Hurry up…and wait.

 

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I’m not known as a patient person. Not one iota. I do try. But it’s just not something I’m very good at. And when it’s someone or something else I’m waiting on, it’s even harder. If I am the direct cause of something being delayed – fine, I’ll own that. Though I’m also not known for procrastinating on some things.

Finishing my book…well, that’s an entirely different beast all together.

So at long last, I have my consultation appointment with the sleep center. The last “hurdle” of my “must do’s” from the bariatric center. That is June 27th. It took them far too long to get this up, even after I provided them with my test results of my sleep study from 2007. But, at least it’s now set and I’m in the Q.

My first appointment with the bariatric doctor is now scheduled for June 19th. Later that morning I also have my nutrition class, which I’m told will be the only class with others, after which will be one-on-one with a nutritionist. Then, a week later, my social worker (ie: psychologist) to make sure I’m really ready mentally for the surgery and all that it entails.  Those three – they decide my fate for having the surgery or not – they all have to sign off on it and give their approval. So fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I have met some great people who have gone through the surgery and they are helping me to understand what my future will hold. Of course, everyone is different and with the assumption that I do have the surgery, my experiences will be different from everyone else’s but at the same time, similar. So I’m gathering a lot of information and I’ve joined a couple of bariatric weightloss groups on Facebook, and continue to learn all I can.

I’ll be honest…some of the things I read are daunting, and downright scary. But the idea of not doing the surgery and dying too early doesn’t appeal to me at all, so it’s a matter of lesser of two evils. And I’m really trying to see this surgery as not an evil, but as a great step to bettering my health. And living longer.

I’m also meeting new people who are in the same spot of their journey as I am. White it’s nice to get information and experiences from those who have been through it, it’s also nice to go along with people going through it at the same time – to get support and to be supportive of them on their journey.

I continue with Weight Watchers until I’m told to stop by the bariatric center. While I had a bit of an “up” after my birthday week, I’m happy that I lost half of that “up” this past week. I’m not going to freak out about the “up” and am just going to keep going.

Now that summer is here, along with the hot weather and humidity, my biggest issue (and fear) is water retention. I’ve been known to add 20-30 pounds of water weight every summer. No lie. I really cannot stand the heat, it makes me feel awful and I do what I can to avoid gaining it but my body just does not cooperate. My ankles swell up very badly, and apparently the rest of me where it’s not as noticeable.

So the idea of gaining water weight makes me very anxious.

And I’m really not the person that needs more anxiety in my life.

So while I (patiently) wait for these appointments to be done, and the next set of them until I (hopefully) get my approval and surgery date, I’ll be keeping on and doing my best…

This guy is my hero:

b6544bbb2d1f8ce973857e30b39a2f39 Who doesn’t love a cute bunny with shades and wears flip-flops?!

Blessings to all.

Love,

dani1

 

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Step 3,278…

I’ve been trying to lose weight pretty much all of my adult life. I’d try, then fail. Try. Then fail. And while most people would insist that I not use the word “fail,” given my current status on the scale, there really isn’t any other way to describe it.

And sure…as Thomas Edison said:

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So, in all these years of failure, what have I learned?

  • weight-loss gimmicks don’t work
  • there is no easy way to weightloss
  • “I’ll start Monday” is never a good thing, especially if it’s Tuesday
  • you have to be willing to make sacrifices

And sometimes…sometimes you need more help in order to succeed.

If you’re like me, you hate asking for help. You don’t want to be a burden to others. You feel that you should be able to do something on your own – if only you keep trying. I thought that way for a long time. That hard work, perseverance, sheer determination and a strong will was all someone needed.

And for some people, that’s true. But for those of us who no matter how much we want something, we invariably “fail” for one reason or another. I was severely lacking most of that, but I could never explain why.

I’ve had some people tell me that I didn’t want to lose weight. I’ve had others tell me that if I really wanted it badly enough, I’d “just do it.” And still, I’ve had others tell me that it “wasn’t meant to be.”

But I’ve never liked being obese.

I’ve never liked the limited “freedom” that being obese caused. Needing a seat-belt extender on airplanes (and god-forbid you need to use the lavatory) and in a car. Squeezing into public seating in movie theatres and sporting arenas, or on a plane or bus. The wonder if when you sit on a chair whether it will hold your weight. The stares of strangers whose looks make you want to crawl under a rock because you feel so ugly. The abhorrence to having your picture taken, or seeing your reflection in a mirror or reflective glass of a building or an elevator. Or even the constant need to keep track of which places had bathrooms in which you could comfortably fit.

