Spreading the Light

I’ve stated before on this blog that I am blessed. And grateful. I’m lucky to still be alive despite my lack of appreciation for my time here on earth and my inability in the past to take care of myself. So without dwelling on what’s happened in the past, I’m again stating that I’m very blessed. I have my relative health, I have a wonderfully supportive and caring family, equally supportive and caring friends, two awesome furbabies, a good job that pays well…and well…I’m just very lucky.

I was reminded earlier today how precious life is. I’ve always known it but I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes the problems I face seem so over-whelming that I will “forget” how blessed I am. Thankfully it’s only momentarily and then something happens and I’m reminded, or the storm simply calms and I remember it myself.

A long-time friend shared the news to me of the personal struggle she and her husband, also a long-time friend, are now facing. While she is recovering from surgery – 1 week into a 6 week recovery – they also found out just before her surgery that her husband has prostate cancer. How utterly and completely shocked I felt when she told me. And useless as well. Not to mention ashamed that I’m constantly whining about my struggles with my weight. It’s time like these that I feel like one of those people that say to “just do it” (as if it’s really that simple) because do I really have an excuse not to? Of course not.

But my friends’ struggles and life-altering (and life-threatening) diagnosis is yet another wake-up call to me. Certainly, there are things we cannot control. Horrible diseases like cancer can be caused by so many things that might not have anything to do with something the person actually did to cause it – unlike, say for example, a person who smokes and gets lung cancer. It’s likely from the smoking that caused the cancer (not necessarily, I’m aware, just an example)(see additional note at end of this message).

And there’s the rub. Despite the fact that my weight really is killing me, I have yet to experienced the really bad issues to which being morbidly obese can lead:  coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, cancer…and death.

So one has to ask:  What the fuck are you waiting for????

And my answer really is simple:  I have no idea.

None. I don’t know why this is so hard when I know what I need to do. I don’t know why I don’t “just do it”. I don’t know why it seems sometimes like I’m not really trying. Or that I don’t care. Because I do. I really do. I don’t want to die from being morbidly obese. I don’t want to have heart disease, a heart attack or stroke or get cancer (in any way).  Especially not obesity related where I could have done something about it.

Yes, I have pain in my feet nearly all the time. Yes, I get winded just walking out to my car. Yes, there are days when even using the bathroom can be an issue for me. But I’m still alive. I’m still able to move. There may be alternatives I can do that don’t require me to be on my feet all the time. There’s always a way, isn’t there? But I forget that. Because I get upset and frustrated about my feet and how much they hurt me. That it is embarrassing and frustrating when I can’t walk up a short incline on campus (that I did today) without gasping for air.

So you can imagine my thoughts on those things when another friend told me the other day of a bone infection she caught in her left foot which meant they had to amputate her 5 toes (about 1/4 of her foot)!  Worse still if that if she doesn’t heel, they might have to amputate more!

I am absolutely devastated that my friends and family – people I love – are suffering. And I really can’t do anything about it to help them. If I could do something, anything, I would. Because no matter how much right now I may not love myself, I love these people in my life and it breaks my heart that they’ve having to go through it.

I know “that’s life” and all that. “Life isn’t fair”, and all that. I know it. I call bullshit on it, but alas, we all know that there really are things we just can’t control and we have to leave it in God’s hand (or in whomever or in whatever you might believe).  So to once again be reminded of just how fortunate I am and that NOW…right fucking NOW…is the time I need to do something about my weight – before it’s too late.

So I’m now here stating my renewal in my endeavors to make these changes to my life and fight even harder to succeed. To not give up and to overcome all of my (somewhat minute in the grand scheme of things) struggles to win. Because I don’t want to die. Because I have to at least try. And try harder.

And most importantly, because right now I have a chance that others don’t always get. And I can’t squander that chance. I can’t take my (somewhat) good health that I have right now and not do something about it while I still can. I want to do this for myself first and foremost.  But also for all of those people whom I love who are fighting all kinds of battles to show that I’m not going to waste my chances – those chances that maybe they weren’t afforded.

Because I won’t be that selfish.

I will be spending more time praying for and sending good vibes to not only my friends I mentioned above, but to any and all of you who need them right now – whether you’re fighting an illness, personal demons, suffering from a recent loss, or even if you’re just feeling sad, lonely and/or vulnerable. I can at least do that for YOU.

So if you believe in the power of prayer, good healing vibes or mojo, I ask that you don’t send those things to me right now – but please do say them for all of those in my readership, whether you know them or not, that they are all able to find their bliss. Find their lives on a more healing and healthy path. Thank you.



Sending extra love and blessings today to those who need it.


PS:  note to my friends who do smoke – I won’t lecture you given I certainly have my own major issues with health that were all about my own choices, but just like you would wish me to get healthy (and lose weight), I too wish that same for you. Because I love you and want you with me for as long as I’m around, so when I lose all this weight we can run around together and neither be gasping for air! 


