Blog Archives

A New Beginning…

I suppose it’s apropos that this blog posting be called “A New Beginning…” given that this blog’s name is of a relating nature called “Journey to a New Life.” I started this blog for one purpose – to share my daily…no, hourly…struggle with losing weight and getting healthy.

Now, I could spend an inordinate amount of time and blog space just writing about how poorly I’ve done with that “journey” and I’ve harped on those past failures before. But for this particular blog posting, I’m not going to talk specifically about my weightloss – or lack thereof – nor my failures to do so to date either.

What I am going to write about is a different journey of a sorts, but one that will eventually come back around to my weightloss journey.

At my age, I’m more than half way through my life. It’s a scary thought for me, really. I’ve shared little of this fear with very few people – I think only one actually. See, I can watch death on tv or in a movie and it doesn’t necessarily affect me that much. Likely because regardless of how well the actors perform, I still know it’s make-believe; I am still aware they are acting.

But there have been times – thankfully not that many – where my mind has drifted to death – mine, in particular. And it’s a deep thinking I’m talking about, not just a stray thought of getting old and eventually dying. It’s that moment when my mind goes incredibly deep into it and I physically feel fear. Fear of dying. I can’t even begin to describe it. I don’t have panic attacks, despite my anxiety-filled life. I don’t get so caught up in my worries that I ever feel this…fear. But it’s there, and my thinking of my own mortality scares me.

But I digress…

I bring this up because, as I’ve stated in past postings, up till now, no matter how badly things have gotten for me because of my weight, nothing has been incentive enough to keep going on getting healthy. I invariably fall back in the laziness; resorting back to the bad habits. It’s been a rough 6 months with this and that, culminating with the loss of my girl Ginny, and now continuing with other things.

So I am about to reach a precipice in my life, and it’s not one that is a surprise. Yet despite planning for this for some time, I’m still finding myself filled with trepidation. You see, after living in the United States for nearly 20 years now, I’m moving back home to Canada. It’s been a long time coming – longer than I originally had anticipated – but the time has come. In two weeks, I will be back living in my homeland.

keep-calm-i-m-coming-canada-eh

And while I’m happy that I’ll be back to where I have always considered to be “home”, and happy to be back with my mom, my family and all my long-time friends, I’m also terrified.

I’ve had a lot of people giving me advice on this lately. They mean well, I know they do. And while I know that they are right – I’ll get through this as I do with everything else – and it’ll be better to finally be “home”, I’m not sure how many truly understand how significant this actually is in my life. A couple have suggested that it’s not a big deal, after all, Canada is my country and I’m moving back to my  family and friends. And I can see their point. But they’d be wrong.

This is a major life change. I did it when I moved here albeit the circumstances are different now. I left the only home I’d ever known, my mother, step-father, my large crazy but loving family and my closest friends whom are as much family to me as those related by blood. I left a job I’d been at for nearly 10 years, and I left everything and everyone I knew.

Now again, I could dwell on the past and talk about what a mistake it was to marry the man I did – the one who eventually cheated on me and then left me for another woman. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to, even in jest, be reminded of what a mistake that was. It’s not funny. Even if I joke about it sometimes, if you know me, you know it’s my mechanism for dealing with a bad decision. And it was MY decision. No one regrets that decision more than me, believe me, but I don’t want to dwell on that mistake. We’ve all done them, so I’m not sure why I need to be reminded of it as if that one thing defines who I am. It doesn’t. It never had. It never will. Going through that taught me – about me. It taught me that I’m stronger than I ever thought, and it taught me that no matter how well you think you know someone, you never truly do. But it also taught me that some people just don’t deserve to be in my life; they don’t deserve my love. And that’s their fucking loss.

Again, I digress…

Once again I find myself leaving a job I’ve been at for nearly 20 years, living in a town that is familiar for me. I’ve been living on my own since my divorce; I’ve got a certain level of comfort here. But I’m lonely. I don’t have many friends here, despite my sunny personality – oh come on! I know you just rolled your eyes at that!

giphy (1)

But it’s a major deal to not only leave a long-time job, spend months going through 20 years worth of things to decide what to keep or not…to all the things I need to do before I move and after. There’s no checklist in your life for this. It just is. It’s been up to me to nearly single-handedly do everything, save for some help from some friends on yard sales and importing my car back home (which is so appreciated!!). I physically am not always able to do all the physical things required to do this. Nor was I prepared for just how MUCH stuff there is to do.

And for how much more emotional, and how much crying I’d be doing these past few months.

So while I appreciate the pep-talks and people’s unwavering believe in my abilities to get through this, I have had moments where I wasn’t sure I could. I’ve been stressed, overwhelmed with it all, and just completely ill at ease for months. Rarely does a day go by now that I don’t have a headache or a stomach ache. But I get through. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I know I’ll get there. But I really don’t want to hear the obvious stated to me over and over again. It wears on me. First, because I’m not stupid, despite things I’ve said or did to the contrary. Stating the obvious to me implies I am stupid. Second, I, more than anyone, am well aware of what I need to do and how much time I have left to do it. It doesn’t make me feel better to be reminded of this. I have enough pressure put on me – by me – that I don’t need others adding to it. Well meaning, sure…but please… just stop.

What’s waiting for me on the other side is what else that’s so scary. Sure, family and friends will be there. I’ll have a place to live, be reunited with my boy Finnegan, and I’ll still have a job for 3 months while I get more “settled”. But the unknown of what I’ll do after that is really what scares me. My hometown is not well-to-do with the job market – in fact, it’s probably one of the worse in Canada. That’s what happens when a city is nearly reliant on one industry for so long – the auto industry.