Whatever the philosophy might be, the end result is that despite all of this, it never was enough of a sustaining motivator to me to lose the weight and keep it off. And to be honest, that is probably my greatest shame.

But it’s a new time now. I’ve decided I need help. And I’m asking. By deciding to have the bariatric surgery, I’m asking for help. I need help.

I don’t see this as a cure-all. I never have. And while I’ve never considered weight-loss surgery as the “easy way,” I did fight the idea because I believed that it wasn’t going to be that cure-all that many of us so desperately want. It took some time for me to fully understand that the surgery was just a stepping stone on the journey.

My 3,278th, if you will. I don’t know if that’s really what step I’m on, but it’s as good a number as any.

The steps leading to the surgery will not be easy, but they won’t be necessarily difficult either. I’ve already begun preparing so that the adjustment isn’t as difficult as it could be. The surgery itself can be difficult. There are risks, certainly. There always are in major surgery, but if there is ever a time for me to be positive – it’s now.

The post-surgery will have the greatest challenges. Drastic reduction in food intake. Limited ability to eat certain foods; complete avoidance of others. Again, I’ve already started to make the transition on some of this.

For me to succeed, I am going to have to work hard. I know this. And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can work hard. I can do this.

And while I certainly wish I had made this decision years ago, I feel like I really needed to be in that place; to really believe it was the right time.

And that time is now.

My biggest fear with this entire process, besides the risks of death, are really – with the assumption of success in losing all the weight I want – is the inevitability of loose skin. And I will have a lot of it. As I’m not a spring chicken anymore, no amount of pleaded of my skin to bounce back is going to help. And in many places on my body, the skin has been stretched far too far anyway. And based on everything I’ve read of others who have gotten that far, the skin reduction surgery is actually worse to deal with than the bariatric surgery.

And I will deal with that step when I get to it.

First, I have to make it to the 3,279th.

Blessings to all.

Love,

dani1

PS:  As of this morning I am down 40 pounds since last Fall.  Yay me!

Just keep going…

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Someone asked me if I was going to stop Weight Watchers since I’m on the path to the bariatric surgery, and while I had the quick answer of “No” for her, I realize the more I thought about it that her question was a blog topic in itself. So, let me talk about that for a bit…

One of the questions I asked the nurse at the information session on the surgery was, “Do you have to lose a certain amount of weight BEFORE the surgery in order to be approved for the surgery?” You see, I’ve been watching the TV show called “My 600# Life” and while I’m not near 600 pounds, I’m still greatly obese so given that the people on the show are attempting to have the surgery done, I watch it with keen interest. And on that show, Dr. Now (Younan Nowzaradan, MD) always tells them that they must lose x amount of weight before he’ll approve them for the surgery. I didn’t understand why. I just assumed that it was a standard thing that anyone wanting to have the surgery had to do – in order to prove that you could stick to a diet plan and lose weight.

Of course, that does sort of display a paradox, doesn’t it? After all, if you can stick to a diet plan and lose weight, why would you need to have the surgery.

I understand now that it was those people on the show – because of their size – had to show Dr. Now that they could adapt and change because as I’ve been saying all along, the surgery is not the be all to end all. If I don’t work hard and stick to the plan, I won’t learn how to live, lose the weight and keep it off.

In any case, the nurse’s reply was, “No, you would just have to maintain your weight. Certainly not gain any.”

So that was one reason I decided to stick to doing Weight Watchers until I couldn’t do so any further.

The other reason is that I’ve had some success with WW so why stop now? Why get lax or lazy, slip into old habits now, after that success and potentially see all that hard work go to waste.

Despite WW being a plan that you can eat quite a bit of different foods so it’s not boring and you are better off to stick to it, it doesn’t mean that you can go “whole hog” and eat whatever you want. I have hardly had any pasta since I went on WW. While I accumulate points for an end of the week special meal, I find the idea of blowing all those points on some foods not worth it. And certainly, the limited points that one has for meals during the day, it’s often not worth it to have things such as potatoes and pasta. And while it’s an “easy” plan to basically follow, it’s still not easy to adjust.

You’re still limiting your food. Tracking your food. Measuring your food. You have to review all the labels, determine if something is too high in points…and you have to keep going.

So, the other thing is that since I’ve been on WW, I’ve learned to make better choices, and I’m to the point now where I feel pretty good about how well I’ve done up to this point. Sure, there’s a learning curve – just as there will be one (or many) after the surgery – but WW has helped me a lot also. I’ve cut way back on my pop (vice #1) consumption to the point where I rarely have it, and if I do, it’s usually as a treat because I have some extra points at the end of the day. I haven’t had potato chips (vice #2) since I started WW except a single small bag one time when we were out and I felt it wasn’t worth the 9 points.