A 5 pound bag of potatoes

Someday (maybe) I will actually finish things I start. Oh who am I kidding – I am not even sure what that means. I have little ceramic Christmas ornaments that we bought and painted for a baby shower when my cousin Anne was pregnant with my now-Goddaughter Kayla. We had several left over and I said, “I’ll paint the rest and keep them for myself.”

Kayla is now 26 years old.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t want to finish things. It’s not that I don’t like whatever it is I’m working on so that’s why I don’t finish. Most of the time I’m really into it when I’m doing it. But it fades. Sometimes remarkably fast. I can’t explain it. I’ve tried. It’s been suggested to me that this hamster-filled head of mine becomes bored with things easily, even if it’s something that I really like to do. It makes sense really. There are some nights when I find myself so restless with not being able to find something to “keep me busy”, that I feel like I’m losing my mind. It probably doesn’t help that I’m alone – with two cats.

Usually at some point I get back around to something I was working on and finish it. Sometimes. Unless we’re talking about ceramic Christmas ornaments. I’ve been spending a lot of time around my house “downsizing”. Last weekend I found a box of wax. Yes, you read that correctly. A box of wax. How many of you can say that? I also found a box of uncleaned stamps – that is, over the years cutting around unique stamps on letters received at the office for my collection and putting them in a box to later be cleaned off of the envelopes.

I also have what I like to call “the closet from Hell” which has all the containers I moved from my last place and haven’t even opened or touched since I moved into this current house – 6 years ago. What’s in it? Your guess is as good as mine.

If I had to guess though, I would say that it likely contains the following:

  • those pesky unfinished ceramic Christmas ornaments
  • candle making supplies (to go with my box of wax)
  • cross-stitch kits
  • soap making supplies
  • a wood-burning kit
  • craft paints and pieces of wood
  • yarn (I don’t know how to knit or crochet)
  • molding clay
  • beads

Well you get the point. I have no doubt that once I get to “downsizing” the closet from Hell that I will find things I wasn’t even aware I still had. It will be like Christmas all over again!

Bear with me, please…I am actually heading somewhere with this. So my point is that while I love to “do crafts”, I’m not particularly good at them but they were fun to do and kept me busy (and therefore, my hands out of the chip bags). They also kept my mind busy. While I was doing them, I wasn’t worrying about the crap in my life that was causing me stress. I wasn’t thinking about all the projects at work I was falling behind because of the limited help I had. I wasn’t thinking about how my ex-husband had “done me wrong” (and subsequently my real willingness to somehow precipitate his life to implode, but I refrained). And I wasn’t thinking about how absolutely alone I felt most of the time.

And yet, invariably as with everything else, I grew tired of these things. They couldn’t keep my interest. I’m not sure how someone can enjoy doing something and become “bored” with it – but that’s basically what happened. Even now, having not touched any of those projects, I still have things that I’ve started and haven’t finished or I’ve put aside for another day and haven’t gotten back to them, like my family tree project or worse, the writing of my novels.  I’m not even sure what ever possessed me to buy a paint-by-number two weeks ago while in Michaels.


But I have to be honest here. It actually upsets me that I can’t keep the interest up in anything. Including my writing. I had the intention of finishing my current book Kiwi Kiss before the end of the year. I have ten chapters done. I’ve had ten chapters done now for 4 damn years. I love the story. I love the characters. When I’m reading it over in order to get motivated to pick up where I left off, I remember how much I love the story and the characters. I will even think about it during the day at work and think to myself: when I get home I want to write for an hour or two. But then I get home and I don’t touch it. I might even decide to watch a movie and 10 minutes in find I’m not that interested in it – even if it’s one of my favorite movies. Or I’ll listen to music for a while, or play a game on the computer, and then get restless and move onto something else. Some nights, I don’t find anything to keep my mind and hands busy, and that’s when I get that sense of going out of my mind.

So just with all of the above, I struggle to keep up with all of the things I have to do to lose weight. Keep a food diary – what you eat and how much – is always recommended by whomever I speak with about my struggles. And I might do it for a day or two, but then I stop. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, as a kid when the rage was to have a little diary with a little lock and key, I would write in it – keep in mind I LOVE to write – but after a few days, I’d become bored and stop. Sure, I’d go back to it in a few weeks or months, but in the end, I’d just stop.

Other times I am in the grocery store and I have my healthy food list. I buy everything on my list with the intention of making some good-for-me meals. I might even have gone so far as to pick out recipes of some meals I want to make and have bought the things I need to make them. And I don’t. I might make one that day – while the enthusiasm is higher, but usually I end up throwing out a lot of expensive food.

And this bothers me. Greatly.

Some might say it’s laziness. Dr. S has said it’s not that. That I’m not lazy.

I sometimes would refer to myself as lazy for why I can’t just get up and exercise, but the truth is that I have ZERO energy most days. Even with sitting on my ass all day at work, by the time I get home, I’m so mentally exhausted from the stress and over-loading at work that I’m physically exhausted. I know that some people won’t believe that and might say that I am indeed lazy. And maybe in some ways, sometimes, I just might be, but I don’t have the answers to how I can find that energy. How can I find it so that I can get up and exercise?