My job that I have – it’s very unique and specific. It’s not likely I will find one in my hometown like it. And where do I start? At the bottom again? The idea doesn’t appeal to me at all. Not that I have any problems with the work or people who do the work – legitimate hard work no matter what kind is admirable. But it’s not for me. I need to be stimulated. My mind needs more to do than things I did 20 or 30 years ago when I was first starting out.

So I don’t know what I’m going to be doing. The idea of taking a job just for the sake of having a job doesn’t appeal to me either. Nor is being in a job I absolutely hate. But alas…just like everyone else, I have bills to pay. I will have to pay rent, or a mortgage, feed my cat, pay my car insurance etc. I am not the type of person who can be carefree and not know when their next check will come – but good on you if you are – because that takes some courage. So what do I want to do?

Again, I can hear some of you saying things like “A job is a job” or “No one likes their job” or “At least you have a job”. This shit…this is obvious. I’m well aware of it. I know all about this. But that doesn’t meant that I have to accept the status quo.

I really want to write. But until I actually do something about finishing my book and doing the others, which I’ve had to put aside while I get ready for this move – as I said above, I still have to support myself.

And therein lies the rub – the scary part – a new beginning for me. At this time in my life, I’m doing an about-face and basically starting over. Does anyone really think this is easy?

Having been so preoccupied with all of this, I haven’t even been trying to lose weight. And it shows. But the worse is that my summer fun of water weight gain is hitting full up. It’s actually disgusting how the heat/humidity affects me so badly. Others think that it’s not hot when it’s 80 or 90. To me, it renders me virtually catatonic. I have cankles. My fingers are swollen and sore. And I’m just a big bloated beach ball. Even the slightest exertion for me in this weather and I feel like my lungs are filled with water. This has also hindered me in my preparation for packing/moving. But I’m storming through. Whether I get done in time or not is another matter.

I have 12 days.

12 fucking days. See…I know how much time I have. Or how little time I have actually. Not a math person but this I’ve got.

But I do hope that once I’m finally settled back home, and no longer having so much else on my “plate” that not only will I get back to finishing Kiwi Kiss but also with the help of my mom, she and I can work together to actually have decent meals at home and have the weight start coming off.

It helps that she has air-conditioning. 🙂

So that’s my life right now in a nutshell. Okay…not really a nutshell. Remember…Dani doesn’t do succinct. But you get the gist.

Dani = crazy busy

It’s like my hamsters all had babies and the wheel is over-flowing. Bad analogy but you get the picture.

The next time I write I’ll be Canadian soil. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me through everything until now. The new journey is about to begin…and I promise you…

It won’t be boring.

Love and blessings to all,

Dani

 

Advertisements

How crazy can one life be?

It’s been about six weeks since I last posted my tirade about not knowing what the hell I’m doing. All I can tell you is that I still don’t, but I’m more comfortable with that knowledge than I was six weeks ago.

This is the post I had started prior to the last one. But alas, you know how the saying by Samuel Johnson goes…”Hell is paved with good intentions.” In this case, no matter how often I wish to post, it just doesn’t seem to happen. And lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been a bit in Hell anyway. So, the quoted reference to Hell is quite apropos.

As I tend to do, I always start these posts with one specific topic in mind. If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know that I don’t always follow that topic very strictly. Be it the crazy roaming hamsters in my head, or that I just stumble upon a more pertinent subject, I really do try to stick to one topic.

This post is intended to be about getting back on the horse, so to speak. That is, when you feel you’ve failed or have been unable to continue with your journey and lost your way. Fall off the wagon. Fall off the horse. Whatever idiom you want to use – I know you know what I mean.

fell-off-the-wagon-funny-diets

It’s not even to say that I’ve fallen off the wagon. I liken it to merely dangling over the side, where occasionally my ass hits a railroad tie. So there I am, holding on, bouncing around and unable to get a grip.

Yep, that about sums up my life of late. I wish I could say that I was only talking about my weight loss journey but I’d be lying. So aside from the wagon adventures, my life of late has been something akin to trying to thread a needle, while diving out of an airplane without a parachute, all the while trying to sing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma aria in key (which would never happen).

Normally my excuses for not writing as often are lack of a subject, lack of enthusiasm or general forgetfulness. Pick one. Pick them all. But I believe that for the first time since I started this blog that my “excuses” are actually more valid than those in the past. So, I’ll briefly (haha!) explain what they are before moving onto the actual subject of this posting: getting back on the horse.

So, those who know me personally have found out that I recently announced my intention to move back to my hometown in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I’ve been living in the US since 1998 when I married an American. I won’t get into that any more, but I’ve been alone now for 10 years and am without my mom, family and my longtime friends – many of whom have been friends of mine since elementary school and/or high school. Once the decision was made, I had to start the logistics of when to move back, what to take back with me or not, what to do with those things that I’m not taking, and what is all involved with moving back to your homeland. One would think that it wouldn’t be that hard; one would be incorrect.

Okay maybe “hard” isn’t the correct word. Let’s say, confusing. At least to those of us who already have a head full of hamsters who are working overtime. I nearly broke down in a panic attack a month or so ago when I checked on what I need to do about moving back, including getting my car over there. Thankfully a longtime friend who works in the customs brokerage business has been a Godsend to me (thank you Susan!) – helping me with paperwork, what to do and when. I am honestly not sure if I could have gotten this far without her help. It probably wasn’t that hard but I was already feeling overwhelmed (re: my previous post).

