 pounds on my journey to better health.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

13 year old teacher!

I have a 13 year old girl who attends one of my Weight watcher meetings with her grandma.  The beautiful thing about this is she comes with her grandma and her other grandma is there saving them a seat. The love that is demonstrated as I see this young teen flanked on each side by a loving and caring grandma is just beautiful  Her mother is unable to attend that meeting so comes to one I lead during the week so she can reinforce what the young teen is learning.  She is attending with the approval of her Doctor and is coming to learn about healthy eating habits, balance in what she eats, increasing her activity, and serving sizes. She is quiet and shy and usually does not participate vocally in the meeting. A couple of weeks ago she raised her hand and said she wanted to tell us about a book she had read. She was very animated and excited about the book. She explained that it was on the list of recommended books for her grade to read.  She described the book about a teenage girl who weighed 300 pounds and about her journey to learn to love herself.  The book is titled "Skinny." The Author is Donna Cooner. I decided that I would get the book and see just why this teen was so impressed to share with us.  I read the book in about 3 days.  It is written for the teen crowd but I really enjoyed it.  "Skinny" is what the girl in the book named that "voice" that she had in her head.  That voice we all have in our head.  The voice that talks to us and tells us we are not good enough, or pretty enough, or strong enough etc.... I was surprised at how I could relate and appreciate the lessons  in this book.  We all have that voice that whisper to us. Often that voice prevents us from doing something that we want because of the doubt it creates. We all have that voice but we all have the choice to listen to it and let it stop us or go on with a new voice that tells us positive things.  I am so glad I listened to that quiet teen as she shared a very important message. I hope the Author knows how important her message is to not just the teenage readers but to this oldster too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Slamming The Door.

I haven't been feeling  great the past few weeks.   I have let up a little on the things I need to do to feel good. I have stopped walking because I don't seem to have the energy which then backlashes me to not feel good mentally.  It just seems to be a constant battle.  Exercise(don't want to)  Eat better(Oh! Just one cookies? Right!!!) Take care of yourself(to tired.) Sound familiar?
When I feel good I forget(almost) that I have Fibromyalgia. It is always worse in our summer months. The heat and monsoon storms seem to let the Fibro loose for a while.  I experience the aches and pains that come along with it. The tiredness just makes me feel like I am wrapped in concrete. The brain FOG.  Oh, I hate that!  I go along for a few weeks not really realizing that my old enemy is trying to move back in. I have a friend who has been going through awful Fibro flares. I have heard of her struggle and hope. Then it dawns on me! Fibro is once again knocking at the door wanting to come in.  If I just open it a little more then Fibro can slip in and stay.  Now I recognize this I know what to do to slam that door for now.  I have done this before and I can do it again.  Fibro is not welcome to live in my body. So... the fight begins. To get walking and get in the pool. To start eating the way my body responds the best. I know how to do this! I know how my body responds. I want to feel better, stronger, and mentally sharper. So for now!!! Watch our Fibro!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I love my Job

I am often asked why I work for Weight watchers? I first want to say that I am not promoting WW. I am not trying to talk anyone into joining. It worked for me. Plan and simple it helped me to continue losing weight on my healthy journey.  I believe that there are many ways to lose weight that are healthy.  I was able to lose my first 50 pounds following the diabetic diet. I quit eating all white foods and  learned to love the brown breads, rice, etc. I had to learn to eat and like fresh fruits and veggies.  Yes I count my points but it is not burdensome to me.  It was a game to see if I could do it each day. A challenge!  I like challenges. I loved the support I received from others at the meetings.  When I lost to my goal weight I was asked if I would like to work for WW. I didn't hesitate and started training the next day.   I am so lucky to be with others who are seriously working on weight loss.  Working on increasing exercise and really investing in taking care of themselves.  I have to say that I love my job.  I can share in the triumph of other peoples accomplishments.  Most important I get reminded each day I work of where I was and where I am now.  I sit and listen with a full heart to men and women who say they do not like themselves. They hurt both mentally and physically as they talk about the weight gain.  Some do not know how much it hurts to have excess weight.  Hips, back, knees, shoulders, joints all seem to scream as you move. Each step is a challenge for some of the members. I think of the rashes I would get from skin rubbing on skin as I listen and can relate to a member talking about such a personal problem. Bladder leakage? Yes, I know about that.  I look at the members who come to the meeting and I can still see the marks left by their cpap straps that have been pressing into their faces.  I am reminded that I would get up very early so that the lines would be gone if I had to go out somewhere. I remember the tangle of the oxygen tube and the hum/hiss of the oxygen concentrator  hooked up in my laundry room. Having to take spare oxygen tanks with me when I left home.  I look at their slip on shoes and the elastic wasted pants. The clothing worn to be comfortable. I am reminded I was always on the look out for clothes that might fit and slip on shoes that would fit on swollen feet.  I watch as they wipe sweat off their faces from the effort to come. So many things that my thin friends will never experience.  As they are talking and pouring their hearts out to me I like to look them in the eyes and say. I know! I care! I did it! You can too!  I have watched many of them lose and improve their health. I have watched some leave that were not ready. It is hard! It is long! It is work! It is dedication! It is something that is possible! I also notice when someone stops coming. I would love to see everyone be able to reach their goals but I also understand that there is so much involved and maybe they were not ready right then. I have had others tell me they are going to stop and try something else. I am glad they are continuing taking care of themselves  I always look forward to going to work. I work with such appreciative people. I really appreciate them as they help me along the way on my healthy journey. I hope they know that they are my greatest support team.  They keep me keepin' on.  I Love My Job!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

New Picture

If you can FLY so can I.