Do you know that on a weekend when I decide I am going to do some housework that I actually have to plan out what to do and when? That I have to account for my feet giving out on me quickly and the pain being too much to remain on them for very long (both because of my weight but also the numbness in my feet) so I have to make sure I had plenty that I can do while sitting? That I know that many times I will have to sit anyway, not because of my feet but because of my lower back and the pain I feel there?

Now I’ve said this from the beginning of starting this blog – nothing I say here is in any way an attempt to gain your sympathies or your pity. I’m well aware that I’m in this situation because of my own actions – not anyone else’s – so I don’t write this to cry and whine about my awful situation. Sometimes I’m sure it sounds like it, but I do so more so that you all have a bit more of an understanding of what I’m going through, and I hope – I pray – none of you or anyone you love ends up like this. That you’ll catch yourself before you get this far. Because it’s a horrible way to live your life. And because it’s a horrible way to end your life.

So back to my previous comments…

It’s a physical struggle for me every day to just move. To then have to do things such as take out the garbage, clean the house, walk up some stairs, or even just do the dishes – there is a constant struggle to push myself in order that I not just give up. To not sit down and think “why bother?”

This is what I recently told my cousin Linda, who is also struggling with getting motivated:

I will tell you that one thing that has worked for me that I just need to get consistent with is to try to do a little at a time. So for example, I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking dinner or doing the dishes. I talk to myself for several minutes. I remind myself why I need to get up and do it. I tell myself that it’ll be good if I just do one thing. So I talk to myself until I feel like it’s a good idea to get up and I go and do it. Then I talk to myself again and congratulate myself on doing that one thing. Then i say, why don’t you try x next…maybe take a short break, read a chapter or something (non-food related) and then go and do x. Sometimes I have to spend a few minutes to talk myself into it again but sometimes I love that I feel proud of myself so I just get up and do it. So I start small and just build up, making sure that I remind myself how good I’m going, how good I’ll feel because I did something and honestly it really works.

And this really does work for me. Not all the time but most times. It’s why I’ve been able to clean more around my house and “downsize” recently. The reason I’ve found boxes of stamps and wax. The reason I’ve felt less “lazy” and more like I am actually accomplishing something rather than just sitting around and feeling useless.

Many of you won’t understand this struggle but for those of us who are living it, it’s small things like that that make us want to keep going. It’s our reason to not give up. Baby steps.

So after all of this gibber-jabber, the one thing I wanted to talk about was more of a “picture this” game I want to play with you right now.

Whatever your weight is right now, I’ll assume that most of you are of average weight. Even those of you who are a bit over-weight will “see” where I’m going with this. So here goes:

Imagine a 5 pound bag of potatoes (or whatever you’re used to that would be a 5 pound bag of something that you can easily picture). Pick up that 5 pound bag and put it on your back. Now if you are of a bigger frame, you might not notice the extra 5 pounds of weight. Those of you who are smaller surely would.

Now add another 5 pound bag. Ten pounds of extra weight on your frame. Are you noticing it now? Are you feeling the difference that 10 pounds makes? Do your joints hurt more? Your knees? Maybe your lower back?

Now add another 5 pound bag. That’s 15 extra pounds. How do you think you feel now? Studies show that even a gain in 5-15 pounds can increase your blood pressure.

Now imagine if you had 50 extra pounds – 10 extra bags of potatoes. What about 100 – 20 more bags? 150?

If you’ve ever gained any weight, even a small amount, you can tell can’t you? Not just because your clothes are suddenly tighter but because you feel it when you walk, or when you climb the stairs. You might even have gained enough to get winded walking up a slight incline. Or maybe you feel sluggish with absolutely zero energy to do anything, even to walk. Your knees ache, your feet hurt to the point of tears and your back screams in pain.

Now imagine how it would feel if you had over 200 extra pounds on your body. That’s FORTY bags of 5# potatoes. Forty.

Do you think that if someone put you in a bodysuit that weighed more than 200 pounds that you could even stand up in it, let alone walk? Do you think you could drive a car, walk through a mall, climb a set of stairs?

Can you imagine?  Most can’t. It’s hard to imagine anyone being even able to move with that much weight on them. But I do it. Every day. And it’s painful. It’s a struggle to fight both the pain and the amount of energy it takes to do the simplest of things. But I do them.

Every day.

And for all that, for my size/weight, I’m actually fairly mobile. And I struggle all the time so I can’t even imagine getting so bad that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. And one of the thoughts that keeps me from ever allowing myself to get that much worse is that I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. And if you are so big that you can’t get out of bed – that’s exactly what happens and suddenly you need help to even go to the bathroom. And I don’t want to be like that. I want to cry just thinking about it.

So I desperately need to get rid of those forty 5# bags of potatoes.