On top of preparing to move – going through nearly 20 years worth of stuff by myself to see what I’m keeping and what I’m not – and only being able to do so when I could actually find the energy and my feet weren’t revolting. So, for what most people could probably do in a weekend, it has taken me months. While I’m not moving back until July, I need to have a yard sale to get rid of nearly everything so I have had to push myself to get through everything to be ready for that as well. Thankfully I have a friend who is going to help me with that as well.

Add to the pressures I’ve felt to finish my book with the fear that if I didn’t keep working on it, I would let it lapse once again and that terrified me so I’ve been plugging away at it when I can, knowing I still had so much more to do.

Then in mid-April, my beautiful kitty Ginny who had been dealing with diabetes for 6 months, fell ill and I had to make the hard decision to let her go. I didn’t want her to suffer any more – she was having seizures more often and it broke my heart to let her go.

Ginny:

Lastly, my job. I won’t get into the details but I have given my notice and my job has now been posted for candidates. While it’s my choice to quit my job and move back home, it is a bittersweet time for me since I’ve been with this university for nearly 20 years.

So, it’s been a rather emotional 2017 for me (on top, of course, many other things going on in my life and the world, but those were the highlights). This is, for the most part, why I feel partially off the wagon. All the overwhelming feelings I’ve had with everything that I was going through, the idea of trying to also be more strict with my weightloss felt like it would be just too much.

Now maybe that’s another excuse, but if you’ve ever gone through several things at once, you know that you’re not in the right frame of mind to concentrate on everything. I felt as if I was being pulled in a hundred different directions and so I made the choice to go a bit lax on the weightloss. With that, I also made the choice to not berate myself for my decision – no matter the result.

I haven’t stepped on a scale in some time. Mostly because right now, the damn scale is covered in stuff for the yard sale – as is most everything in my apartment – but I do intend to step on it tomorrow or Monday. Regardless of the results, I’m going to try to be more conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth from now on, but I still have two months of mega-crazyiness to get through so all I can do is try and not freak out while doing so.

If only it was this easy:

5d17ee9b0dd09ebf6466129fb5eac1c7

Now having just had another birthday, it’s another year filled with some regrets but also some blessings. I do hope to check back sooner rather than later, but I do hope you’ll understand if I don’t. Till then…

6973f91075251999f15f77df60fdf607

Love and blessings to all.

Dani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you grateful for?

Pardon me for ending the title with a preposition. “For what are you grateful?” always sounds so proper, and I’ve never claimed to be so proper. At least, most of the time.

gratitude-journal

As I write this, I’m thinking of a person who entered my life when I first moved to the U.S., way back in 1998. He went out of his way to welcome me, to listen to me and most especially, he always encouraged me to go after my dreams. For many years, he was, in a way, a mentor to me. I was grateful for his encouragement, but also for his belief in me. In my abilities.

For the past many years, this man has struggled with his own health issues – fighting the pain and issues associated with Parkinson’s Disease. It forced him into early retirement. At the same time, he and his wife’s youngest child has dealt with his own health issues – since his birth – and tonight I heard that this young man is in the ICU and the prognosis isn’t good.

No one should ever have to suffer in pain due to illness and disease, but unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. That this happens to even the best of us is very disheartening and heartbreaking. I pray that God looks over this family tonight and can only hope for a miracle.

I often feel that despite my attempts to try to help my family and friends as much as I am able, I can and often am a selfish person. I easily forget other’s problems, forget to ask them how they are – take the time to consider others. I’m guilty of that, for sure. I’m also guilty of forgetting how fortunate I am.

So this posting – while this is my weight loss blog – will not be about my journey and how I’m doing. This is going to be a post about the things for which I am grateful (see…no ending in a preposition there). So, here is my list of the things for which I’m most grateful:

  1. My mother. Having lost my father when I was 11, my mom became my savior and she’s been my rock every since. I don’t know how I could have gotten through some of the things in my life without her.
  2. My father. My dad Gerry meant so much to both my mother and me. I’m very grateful that I had him in my life, even if it was for such a short time. He adopted me as his own after he married my mom, and he was the best father – and man – that I could ever have in my life.
  3. My cats. I don’t have any children and likely never will. In my years alone since my divorce, my cats have been there for me unconditionally. They have made me feel like I am important, and they’ve helped me out of the darkness on more than one occasion.
  4. My family. Like Tula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I have a lot of cousins. More so than Tula, in fact. I come from a large extended family, and I actually am fortunate to have three families that I’m a part of – my mother’s side, my father’s side, and my biological father’s side. I have a great love for my family – no matter how crazy some of them are. But you know what, they’re mine. And I would protect any one of them from anyone that would do them harm. 5ab214406d8e3024452a05466bd3f97f
  5. My friends. I have been fortunate to have some of the same friends in my life for over 30 years. People who have been right beside me in some of my darkest times – and never left. I know that they would have my back, just as I would have theirs. I also have many newer friends – people who entered my life for one reason or another over the past many years – who has proven to have kind, gracious hearts and who have welcomed me into their lives.
  6. My freedom. I’m proud to be a Canadian. I’m proud that I am from a country where my ancestor chose to move to and raise their families. I’m especially grateful for those who fought, were injured or who died fighting for our freedom.
  7. My intelligence. I often joke that I can be a dolt. And there are many times when I do question not only my sanity but also how I managed to get this far in life. I like to think that for what I might lack in sheer intelligence, I at least have a modicum of common sense. Be that as it may, I do feel like I have a lick of smarts. And I’m grateful for that.
  8. My talents. It’s not always clear to me what I should have done with my life as I grew up. The earliest memories regarding a career go back to when I wanted to be an archaeologist. Those that know me would find this a humorous paradox – because while I love anything relating to ancient history, what I don’t like is digging in the dirt. Especially if said dirt had bugs in it. I kid you not. In any case, I do believe that I have some writing talents, and considering that I’ve often questioned what else I might be good at doing, I”m grateful, at least, for those.
  9. My health. It’s almost funny that I state this – given the struggles I have every day with my health. But my grateful for two things:
    • that I’m still healthy enough to do something about getting healthy, into shape and doing what I need to in order to extend my life, and
    • that I’m still alive. I’ve come to be truly grateful every morning when I wake up – that I woke up.  So now I’m working trying to appreciate every day to the fullest. Given the things that other people in my life are going through – it’s a cold wake up reminder  that life is too short and we need to enjoy it and life it to the fullest. Every. Damn. Day.