So as I prepare for the pre- and post- surgery, a lot of things that I’m dealing with through WW is helping me to better prepare for my journey’s next path.

So, no…I won’t be stopping Weight Watchers even though I’ve decided to do the surgery. I will continue to do it until I’m told by the bariatric center that I need to stop, which could be the two weeks leading up to the surgery when I’m just on a liquid diet, or it could anytime before then. I certainly hope I have some more time on it – both as a learning tool but also, in all honesty, because I paid for 6 months and I’d like to get my money’s worth.

On Weigh-In Monday (yesterday), I lost another 4 pounds last week (and lost a daily point in WW), so I am now down a total of 14.2 pounds since joining WW, and 36.6 pounds since last August. So, yeah…I think I’m going to just keep going…

Blessings to all…

dani1

Oops…Day #2 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Well would you look at that…I forgot to do my 31 Days of Gratitude for Days #2 and #3. Ugh. My memory.

Every time I did think of it, I wasn’t in a position to be able to write one. And even leaving myself a note didn’t seem to work.

So…time to play catch up.

Day #2

I’m grateful for my mom.

This is likely a given but I know for many people, their mom’s are not in their lives, but my mom is.

She’s been there with me through every trail and tribulation, through the successes and failures, and while I’ve often questioned whether or not I’ve done anything remotely considered proud of me, her support has never wavered.

And I am grateful for that.

Always.

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Blessing to all for a great week!

Happy Monday!!

Dani

 

 

31 Days of Gratitude

It’s been a good week, friends. Actually, it’s been a pretty damn good week. And I’m grateful.

Grateful for everything I have. Grateful for everything I’ve ever had. Even grateful for everything that has happened to me – good or bad – because those things have made me a stronger person. A person, I hope, people feel is a great, reliable and loving friend. Someone with a big heart, who would do whatever she could to help them. Someone who didn’t take them for granted, and appreciated having them in her life.

So starting today – December 1, 2017 – I’m going to post 31 days of gratitude. Certainly that doesn’t mean that I won’t be grateful after December 31st, but for now, let’s just start here.

If anyone wants to do this with me, please do. I’ll be posting these 31 days on both Facebook (my personal page), twitter @dani052566 and my IG account:  @danielle_reaume

Let’s do this…

Day #1 

I’m grateful I’m still alive.

I’m grateful I’m still alive…

  • to see another beautiful sunny day.

December 1, 2017

  • to appreciate the beauty of nature
  • to appreciate the beauty of the Earth
  • to be here for my family, friends and Finnegan

And most importantly, I’m grateful to be here for me.

Blessings to all…

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

 

No, this isn’t Groundhog Day…

Hello,

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (for those too young to understand that terminology, please Google it), I’m starting anew.

Again.

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To say this journey has been a roller-coaster would be an understatement. For the longest time I thought that every “restart” was an embarrassment. As in, why can’t I just do it right the first time? Stick to it. Just do it. And while I won’t profess to say that I’m completely over that thinking, I have come to understand that like life, which is filled with so many things that interrupt your path, you can still be ON that path…there are just some detours that get in the way.

The key is to stay on the path, but if you sway off, get back on.

And while it does admittedly bother me that I haven’t been very successful up to this point, I need to keep trying. If I don’t, I won’t be around to entertain you fine people with my witty bantering. And how tragic would that be?

As I posted prior, I am now back home in Canada and I’m settling in more and more each day. It is still some adjustment for me, but I’m getting there. And the one thing I’m finally “there” for is to do something about my weight.

Again.

While I was at my heaviest in early July before the move, I had lost some since, but not enough and not consistently. In fact, I’ve lost and gained the same 5 pounds over the past few weeks and it’s very frustrating.

So why is this time any different? you might ask. Trust me, I’m asking myself. And while I am not going to make any promises, I’m also not going to think about the chance of failure. There’s nothing worse at trying to succeed at something and starting off with thinking about how you might fail.

Talk about setting yourself up for an epic fail!

But this time it’s mostly about frame of mind. And hopefully having someone close to me on the same journey where we can help each other out. This is hard enough to do, but to do it alone is even harder.

No matter what your “thing” is that you need to do – try to find others who will support you, help you, and maybe even walk through it with you.

After all, what is there (for me) to lose…?

Except this weight.

Never let a stumble be the end of your journey…

Broken Pot

So…here I go. Again.

My life is worth living, and I want to do so much more living before there’s no more life left. It’s time.