I’m not sure at what point I will really feel the difference. How much weight loss will it take to feel more energetic where just taking out the garbage isn’t a work-out, leaving me out of breath and gasping for air? How much weight loss will it take where my knees don’t feel like they are going to give out when I’m walking across the parking lot?

Again, I didn’t do this exercise to get sympathy – but I did want to share an idea of what it’s like for someone like me to carry around this amount of weight – both on my body and my mind – and how it definitely does contribute to not only my over-all health risks but also to my physical capabilities – or in-capabilities in most cases. I wanted to give you a glimpse to why I struggle every day and how – and why I really, desperately need to do this. And why I really really need your help to do so.

And why it’s not necessarily that I’m “lazy” but I just can’t always push my body to move because there’s just too much of it.

See what happens when I don’t write often enough? You get a very long-winded post. 🙂  So sorry!  But I do hope you enjoyed it and have been given some further insight into my situation and those others who struggle every day with trying to put their life back on the right track.

Your continued support means the world to me. I can’t thank you enough.

Love and blessings to all.

Dani xo

The Struggle is REAL

I’ve been remiss at posting this past week. I can’t really say for sure why. Six days have passed and while I’ve thought about this blog, I haven’t have the inclination to write anything. I thought about what to write. I thought about what not to write. I even thought about writing about not knowing what to write about next.

Bottom line is that I didn’t write. For this I apologize.

So here I am and I’m doing everything I can to come to terms with the fact that the struggle is real. I wrote exactly one week ago about that dreaded moment when I would finally gain weight because I stepped on that damn heart-breaking, soul-crushing scale and had gained a pound and a half. At that time, I tried hard to not let that gain get to me. To see it as a minor set back. To remember how good I’ve done so far. To rationalize all the reasons from which the gain may have resulted, and what I can do better this week. But more importantly, to not see myself as a failure.

I’m not sure why but I hadn’t prepared myself for the possibility that I might actually have another gain the following week. Was I so convinced that it was a fluke? That it wasn’t significant enough to even sweat about? I’d been on such a high from my success that I almost had a false sense of…let’s say…security, that fighting to see it as such an insignificant event in the grand scheme of things, that I really wasn’t prepared for another gain. And I have no idea why. This isn’t my first merry-go-round with weight loss. I’m not so blinded by the small success that I’ve had that I would think I wouldn’t ever have another gain.

So I’m not sure why I was so surprised – and utterly disappointed in myself – that I not only had another gain this week, but this time it was 2.5 pounds I gained.

So even though I’ve only gained weight in the past two weeks, it sets me back to what I weighed on September 14 (I started this blog on the 5th), which means technically that in 35 days, I haven’t lost anything but 35 days.

The struggle is real.

I was so proud of myself for not letting the 1.5 pound gain really get to me too. I thought I was possibly “over the hump” of berating myself for my “failures”. Turns out I was wrong.

Now I haven’t been sitting here berating myself. I haven’t called myself any names. Yet. So I guess it’s a small victory in that aspect as months ago I would have spent a couple of days doing just that to myself. But it hasn’t prevented me from feeling the disappointment in myself for not trying harder, knowing some of the things I did wrong, and just working that much harder to overcome them.

I’m disappointed that instead of “Keep trying” I don’t just “do it”. I can keep trying for the rest of my life and realize that it doesn’t mean I’ll have anything to show for it. Yet I don’t know how to just “do it”. It sounds simple enough. I’ve put it in my other blogs. Eat Less. Exercise More.

Simple right?  Yet I just can’t seem to do it.

Last Thursday and Friday I was able to reach and exceed my daily steps limit on my fitbit (a lowly pathetic 3600 steps which is about 1.5 miles and all my poor feet can usually bear), despite that I have had one of the sores I get from calcium build-up on them sometimes that feel like I have little rocks in my shoes – but they’re under the skin. My feet have enough pain in them, especially my toes, that having other issues with them don’t help. So I was happy that despite how much they’ve hurt the past two weeks that I was still able to have 2 days where I exceeded that limit.

That aside, I’m just not sure how to continue fighting those disappointing moments. I think I have them conquered and then BAM!  Nope, I guess I didn’t really. So I really need to figure out the mental side of this dilemma – knowing I’m going to have not-so-good weeks. Admittedly, I know 2.5 pounds isn’t horrific either. But while I’m not very good at math, when I see that two gains in a row equals 35 days gone by and I feel I’m starting over – AGAIN – it’s both disheartening and frustrating.

But I won’t sit here and berate myself about it. I’m just going to have to learn to move past those times. Though honestly I have no idea how. Saying something and doing it are two totally different things and that applies across the entire board on this journey – from knowing what I’m doing wrong and needing to fix it – to how to actually fix those things I’m doing wrong.


Maybe I’m a Raving Loon after all.

Blessings to all with love and peace.

Dani xo

Raving Loon or Enigmatic Genius?