Might I suggest that whoever is reading this also take a moment of your day – right now – and think about what you’re grateful for. You don’t have to write them down, but if you want to – please do.

Lastly, I’m grateful for you. You – the person reading this. Why? Because even if you don’t know me, you took time out of your life to read this post (or any of my others). I appreciate you spending your precious time – with me. And, of course, I’m grateful to all of my family and friends who continue to support me – through all my ups and down.

So thank you, my beautiful peeples. Bless you all.

Love,

Dani

Trying to find the Zen.

We’re nine days into 2017 and while I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions, I did state that I would try – emphasis on “try” – to be more positive in 2017. Of course, when you are naturally pessimistic and have a “bit” of a sarcastic streak, it can be as much of a challenge to be positive as it is it lose weight. Trust me – I know this.

So we’re nine days in and I’m not doing well in the “being more positive” part. Though not really relating to my weight loss journey but more on just the rest of my life. So, if I’m successful at losing weight but not so much the be more positive thing, well…I’m just going to take that as a “win”.  So there…there is a bit of an optimist in me after all. Even if I struggle to be more positive.

Although, I am positive that I just might kill someone before the end of the month. Does that count?

f648cfbf42721990a95021e7614aedb3

That’s not to say that I’m giving up or anything. On the contrary. But as you all know, life can be a bitch and sometimes, the bitch wins. And while I understand the concept of being positive, I’m really honestly not sure that I can or ever will be positive all the time. As I believe I said in a past post – sometimes I look at people who are positive/happy all the time and wonder what’s wrong with them. How can they possibly be that way?

Maybe they are good a pushing it down, letting it out or whatever…maybe they are really good at doing hot yoga and being Zen. I don’t know. I’m not even going to suggest that sometimes being negative is a bad thing. I hear all the time about how damaging being negative is. I get it – I do. But there are times when it can’t be helped – at least, that’s what I’ve come to realize. For me.

And trust me, I’m far more positive now than I was a year ago or even five years ago. But I’ve come to the realization that I will never be a completely fulfilled 100% positive person. After all…who would then provide all the witty and sarcastic comments that fulfill you lives and bring you so much joy? Hmm?

So pucker up, buttercups!  Take my positivity as its revealed and revel in it; but please do accept that I always won’t be so. That’s just who Dani is.

So to end this on a more positive note (ha! see what I did there?), I’m going to Ohm the crap out of my current stressful situation and hope I become Zen enough to not kill someone.

inner-peace-avoid_phd_burnout

Peace!

Love,

Dani

PS: By now you’ve figured out that I can contradict myself many times, even within the same thought. That’s those bloody hamsters, my friends. Don’t question; go with it…

Welcome 2017! Glad I could make it!

First…

d07dfdeb8ff2c4da77545e73bb33bf3b

I wish all of you, my faithful readers, a 2017 filled with much success, promise, joy, good health, peace and of course, lots of love!

I made it to another year. I’m grateful. The older I get, the more I realize that I can’t take each day for granted. So I’m looking forward to what 2017 can be for me.

As with most holidays, I understand that people fret and worry about not only surviving through them, particularly if having to deal with drunk ol’ Uncle Bill or crazy Aunt Ethel, but more so the worries of gaining weight from over-indulging. As I stated in last year’s post regarding dealing with the holiday blues and over-consumption, it’s probably the worse time of the year for someone to try to lose weight or to stick with a weight loss plan that had been working.

The New Year usually means Resolutions. I, personally, don’t believe in Resolutions. Mainly because they set you up for disappointment when two weeks later, you’ve already broken them and really…where does that leave you? Pissed off at yourself? Believing you’re a failure (again)?  So why put yourself through that?

So like me, I hope that right now, if you’ve made any Resolutions you simply throw that shit out. Right now. Do it!

Instead, just vow right now that you will do your best. You will keep trying. You will try harder. You will have faith in yourself. But most of all, if you mess up – you will forgive yourself, toss out those negative thoughts and keep going.

As my buddy Brandon Auret says:

keep

I know it’s not easy. No one knows that better than me. But now that the holidays are over – whether you’ve put on weight or not – if you still have a goal to lose weight and get healthier – for any Resolutions and just vow to do it. To keep on…keeping on.

I, thankfully, did not gain any weight this Christmas. I’m grateful for that, sure, but I also know that I probably could have lost some weight if I had just made better decisions. But that’s behind me now and I’m not going to dwell on the past.