As you know I have not been posting on my blog for a while. Each early spring I plunge into that dark world of SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I have members of my family that also experience this. It seemed to be pretty harsh this year and I just quit doing most of the things I usually love to do. No writing, no reading, and no exercise of any type.  I have always been a walker and I just dreaded even thinking about it.  I made sure that I continued with my vitamins and healthy eating. Getting sleep and just hanging on. I knew that it should lift. If it does not I know to go to my Doctor and get some help. It just happens and I hang on.  I could tell it was starting to lift as I became more interested about walking and did get out and go a few times last week.
      I always like to watch for things in nature that might motivate or encourage me. The last week I have had a little Mourning Dove hoping around my yard. As I watch closely it seemed to tilt to the one side. Finally it walked out onto the sidewalk so I could have a better view. The little bird was missing its foot! It had a leg but no foot and was walking around on that stump. I watch as that bird interacted with other birds and moved along eating as it went. Then off it flew to the top of the fence. It was always sitting on the top of my tall cinder block fence and I realized that it could not hold onto a perch or wire with its one foot. Its life was very different from the other Doves but it didn't seem to have a problem surviving at all.  As I watched that bird I realized that I needed to get out and get going. To do the things I love and let my body tamper down the depression for another year. (Or forever!!) If that little bird can survive and thrive with the loss of a foot then I should be able to do more to help myself. One time a Doctor told me that the best thing for SAD was to exercise and power through it. At that time exercise was a long lost dream. It was really hard to exercise when I was close to 300 pounds   I took the medication that he offered instead.  Now I have a healthy strong body. I can do many things that I never dreamt I would ever do again a few years ago. I had lost that fighting drive for a few months but the spark has been kindled by a little Dove.  I keep saying to myself, " if that little Dove can FLY so can I."  Finally Loving Yourself.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Skeleton Update

This is a copy of my bone scan I did the other day. The left starting line is when I had my baseline done in 2010.  The drastic drop was recorded one year ago. I wrote about the fear, sadness, and determination about it in a previous blog. This past week I returned to do a yearly follow up to see how the Ol' bones were doing. My Doctor called me about 2 hours after the scan excited to share the results. He wanted me to come in and get my other test results but when I was there all he could do was shake his head and keep telling me how amazed he was at this result.  The Rx he had put me on one year ago is very slow to show progress.  He said he had never seen anything like this. What had I done?  I told him I went home and did hours of research. Increased my Calcium and Vit D. I started doing exercises with small weights that would stress and pull the back muscles and wake those bones up to get them rebuilding. I did those exercises often and at least 3 times a week. I continued to walk.  Apparently my bones liked what I was doing. He reassured me that it was not the Rx keeping the old bone from being absorb but was new bone growth.  I gained inches and width along my vertebrae!  I'm not shrinking I'm growing. The side effects of the Rx and the achy back muscles from exercise  seem to be less of a problem when I can see this kind of improvement.  I was so ready to just stop doing what I enjoy for fear of breaking my back. I will continue to be cautious (after all I'm getting up there!) but not be as nervous about a break.  My Doctor told me go out and surf, and ski, and enjoy my new back! Watch out! I might dig out my old roller skates!

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Most of recovery from drug addiction or any addiction is from the support an addict receives. It is also a very important process that keeps the recovering addict remembering how bad it can be when living in an addiction.  Each day is a challenge but each day is a new day to live a full and happy life. I really thought this statement explained a lot in a few short words. Thank you to "Anonymous" for sharing this with us.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tender Reminders

Every week I get the chance to sit with people who have come in that day to Weightwatchers ready to change their lives. Most of them are coming in to literally save their lives.  Others to add quality and time to their lives. Each person's story is different. Each has a different journey they want to follow. They are all ages, sizes, and shapes. Men and Women joining into a group that can give them a common goal. Lose Weight.
As I sit and listen to their stories and watch them they all have that same look in their eyes. Some bury it very deep but the look is there. Sadness with a little swirl of hope. I want to use a recent encounter to show you how incredibly special these moments are to me. I sat with 3 people the other day. A man and two women. One had a journey of several years to reach a healthy weight. One had about 15 pounds to lose. One had a little over 60 pounds to lose. All sat and expressed their feelings and the tears were falling from all 3.  As we sat there together and could feel the emotions of that moment I was reminded once again of how hard a person can be on themselves. The world is good enough at dishing out the pain. I was reminded at how it hurts both mentally and physically to begin a healthy journey. How very very hard it is to walk into a room and get on a scale and be screaming silently in your head. Please don't laugh! Please don't say anything hurtful.  Don't stare at me!  PLEASE help me!
We sat. We cried. We learned. Most important we shared. We each talked about the hope we had to improve our  health. All 4 of us left lifted up and ready to face this journey together.
 They taught me so much I had forgotten and I don't want to forget. Thank you for the reminders.  I can see me in their eyes. The me I use to be. I only hope that they can see what I can see. The beautiful incredible hope, courage, and strength that just swirls slightly in the back of  their sad eyes. Grab hold of that hope and let it grow.  Just keep swimming.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Simple Start

I received a message the other day that has made my day, week, and year!  Let me explain. When I write this blog I just let things roll out of my head. I am sure some of it doesn't make much of an impact. Occasionally a comment will impact someone tremendously.  I feel that the person that it impacts was just simply ready to hear it.  The timing is just right that an idea can be read, tried, and bloom into a beautiful result. So, back to the message. I am adding the total letter and want to be sure to give credit to the writer.  I mentioned an idea but she took it and embraced it. She did the work and the rewards.  I just want to thank her for letting me know!
Happy New Year to a New You!