I realized this morning as I was dressing for work and thinking about this blog, in particular, the many “confessions” I’ve made about my personality thus far, that maybe I’m coming across as some sort of raving loon. After all, I ramble on here and there – those hamsters are wheeling around at Mach 1 – and I talk about how in the very recent past I had a hair-trigger temper or get upset about things and hold onto them. How I struggle to not be self-deprecating or fight to accept the past and move on. How I’m unable to forgive myself sometimes for the slightest mistake. How I perceive things that aren’t really there. How I often say or do something with only the best intentions and then dwell on how it was received. How I don’t always handle stressful situations well. How I sometimes get on that Emotional Yo-Yo and can’t get off. But then I realized something else.

I’m “normal”.

Okay…somewhat so.

What I mean is that all of those issues I have faced and are still facing, are issues that most people struggle with every day also. However, they’re not the defining characteristics of who I am as a person per se. They’re are part of me, sure, but they don’t tell you who Dani really is.

They don’t tell you that I get stressed and worry because I fear failure. They don’t tell you that I constantly fight to think of myself as worthy because I feel like I haven’t really done anything in this life to warrant that worthiness. I haven’t cured cancer. I can’t play an operatic ballad that soothes people’s souls. I can’t perform on a stage or in a movie and transport people out of reality for just a little while. I can’t do a lot of things. But then I realized something else.

Neither can a lot of “normal” people. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay.

I think it’s human nature to sometimes feel unworthy. To not feel that you’re contributing to the betterment of the world – even if it’s a total falsehood. Because I’m coming to realize that even the little things that you do contribute in some way to something better. Maybe the simple smile I gave the man on the elevator this morning made him feel better. Maybe holding open the door, paying for someone’s coffee or even offering a hug to someone who needs it is making someone’s world better.

Maybe just my being alive makes someone happy. 


And while I can’t or won’t do any of those things mentioned above, there are things that I can do. I can love my family and friends will all of my heart. I can give them as much support and kindness that my heart can give. I can support them both in their struggles but also cheer along with them in their happiest moments. I can be an advocate those things closest to my heart: animals, childhood diseases and poverty, and many other things. I can entertain and hopefully help others – including myself – with this blog and my writings.

And that I can be the kind of person who someone thinks has a kind and generous heart.


These are the things that I can do. And I hope someday that I can also love myself as much as I love others. And not only know I’m worthy but believe I am.

So, while contrary to my actions sometimes, no, I don’t think I’m a raving loon. I can be a tad frustrating, and maybe a little defiant and stubborn (NO!), and I know it. But remember, I’m the one with all the hamsters in my head. There really is no telling what will come out of my mouth or head at any given time but I’d like to think that makes me fun and interesting. And maybe a bit scary too.


So, Raving Loon or Enigmatic Genius?  You decide…

Thank you all again for your on-going support (and in many ways, your patience). Because of you I’m able to get over the hurdles and keep fighting. That means everything to me.

Sending blessings and much love to everyone.

Dani xo

The Day I’ve Been Dreading Has Arrived


I needed to start today’s blog with the above pic. The reason is my struggle to not feel like I’ve failed. That it happens  to everyone once in a while and it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Or that I’ve failed in my journey. That this is just a small set-back and to remember that maybe, just maybe, it isn’t even something that I did.

I gained 1.5 pounds this past week. 

I’ve spent all day at work today mulling it over. Well that is, in between trying to get unburied at work. I’m slammed with too much to do and never enough hours. It’s stressful, which I also know doesn’t help with weight loss but I’ve been dealing with it for so long that it’s sort of second nature. So I’ve had all day to let the “bad” vibes go. To push them away. To not let them take me over. Again.

Before it might have put me into a tailspin, which would include much self-deprecating nasty name calling. Useless. Failure. Screw Up. That it hasn’t is a testament to the hard work I have put into my frame of mind. That I’ve overcome a lot of the negativeness associated with set backs with weight loss. And I recognize that there very well may be more in my future.

But I think I’m better prepared to deal with it this time around.

I’m sure there are some things that I can do better this week. I’m sure that I can try even a bit harder. I haven’t done great this week in some areas, including the old nemesis of mine: Pepsi.  But also exercise.

My feet have been having pain a lot the past week even with the lack of any extra walking (than what I normally would in a day when I’m not sitting around all day at work). My plantar fasciitis was seeming to be flaring up since I stupidly didn’t change my worn sneakers and orthodics fast enough. Then I finally got them and my feet hurt enough that I couldn’t even get them on. So they’ve been a bit of a hindrance this week. But it’s more so the Pepsi where I’m still struggling.

I know it’s bad for me. I know it. I love the taste of it, but not how it makes me feel later. I realize that I’m going to have to go “cold turnkey” on it and can’t wait to see how that makes me feel – at first. Coming down from an addiction high. Sure, I won’t feel like I’m coming off of major drugs like cocaine, but some of the experiences will be the same. But I have to do it. I just hope God gives me the strength because I think that’s what’s stopping me from really dropping the weight. But also how it’s making me feel: tired, sluggish, bloated etc.