So this is my vow to keep going, try harder and never give up. Live is too short and it’s time to turn it up a notch. And as Brandon said recently:

“Find your purpose, get off your ass, don’t expect anything from any one and become the reason your purpose is a reality. #ROYL #keeponkeepingon“.

I’m hoping Brandon won’t mind me quoting him; so often he just says the right thing. The one thing I admire about him is that he doesn’t bullshit. So while he wasn’t talking directly to me, I like to think he was. Because I know he cares about me and my success. So thanks, B.

I know I can always count on his support, and a kick in the ass…

So here’s to a great 2017 filled with much success!! For all of us. No matter what our goals, plans and dreams might be. We all deserve to find our purpose and LIVE it.

Love,

Dani

 

 

The Joy of Living

I have to give mega kudos to people who have had to deal with physical disabilities who still manage to not only get out of bed every day, but live their lives to their fullest, and are often accomplishing so much more than the rest of us mere mortals. No joke. I’m in awe of these people. Their immense strength. Their never-give-up attitude. Their abilities to overcome so much.

I envy these people.

That’s certainly not to say that they don’t have their bad days, but their spirit just doesn’t allow them to pity themselves for very long before they are up and moving again. I sit here and think about the pain I’m in right now, which realistically I know is nothing compared to others who live every day with even more pain, and I feel sorry for myself. And I really shouldn’t.

Not just because I don’t nearly have the physical problems that others have, but also because unlike so many others, I can actually do something about most of my pain issues. By losing weight. By moving more. By fighting through the pain, which in most cases is temporary, and just do it. I’ve been told there isn’t much I can do about the neuropathy pain in my feet (nerve damage from diabetes/hereditary), but I certainly can perhaps alleviate some of the pain by having much less weight for these tiny feet to lug around on a daily basis.

Yet instead, especially of late, I’ve chosen to do nothing about my weight and it shows. Both on the scale, but more so how my body feels. And honestly, it feels like shit.

I can barely move most days. My knees scream. My lower back revolts. Getting up out of my office chair or the couch is an endeavor of great strength – of which sometimes I just don’t have. This morning I feel back onto the bed (in a sitting position) when I stood up and my knees said, “Yeah…nope.” And boom…back on my ass on the bed. Thankfully I landed on the bed. And don’t even get me started on how something as simple as taking a shower or going to the bathroom turns into an Olympic-like event whereby I end up sweaty and out of breath.

Two weeks ago I hit the highest weight I’ve ever been at. I’ve been wallowing in the shame of letting myself get this bad, to the point where I’m so aware of trying to breathe, trying to move or heaven forbid, trying to sleep – which has eluded me most nights for months.

So this week, I (again) renewed my resolve to keep going. I am very tired of “trying” because that’s worked so well for me up until now [insert sarcastic facial expression here] but I also know that I have to keep trying. No matter how much I want to swear to high heaven whenever someone says that to me. I know they mean well. I do. But my frustration at myself doesn’t alleviate by such words of encouragement, no matter how well meaning they are.

So this week I’ve been eating better, trying to move more but it seems that whenever I do this, I invariably have to deal with something “extra” that really makes it hard to keep going sometimes. In this case, besides the usual aches and pains, my sciatica has been acting up for the past couple days. Shooting pain from my butt down my left leg like someone is pulling on the muscles in that leg, whether I’m sitting or laying.

But I have to be honest. This morning the pain was enough that I wanted to just sit and cry and had thoughts of “why bother”. But then I see people like war veteran/hero Derek Weida who is missing one of his  legs. He’s a hulking big man who works out regularly, does video posts on FB and tells it like it is. [https://www.facebook.com/derekweida/?fref=ts}. He often posts about his “down” moments but then he kicks himself in the ass and gets going. I’ve watched his work out videos and I shake my head in amazement because he does so much, despite missing part of a leg. Things that I probably couldn’t do even if I was in shape. He’s an inspiration, but he seems humble enough that he’d say he wasn’t.

Photo credit: Derek Weida

10539133_1683774905179159_792520465_n

So going back to what I said about envying those people with physical disabilities who have had to deal with so much more than me. I’m talking about people like war veterans who have missing limbs (like Mr. Weida I mention above), people who are born with issues that prevent them from walking, talking, seeing etc. There are so many inspirational people out there who, despite whatever their “issues” are, they don’t let it define them. They don’t let it beat them. They continue to fight, especially when they have their moments they don’t want to fight anymore. But they do.

Another great example of someone making the most of their life is BT Urruela. [https://www.facebook.com/BTUrruela/?fref=ts]. BT is a very handsome man, but also a war veteran and hero, who lost part of his leg. He now writes books, models, and travels the country on speaking engagements. He’s also a personal trainer.

Photo credit: BT Urruela

bt-urruela-smile1

I want to stop wallowing in my own self pity and take a page from their book. Because as I said, unlike them, I can do something about my issues. Yet despite both having lost a leg, they don’t let it stop them from doing anything. They’re both so inspirational in their own ways.

I do also hope that neither of them take offense of my using them in this blog posting in any way other than in my admiration of them. I know they inspire so many others and wanted to give them the credit they deserve for their tenacity and inspiration.

I was told that I need to work on being more positive. In some ways, I think that is probably nearly as hard as losing weight, especially when I really have no idea how to do that. I can say the words. I can post the “positive” quotes and want to believe them, and maybe for a brief time, I do believe them, but then something happens and I invariably fall back into the negative vibes.

And I hate it. I really do. I don’t like to be so negative. I want to wake up every morning and look forward to the day. Look forward to another having lived through the night. To look forward to just living.