And it’s not going to be easy. Nothing worth it every is. And I will struggle. I will falter. I will even swear like a banshee…okay that’s a given no matter what…but I will try so very hard to do this.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw

It’s time to create. Let’s do this.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey, and supporting me. It means everything.

Blessings to all.

Dani

Stressed – spelled backwards is desserts.

We all have stressful days. Some might even have stressful weeks, months or years. I don’t really know anyone who is stress free. But I believe that, like mourning, everyone deals with stress in different ways.

Some might be passive; hiding their stress until they erupt like Vesuvius. Some might be aggressive; letting out their frustrations with a hair-trigger and quick response. And as with most everything, there are those who are in between.

While I don’t consider myself to be an angry person, when I am angry, it can flash, but I think I’ve learned to not allow it to 1) define me; 2) let it take me over and hold onto it for too long, and 3) mostly important, I do whatever I can to never hurt someone in anger. And with stress, I tend to push it down; pretend it doesn’t exist and try to humor my way out of it.

After all, they say laughter is the best medicine, right?

No matter how stressed I get, I do try to deal with it. Not always in the most productive ways, but at least I try. But note that I said “try”.

I often joke that if I was any sort of a drinker, with all the stress, I’d be falling down drunk all the time. Thank goodness I’m not. So how do I deal with stress? That’s a good question. And sometimes I feel like I really don’t have any idea how to deal with it.

If you’ve been reading the postings in this blog lately, you’ll recognize a pattern. When I named one recent blog “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing”…I shit you not, I wasn’t kidding. So like with what seems like everything in my life, I don’t have a good answer for what I do to deal with stress. Most times, it seems, I just get to the point of frustration and end up crying it out. Which I hate. I absolutely hate crying about anything – good or bad. It tends to make me feel physically worse. So I’m not one for “crying it out” – at least as a remedy for myself.

So, I did some research to find out what “others” recommend for relieving stress. Some made me giggle. Some made me roll my eyes. A couple even had me picturing myself looking like a rolly-polly Buddha, as I attempt to find my “calm”.

I wish I could say I was inspired. I can’t say I wasn’t; but I’m still not sure. I have been wishing I could do yoga over the past couple of years. Hell, I even have a mat. Mind you, it’s still rolled up and hasn’t been removed from the cardboard that it holding it rolled up. But good intentions…

I’m not really made for yoga. Again, I wish I was. I have friends who swear by it. And I admit I had to look up what “hot yoga” was, but the end result is that I’m really just not very yoga-like in body right now, even if my mind is.

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As with most everything else in my life, I’m not very disciplined. I often wonder how I even made it this far in life with such a hap-hazard way of living, but here I am…all the hamsters spinning on their wheels in my mind, trying to get to the finish. Here’s hoping my finish isn’t for a long time.

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But I digress…

Discipline. Err…no…Self-discipline: the correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.

It’s really mind-boggling how much self-discipline can be, and should be, applied to so many facets of my life. From weight-loss, to house-cleaning, to exercise, to dealing with anxiety, stress and frustration. I wish I could say that I’ve mastered it in at least one thing in my life, but I’d be lying. So, no big pearls of wisdom from me (again. sorry!) on how to be more self-disciplined, but I will offer some things that can be done to deal with stress and anxiety that others have suggested, and some of which I will try to do for myself.

First…here’s a chart to help:

50 Ways To Cope With Stress

But for me…these:

  1. When you feel the stress/anxiety or frustration building, step out of the situation and take deep breaths…and count to 10. Repeat several times until you can recognize you are calmer.
  2. Realize you’re not perfect so stop expecting yourself to be (and others). Do what you can and be happy with the results. Try.
  3. Exercise is a great way to deal with stress. Even if you do 10 minutes more movement a day, it will have a great effect on your well-being. But certainly, try to get at least 30 minutes a day.
  4. Eat healthy and get enough sleep. Filling yourself with junk is only going to make you feel like junk. And if you’re tired from lack of sleep, you’ll only feel that much more worse. If you’re able, try taking a short nap during the day when you’re feeling a bit more tired than usual.

And the two biggest ones that I have to deal with (besides all of the above) are being positive and putting the things that stress me out into perspective.

I’ll start with the perspective one first. As I can be sometimes – big shocker I know – a bit over-dramatic or in many cases, over-think a situation. I easily jump to conclusions, thinking about the “what-ifs” and just add even more stress and anxiety to myself. I am a huge “feeler”. I live on emotions – good or bad – and I can quite easily send my own into a tizzy faster than you can say, “But-” I’ve talked before about the emotional roller-coaster and I’m one of its regular riders. I wish I could say that I’ll change but I’m not sure how or even if, so I deal with it as it comes. And often not very well.