And it’s also not good for my diabetes either.  It’s a killer.

So the benefits of giving up Soda Pop are:

  • decreases risk of Chronic Heart Disease (CHD)
  • decreased blood pressure
  • regular consumption of sugary soda affects memory
  • destroys your teeth
  • improves bone health and decreases chances of osteoporosis
  • improved kidney function
  • control your glucose levels aid in dealing with Type II diabetes

So starting at the posting of this post, I’m going to really try to give it up. Wish me luck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Apologies~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ the above was prematurely posted before I was finished my thoughts. I was interrupted by the Mets game. And that’s what happens when the “Save Draft” and “Update” button are right next to each other. So I’m going to continue this posting now. Sorry!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So besides needing to continue my fight to stop drinking soda pop, especially Pepsi, while I feel I’ve done well not dwelling on the weight gain this week, I am still probably thinking about it too much. I’m a work in progress. Too many years of negativity especially about myself is hard to shake in the few weeks I’ve been doing this.

That being said, I am seeing a difference in my attitude and demeanor, but also just the fact that after this much time I am still doing this – I’m still doing this blog, I’m still working at making lifestyle changes and I’m still working on liking myself more.

So here’s to moving on and moving up.

Here’s a kiss from me to you. I’m eternally grateful for all your support.


Sending blessings and much love.

Dani xo

The “A-Ha” Moment

For some people, the moment that they decide to stop the insanity that is their weight gain issues and do something about it – REALLY do something about it – is obvious. For others, like me, it might have been a culmination of moments within a very short time frame that suddenly slaps you upside the head and screams “A-HA!” That moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. Or all of those.



Oh shit!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve had plenty of opportunities before now to do something about my weight. There have been plenty of semi- A-Ha moments or those times when just my embarrassment with things that have happened that should have been a big enough kick in the ass to say, “I think now is the time.”  But it never lasted. It never stuck and next thing I now, more weight is packed on and more of those “reminder moments” occur, and still I’d go on…till it’s so out of control that here I am now – struggling even more.

And while I know that it could even get further out of hand, I’ve finally found my line in the sand. My “A-Ha!” moment.


For me, those moments looked like this (in no particular order):

  1. Gaining nearly 20 pounds in a 3-month time period from April to June 2015 for seemingly no reason. I’d changed nothing in my eating habits to have suddenly gained that much weight in such a short time.
  2. In that same 3-month time period my A1C level shot from 6.6 to 7.4.
  3. My clothes were suffocating me. For those that know me, I always wear clothes that are way too big for me. It may make me appear unkempt and disheveled but imagine seeing someone my size wearing clothes are that simply not loose enough. But more so that I feel so restricted in tighter fitting clothes that it makes my skin crawl to feel them on me like that. If you ask Dr. S she’ll tell you how often I’ve sat on her couch and yanked at my clothes that while looser fitting, weren’t loose enough for me. So now imagine that my normally too-loose fitting clothes were now feeling tighter.
  4. I was less flexible. Despite my size, I’m actually a pretty flexible girl. But it’s noticeable even with that extra 20 pounds when it comes time to put on my shoes or bend down to pick something up. I’m not Gumby, however, as I tell my doctor when she wants to do the annual physical that involves invasion of a woman’s private area with an instrument that resembles a duck. Quack!
  5. I was more easily winded. Now this currently isn’t saying a lot because I get winded quite easily. The walkway from my door up to the street, then up the street to the driveway where my car is doesn’t look very strenuous to most and it probably isn’t. But to someone my size – it’s a bit of a workout. So I get to my car and I’m breathing pretty deeply. Worse is when I’m dragging a twenty to thirty pound garbage can behind me to put to the curb at the end of said driveway. So I was noticing more of those heavy breathing moments – and not in a good way.
  6. The idea of meeting someone for the first time that has come to mean a lot to me and having him “see the real me” really bothered me. I didn’t fear that he would be unkind or anything like that but more so from inside my own hamster head that I would be embarrassed to have him see me and know that I’d let myself go. That I didn’t care enough to do anything and didn’t take care of myself.
  7. And lastly when I broke a part in my new car – for the SECOND time in 6 months. ……………

So all of things contributed to my “A-Ha!” moment. Regardless of which is more important or how they all came about, that was enough for me to finally say “enough is enough”.

Now honestly, after all that it might have just came down to my mind deciding it was the right time and the above reasons really had nothing to do with convincing me it’s time. After all, I’ve had plenty of things happen before now that should have told me it’s time too and it never worked. I’ve asked others who have been successful how they knew it was the time that they could do it. Really do it. And no one had a definitive answer for me. They just said they just knew.

So I wish I could offer some great inspirational words of wisdom to anyone else going through this and needs help to get started on their own journey but I don’t really have any fool-proof method. Only you can tell when you’re really read to make the change. To make the commitment to save your life if you’re as far into this unhealthy lifestyle and weight as I am.