And I hate being this big. I hate not being able to do such simple things. And most of all I hate that I can’t seem to do what I need to do to fix myself. But I’m trying. Again.

My tattoo says “Joie de vivre”  The Joy of Living.

Because that’s what I’m really striving to do.

Love,

Dani

 

 

I’m “fine”

Warning:  I use the “F” word a lot in this posting. I use it a lot normally so if you know me, this won’t be a surprise, but this is just a word of caution to those who might not care for the word…

I think maybe I missed my “calling” and should have been an actress. I’m almost always pretending to be someone else; something else. It’s gotten to where I’m not even conscious of doing it most times.

You know that old joke that if a woman says she’s “fine”…

b86ea0c29fbb18b2e0db85f2f9446bcecc26ddef220f124513c6fdc3df3c7706

Yeah, that. But while that’s funny and is normally meant more to make fun of men’s inability to understand women, there’s also the more serious side to when a woman’s says she’s “fine” which is the completely opposite. She’s not fine. Not at all.

591411267

Some of the times, I really am fine. I’m okay. I’m good. Things are going okay, or well. And I’m okay. Sometimes.

But sometimes if I say “I’m fine” I’m really not. But I have this incessant need to not have everyone know it. No one. Not my therapist. Not my mother. I just don’t want to “share” because if I say how I really feel (which isn’t always clear to me either), it opens up everyone to have to discuss it. And there are times, most times, when I don’t want to discuss it. Talking about it doesn’t always makes me feel better. It really doesn’t; makes me feel worse.

Sometimes, for brief moments, I forget that I’m really not fine until something happens that reminds me. It could be weeks where I really am fine, but most times it’s mere hours, and if I’m lucky, a day or two.

I post jokes. I respond to posts with smiley face emojis. I try to mask everything I feel with jokes, sarcastic comments and sometimes even that helps me to forget. Briefly.

So I say “I’m fine” in hopes that people will just take the hint and move on. Some ask and don’t really care how you feel – it’s a nicety only. And there are those that ask because they really care, but I never really want to have the discussion with them about why I’m not fine.

Why?

Because most of the time we’ve already had the conversion. It’s like a fucking bad case of Déjà vu. Because most of the time the same fucking thing that had me upset before, is the same fucking thing that has me upset then.

My weight. My fucking weight.

That’s not to say that I don’t get upset or emotional about other things. I surely do. My job. My lack of a social life. My ridiculous feelings for someone I have zero chance with. One of my pets being sick. You know, the usual stuff in life that gets to you. That gets to everyone. Normal shit.

But my weight is not normal.

Worse is my apparent lack of ability to do anything about it. Sure, I do something for a day. A week. Maybe many weeks. I worked with a great woman who got me on track and then I went out on my own. At the time I was positive based on what I’d learned to strike out on my own and succeed. I even felt a weight lifted from my shoulders that I didn’t have to be accountable to someone else so I could avoid the anxiety of feeling I had to please her. But I didn’t keep succeeding. As with every other time in my life, I invariably fail.

Every. Fucking. Time. And you know what makes me more upset about that than anything is that I have no idea why. Why can’t I do it? Why can’t I get motivated? Why can’t I say motivated? Why do I give up? Why do I sabotage myself? I have NO idea. No one does.

There’s no one in the room with me. There’s no enabler here. It’s all on me. All. Of. It.

I’m not a stupid woman but I have to tell you, sometimes I feel like the most stupid woman on the planet.

A couple of months ago my therapist told me that if I can’t do this yet it’s because I haven’t hit rock bottom. And I have to tell you. I cried at that. Then I left her place and I cried. A lot. Because if this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t want to know what is.

And you know what happened? Nothing. Well, that’s not completely true. My weight did change. It went up!  As I write this, I am at the highest weight I have EVER been. Ever. Every time the scale goes up, I lose a bit more of sanity. My heart breaks a little more. My anxiety about my failures goes up and I wonder how long do I have left to live.

And it’s all on me.

And apparently the fact that I can barely move and that this summer the heat and humidity have made me feel more like a bigger blob of shit than any other time hasn’t been enough. Apparently that I can barely breath some days, and when I lay down to sleep hasn’t been enough. Apparently when I sweat just struggling to do the simplest things that most people don’t even think about hasn’t been enough. Nothing has been enough. And apparently this…

isn’t fucking rock bottom.

But let’s get this straight though – I’m not depressed. I’ve been depressed and this isn’t it. I’m not breaking down. I’m not depressed.

I’m angry. I’m pissed. And I’m upset with my life, how I’ve lived it (for the most part) until now and how I’ve let my health get so far out of control that I’m now struggling to just live.

So I act like I’m an Academy Award winner that everything is just super and most people, if not all, are none the wiser. And that has been just fine with me because otherwise it only reminds them, and me, of what a failure I have been up till now. And everyone will say to me…

“Oh Dani, you’re not a failure.”

“Just keep going”

“You can do this”

“Don’t give up”

etc…

And sometimes I believe it myself. But it doesn’t last.

I know losing weight is hard. I fucking know it. I’ve known it for 30 years. And it’s not getting easier and never will. And I wish I had some magic pill that would just fix the problem but there’s no such thing.

And the worst feeling is feeling like I can’t do this just because it’s hard. How do you not feel like a failure then? How do you not get to the point where you stop trying to do anything because if it’s hard you won’t do it?

How do you think you look to others, but most especially yourself, when you won’t even try to work hard to get what you want? I can’t stand people who float through life and expect they deserve everything they want. That they don’t have to work hard for it. But I don’t work on losing weight and I’m then surprised when I don’t and get mad at myself. There’s a word for that:

Hypocrite.