So it comes down to asking myself, “does this really matter?”  Is what I’m stressing about that big of a deal? Did I make it out to be a bigger deal than it really is? In the grand scheme of things, will this matter in an hour, tomorrow or next year? Most times, the answer is, of course, “no”. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that something stressed me. It’s just a matter of understanding that if it’s not as important as I made it out to be, I need to let it go (and quickly)…because life is too short to dwell in shit that doesn’t matter. Right?

And then there’s being “positive”. I’ve been trying to do this for so long. Invariably, it doesn’t last. I get sucked into the “pity party for one” vortex (by myself) and the next thing I know, I’m Chicken Little and the sky is falling. I hate that I can’t just be positive all the time. I know people that really seem to be. And I do hope that they really, truly are and that they aren’t “faking” it. And I really hate that I forget just how blessed I am. Too often I forget and need to be reminded. Nothing is wrong with that, per se, but I think people who are genuinely more positive more often, are the happiest.

When I said I live on emotions, I also meant that I take things personally. I don’t like when people don’t like me. I want people to love me. I want people to want to be my friend. So I take it personally when they don’t. Yet at the same time, while I know I shouldn’t live to please anyone but myself, I’m not wired that way. I tend to care more for others than myself.

And I’ve been told before that this is wrong. Yet, that’s what I am. That’s what I do. I spend a lot of time trying to help people I care about in different ways. I don’t always do it as often as I wish and sometimes that makes me feel guilty, and often, selfish. Which I know is absurd, but alas…we’re talking about me here.

So, for example, my birthday was recently. Without sounding egotistical, I did expect to see some Happy Birthday wishes on my Facebook. And I did. And I want to say before anything else, I was grateful for each and every one of them because it meant that those people took the time out of their busy/hectic/stressful/happy lives to send me their best wishes. While it might have only taken them 10 seconds to do so – I appreciated it more than they could know. Then there were those who wrote me longer messages, and those were so appreciated as well.

But the “feelings” part of me…as ridiculous as this might sound, was disappointed somewhat that some people – some “friends” – didn’t say anything. No acknowledgement at all. Yet, I know they were on Facebook because I saw their posts, their comments to others’ posts etc. And I felt a little hurt. Then I felt foolish for feeling that way.

I don’t have friends because I expect something from them. And I do try to do my best to give some attention to everyone, but in all honestly, more so to those I feel closer to. And yet, just as when I lost my beautiful Ginny last month, or announced I was moving back home to Canada…my birthday passing with none of those three somewhat life-changing events being recognized by some, it felt…hurtful.

On top of that, many who did send me best wishes…some were from people that I’ve only just met (and most not yet in person), and they were more than kind. In some cases, those people acknowledged all three of those life events, yet as I said, there were some that I expected to hear from (or hoped) and got nothing. After the loss of Ginny and that happened, I told my therapist that I guess I have to realize that some people might be more selfish than others.

Now I’m sure there are many reasons they didn’t “say” anything. Maybe they didn’t see the many posts from others about my birthday, or Ginny passing, because they have many Facebook friends. Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t consider me to be a friend at the same level of friend that I do of them. I considered this and realized that if that’s the case, there’s nothing I can do about it and I have to accept it and move on.

So, one of the many things I need to learn, which adds in my stress levels, is that not everyone is going to see my worth. I have difficulty with this for myself, but I stress as much as I can to others that I care about, how much they are worth. To me. And to others. And maybe my expectations of others is too high. Or maybe because of my self-esteem issues that I feel this need to have as many people like me as I possibly can because it’s the only way I can feel worthy.

But how can I expect others to see my worth, if I don’t see it in myself?

And that there is the rub.

I posted this today on Facebook with the caption “Man, I wish I could just let it go. Not sure why it’s so important that I even care. But I do.”

Worth

And I do care. Probably far too much. About everything. About wanting to be liked, loved, admired, and seen as a great person. And some people will never see that in me; never feel that about me. And I have to learn to accept that. And to not care.

The absolute funniest (ie: ridiculous) part about that is that I am well loved by a very close knit group of people that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, and I’m eternally grateful for each and everyone one of them…but my own feelings about myself won’t allowed me to say “that’s all you need” so I get emotional when someone might not like or love me back.

I’m suddenly hearing Barbra Streisand’s “Feelings” in my head. Grief. I’m losing it! I don’t even LIKE that song!

Till next time…

Blessings and love to all.

Dani