Make small changes. Baby steps. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change too much too soon. I’m still on the baby steps myself so it’s all very new to me – I’m just mentally more ready this time around and I think that’s actually the key to all of it. But I can promise you this…if you need my help, ask me. I will do anything I can to help you with your journey, even while I struggle through my own – because it will give me strength to keep going but also because I want YOU to succeed as well. And it’s always easier to get through things if you do it with others.

This is why I’ve been able to last even this little bit of time so far with the same “Yay me” attitude because of all of the love and support I’ve received. It really does make all the difference in the world.

So maybe start with one of the following, then gradually adding or reducing more and more until it’s routine for you:

  • Cut out all soda pop even diet. There have been a lot of studies lately that show that the faux sugar in diet soda pop can be just as harmful as those with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I am trying to lean towards eating more naturally and less additive-induced foods, which is hard given my pallet, but I’m now more conscious of what to look for in food labels.
  • If you’re like me and you have feet issues and aren’t able to walk very far, try a stationary bike, or even increase your steps by only 50 or 100 more a day. Get a pedometer to show you any progress you make – seeing adds to the mindset of success. I have a FitBit. I currently have it set to 3600 steps a day and while I don’t do it every day, I do it usually at least once a week and then next week I try a little harder to do it twice, and so on.
  • Drink lots of water. This is something you hear all the time and there are now publications out that drinking a lot isn’t good for you. I, for one, don’t believe that given most of our body is made up of water and it’s easy enough to lose it and should be replenished. It also flushes out the toxins in your body, makes you feel fuller so you eat less and generally is better for you than anything with sugar or a faux sugar (soda pop but also be careful of something with natural sugars such as fruit juices). Not a water drinker, put a little lemon in it – this is even better for flushing out the toxins. I don’t drink coffee and tea (which is just as well at least for the coffee part – black tea or green tea is good for you) but usually in the morning I’ll fill my travel mug with hot water and lemon juice.
  • If it helps you, keep a food diary. This helps you see how much food you are eating and help you figure out where to cut down. There are a few good free food diary tracking sites but I recommend Spartkpeople.com or if you have a fitbit, through that program.
  • Try to get off the couch once in a while, even if it means you do so at every commercial and walk around the living room a few times. If you can’t or don’t wish to join a gym, there is plenty you can do besides walking (or if you have a stationary bike). I have those big elastic stretch bands. They can be used even when sitting to stretch your arms and legs and build some muscle. Swimming is the easiest on the body’s joints so if you have that option, I recommend it as well.
  • Invest in a crockpot. One of the things I dislike the most is cooking for just myself, especially after a long day at work. By preparing a meal in advance and leaving it to cool while you’re at work, it’s so nice to have it ready when you get home. I have searched for many recipes and have tried several, so I think this is a great way to start. Some recipe ideas can be found at Yummly.com or BettyCrocker.com. Be sure to read the nutritional value of each recipe and the portion size to ensure you’re not eating more calories, fat and carbs than you expect to.
  • Lastly (for now), try to ensure that you eat three meals a day. Don’t skip and if you can, cut back on the bad-for-you stuff and eat more good-for-you stuff. Even if that means for the first little while you try to eat at least one veggie a day, then gradually increase it.

Again, while this is still new to me and I’m still new on the journey myself, I will continue to share my thoughts and ideas on things that can help those of you who need it.

Wishing you blessings, peace and love. Thank you!



Does size matter?

No, this is not going to be a post that discusses men and their…er…size. It’s going to be about what things I hope to be able to do as the weight drops off but also at what point to I stop with the weight loss and practice keeping it off.

As I said in a previous post, this isn’t a “diet” that I’m going to go on and then stop. This is something I will have to work on for the rest of my life. I almost used the word struggle, and having never gone through it to the point of maintaining the weight loss, I can’t say for certain that maintaining is also a struggle – but I suspect it is. I’ve heard of people who have lost a lot of weight, got complacent and put it all back on, and then some. I know of a woman who successfully lost over 175 pounds all by herself (re: no surgery) and has kept it off after all these years. But she admits that it’s a struggle and she often finds herself dealing with a smaller weight gain to which she must fight to lose it again and it terrifies her to think of slipping up so much that she goes back to the way she was. This is understandable.

So what’s the “norm” for how much weight someone should lose? What size should they be? I’m not going to get into Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) at this time because I think it requires the proper equipment to better measure that simply entering someone’s weight and height. According to the below chart, someone of my frame size (large – well, duh!) and height (5’4″) should weight between 134-151 pounds.


My “goal” all along – since everyone seemed so fixated on my choosing a number – is 150 pounds. But I’ve always said that I’m less concerned about the number on the scale than how I feel. Am I healthy at a weight above that? Of course, the powers-to-be would say “no” because they stick to this sort of chart, and I can’t say for sure until I get down there, whether or not I’ll keep going to get to that 150.