And you know what I dislike most of all? Hypocrites. Ergo, I don’t really like that I haven’t been able to walk the walk. To work hard to get what I want. It’s not even that I hate myself. I don’t think I really do. I hate what I’ve done, or not done. I hate my actions, and inactions. I hate that I can’t seem to do everything in my power to fix something that scares me to death. And may be the death of me, sooner rather than later.

Someone once told me that I won’t lose weight until I really want to. I argued that how could I not want to? How can I feel like this day in and day out and not want to lose weight? And I guess the answer is that I’m not willing to work hard enough. But I have no idea why.

So I’ve been concentrating on getting my book finished and published. So I can finally feel like I finishing something. I accomplished something. Anything. That I actually did something. And to be honest, I am grateful for the great things I have in my life. My mom, my family, my amazing friends. My cats. That I have a nice car, a roof over my head, money in the bank and a great paying job. I’m grateful for all of it.

But it’s not enough. Because none of that make me work hard to lose the weight. None of it.

It’s. All. On. Me. And we know how well that’s worked out so far.

I’m tired. Physically I’m exhausted. I can barely move. I can barely breath sometimes on really humid days. The pain in my feet get so bad some days that just walking to my car makes me cry. And mentally, I’m just trying to figure out what to do next.

So, friends…

I’m fine.

Dani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tipping the Scales

Depending on who you speak to about weight loss, and everyone has an opinion, many will tell you to ignore what the scale says. Other will tell you that it’s important to weigh yourself – even every day.

From my experiences, there are three particular things that stand out to me regarding the scale:

  1. I don’t like to weigh myself every day. The reasoning, as told to me, is so you can see fluctuation from day to day to help you determine what you might have done “wrong” the day before. Ate something you shouldn’t have, for example. I don’t really subscribe to this method for two reasons. 1) You become obsessed with what it says – good or bad. 2) And if it’s bad, you stress and freak out because you had a gain. When just sometimes, the gain isn’t really anything you did wrong. But the perception is there. GAIN = FAIL
  2. Some have told me to ignore the scale all together. To go by, for example, how I feel or how my clothes fit. I can’t really subscribe to this either. I need some sort of tangible thing to tell me how I’m doing. For me to feel better, I have to drop quite a bit of weight because right now, I feel pretty sucky. As well, I wear all of my clothes at least 3 sizes too big because I can’t stand having fitted clothes against me; I feel like I’m suffocating. If you’ve been around me enough, you’ve seen me even yanking on those looser fitting clothes because I can’t stand the restrictions. But fear not – I will not be running around naked. Ever.
  3. The scale is an evil bitch who shows absolutely zero mercy to those of us who struggle at weight loss and look for some shred of hope that all of our sweat and tears – lot of tears – is for naught.

I think the key is to not let the scale define me. Yes they are just numbers, but important numbers, especially to someone who has to lose as much as I do. But I know I’m so much more than the numbers on the scale. I know I’m not that scale.

283726845244744843_MJzSuS4w_c

I’m a good person for the most part. I’m loyal to my family and friends to a fault. I do whatever I can to help and support them, even if sometimes I feel like I act selfishly. I feel passionately about things like protecting animals. I think I’m funny even if no one else does. I’m fascinated with history, learning about everything and anything. I love my cats. I love my mom. I miss my dad.

And I know I have to learn to love myself as much as I love them. After some conversations with my therapist, I’ve realized that I don’t hate myself. I hate what I let myself become, but I don’t hate myself. I’m just really disappointed in myself. There’s a difference.

So of course, anytime that I step on the scale and there is a gain – no matter how little – it does affect me. It hasn’t always been a good thing. I had a 3 pound weight gain one week and seriously lost my shit. And maybe people didn’t understand. Yes, a lot of people know the struggles of losing weight.

But when you have as much to lose as I do, a three pound gain screams EPIC FAIL because it could take weeks to lose it again and then you invariably feel like all you’ve lost is time.

After years of struggling, I still have those moments where I feel like I’m lost. Like I haven’t accomplished anyway. And it is very hard, as many of you know, to not feel like you’ve failed. To not feel like you’re going backwards.

I’ve been there. I have no doubt I’ll be there again. And I’ve said before, I wish I had some great pearls of wisdom on how to deal with it. It’s easy for someone to say, “Just forget it and move on.” It’s like also saying, “You know what to do, so just do it.”

EasyPeasyLogoTransparent Right?

In any case, the point to all this blabbering is that for the first time in nearly 2 months, the fucking scale is giving me some hope.

I’ve lost 2 pounds since last Sunday.

And I’m going to take that as a win because frankly, this summer has not only knocked me on my ass but it’s dragged me around behind its car for a few thousand miles. The weather has been brutal on me in so many ways. Water retention, swelling, heat rashes. It’s affected me physically to the point where there are days I can barely move. Sleeping is a luxury most nights. Case in point, I was awake till nearly 3am this morning because I couldn’t get comfortable. I couldn’t breath properly. It’s just been a nightmare.

Unfortunately, it’s only the beginning of August. This weather shit can go on for another month, or two. So I’m doing what I can to fight it but I honestly have to say that this is the worse summer for me that I can every remember.

When you have a hard time breathing just walking a short distance outside and your lungs feel like they have water in them – yeah…that’s not something I want to feel every again.

So I’m taking the 2 pound loss for the win because given the past six weeks or so, I deserve it.