What I’ll want to know then is AM I HEALTHY? Am I off all of the medications that were a direct result of my weight? Can I climb stairs without feeling like I’m stroking out? Can I walk more than a mile or two without feeling like I ran a marathon? Can I run a marathon? (not that I want to) Can I play a sport other than bowling that requires me to run around and I not tire immediately. Can I breath at night when I sleep that I no longer require a machine?

Those, to me, are the things by which I will judge whether I’m healthy or not – more so than a scale. So while I’ll certainly try to lose as much weight as I can to be in the range I should be, what I won’t do – what I’ve promised myself I won’t do – is consider myself a failure if I lose a lot of weight and get suck on 160 pounds or 175 pounds. I won’t get all that way and then see that I’ve failed because I can’t do that last 10 or 20 pounds. But again, I will certainly try but I’m going to allow myself a pardon.

Then there’s my clothing size. While I’m realistic about what weight I hope to eventually be down to – 150 – I will never likely ever be under 130 pounds. And that’s okay. It’s not in my bone structure. It’s not in my genetic make-up. It’s just not something that will ever likely happen. And that’s okay. I’ve never once had unrealistic dreams of what size I could get down to. Besides not necessarily being healthy for me to get “too thin”, I just don’t believe it’s possible.

So I will never be a size 0. Or a 4, 6 or 8. Hell, I may never be a size 10 or 12 either. I can’t really say for sure because I don’t know what size someone who is 150 pounds and my height might fit into. And with the many different shapes of women’s bodies, I’m not sure I can compare myself to someone else of that height and weight. So it’ll be a surprise for all of us!

I’m not going to go into lengths about what “today’s society” deems to be attractive when talking about body size. It’s “to each their own” I think – whatever you like – but we’re constantly bombarded with ridiculous photos (often photo-shopped!) to what the seemingly “perfect” body is. I don’t think it exists. And sure, there are women out there that have bodies that make even me salivate – wondering what it’d be like to have a body like theirs – but society is so fixated on it, it’s quite sad. And frankly, not amount of a near-perfect body is going to matter when you’re old, but certainly not if you’re an ugly person inside.

And I know I’m not ugly inside.

In all honestly, while I certainly want to be thinner and more healthy, my comments above about what the scale might say and that it doesn’t really matter are the God’s-honest truth. I don’t find women who are a size 0 to necessarily be attractive or even healthy. There are just so many variables. But even if I could get down to, say 120 pounds, I’m not convinced I’d ever want to. I’m a firm believer that some women should have more meat on their bones. Think Marilyn Monroe or Gina Lollobrigida. Those women by today’s standard would be considered over-weight. Utter nonsense I say! I’d give my right tooth to have bodies like them. Case in point:

Barris_Marilyn_MonroeOne of the last pics taken of Marilyn. Simply stunning she was.

gina-lollobrigida-measurements-02-e1421292852539 Gina Lollobrigida. Another stunner.

But I have my body. It’s the only one I have so while I’m working on getting it in better shape, I don’t think I’ll ever be that shapely. I don’t have the boobs. Somehow when they were passing out body parts, I got into the “hips” line twice and missed the “boobs” line. I have never seen any women my size who didn’t have big “D” boobs (at least). But you know, that’s so like me. Always the rebel!

So what my body ends up being shape-wise is anyone’s guess. I’ll have to deal with excess skin which can pose its own health hazards if not removed. Namely rashes which can often be painful and blister. Sometimes that extra skin can mean another 10-15 pounds of weight that do nothing but hang down and causes health issues. Interestingly enough (and stupidly I might add), the removal of excess skin is considered “cosmetic” and is not covered under health insurances – even though it’s problematic. Only some of that skin is tightened by exercise but most has already been stretched out past it’s elasticity limits. So it just hangs off the body. If the health industry was smart they would arrange to cover the costs of the skin reduction surgery in exchange for that skin to be used for burn units. Imagine how much more skin would be available for such a use than to have to take skin off of healthy sections of a burn victim’s body causing even more pain and healing time. Why haven’t they done this yet???

So I have no idea what my body will look like when it’s done. Its size or shape. I have scars, stretch marks and all sorts of other problems but those are all superficial if it means I’m comfortable in my own skin (pardon the pun) and am healthy. Most of all healthy.

Now I’m not a dress wearer. Mostly because I never feel comfortable in them. But one of the first things I want to do when I get way down is to buy a pretty (maybe a bit sexy) dress and go out to a nice restaurant and show myself off. Proud as a peacock. Not sure about heels given how my neuropathy in my feet means I am barely steady on them with sneakers, but maybe flats would be okay. Somehow I don’t think I’d feel very pretty or sexy wearing my Reeboks with a beautiful little dress. 🙂

Something like this, perhaps…(with my bra stuffed, of course! ha!)

Plus-Size-Cocktail-Dress-02 yes of course it’s purple.

So here’s looking forward to the moment I have my pretty purples dress.

Blessings to all for health, love and happiness. Always.