So here’s to telling mother nature yet again – fuck you – and fighting on. Never giving up. And…

keep

Blessings to all. Thank you for being with me on my journey.

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

Second chances. And sometimes thirds…

The best thing about making a mistake, in most cases, is that it isn’t fatal. It might not even be as big of a deal as you might  make it out to be. And that’s so me, so often. Over-exaggeration. Worse-case-scenario. Over-the-top dramatics.

churchill2

We all make mistakes. As my friend Brandon Auret tells me,”We human.” And being part of the human race means that we all invariably screw up. While I haven’t yet mastered the ability to not, as some would say, “freak the fuck out” when I do goof up, I have gotten better and have been learning to not let it get to me. At least for not very long. It’s in the past. Learn from the mistakes, and move on.

Falling-off-the-wagon

So whenever I fall off the proverbial weight loss wagon, I try my best to not let it threaten all that I have worked for up to that point. I try to put into perspective that 1) we all make mistakes, 2) it doesn’t mean I’m a failure, and 3) I just have to work that much harder to make up for the misstep.

It’s not easy to get back on the wagon again. It’s a struggle every day to even stay on, so when I fall off, I have to work that much harder to climb back up and keep going. It’s hard. I’ve said that a thousand times before.That hasn’t changed. But what has changed?

Me.

I’m stronger than I was six months ago. I’m stronger than I was a year ago. I’m not the same person. And for every  mistake I’ve made, I’ve learned something that will help me on the next go-round.

Does it get tiresome?  The falling off and climbing back on? Sure. But someone reminded me recently that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Of course, we’ve all heard that adage. But this one is the one that resonates with me the most:

quote-i-didn-t-fail-1000-times-the-light-bulb-was-an-invention-with-1000-steps-thomas-a-edison-69-48-49

So while I don’t relish the idea of failing at losing weight and getting healthy a thousand times, the meaning isn’t lost on me.

Keep trying. Learn from your mistakes. And succeed.

Starting tomorrow I’m back on the wagon. I hope I won’t get tossed off, but hope that if I do, I will be better prepared to deal with it, move on and climb back on.

Tomorrow is #GreenMonday. If you’re like me and have never heard of it, it’s a world-wide movement that tries to education everyone about healthier plant-based eating, but also its affect on the environment by doing so. Similar to “MeatlessMonday”, a vow to participate in #GreenMonday means that you’ll eat only plant-based foods all day on Mondays, with no consumption of meat, milk or eggs.

For more information (and some recipes as well), this link:

Home

brings you to the South African site for #GreenMonday.  South African Actor/Singer/Screenwriter Benedikt Sebastian introduced me to #GreenMonday through some of his posts and I vowed to be Green on Mondays. You can too.  Thank you, Benedikt!

Certainly this isn’t to say that I (or anyone else) will become a vegetarian like Benedikt. But I believe more and more that as we try to reduce our consumption of meats, and increase plant-based foods into our “diets”, we are not only helping the planet, but certainly ourselves. Our bodies. And our minds.

For the time that I was eating so little meat, I not only was losing weight but I felt better.I felt cleaner. And in all honesty, I just felt like I was doing something right.

So here’s to my first #GreenMonday. My climbing back on the wagon. And to finally feeling better about myself. Something that’s been missing for a while now.

Blessings to all.

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

Mother Nature Can Suck It!

First…

sorry-gif-847

^^^ That’s for my being remiss (again) in not writing sooner.

No excuses, really. But if you are a writer, or know one, you’re probably aware that while most of us feel we need to be inspired to write, many of us struggle to do just that – even when we feel that we have nothing to say.

It’s been 2 months since I last write on this blog. To my utter surprise, the hits on here have not only been consistent despite my not providing any new posts, but they’ve increased! Typically for the first day or two after I post a new blog posting, the number of visitors it receives is high,then gradually it fades. I don’t have a huge following; in all honesty, it was never my intention to have a large following. Not because I felt no one would want to hear what I had to say, but more so because I’m not really a well known person and I’m not actively marketing this blog. And frankly I wasn’t even sure if anything I was writing would even be of interest to anyone. I’ve since learned that people are indeed interested and that makes me very appreciative, but also inspires and helps me on my journey all the more. In fact, many of the visitors of late have been from all over the world, including places where I don’t actually know anyway.

But I digress.

Today’s post is dedicated to someone we all know. Someone who some of you might love, or if you’re like me, mostly feel like this:

fuck

Now I’ve dealt with some bitches in my life but this one…I’d like to punch her right in her ovaries.

For as far back as I can remember, I have never done well with the heat and humidity of summer. My favorite season has always been, and still is, Fall (or Autumn depending on where you live). Most people I know, but not all, prefer the heat. Love to be out in the sun, roasting to a savory brown tan like the last Thanksgiving turkey. Me? I don’t tan. I go from one-shade-darker-than-an-Albino to burnt and back again. Sure, my arms will somewhat tan just simply from being in the car driving, but rarely, if ever, will you ever catch me actually out in the sun during the summer.

Think of me as your vampire friend Dani.

Let’s be clear. This isn’t about a little sweating. This isn’t about some frizzy hair due to the humidity. This is about me being physically sick – nauseated, sinus headaches, rashes from sweating no matter how many showers or how much powder I use. This is about being so fucking uncomfortable that I often feel like I’m losing my ever-loving mind.

And then there’s the weight gain.

Unlike most people who are more active in the summer and tend to lose weight, I am the opposite. I wish I could say that it’s just because I’m a stubborn bitch and I like to be rebellious, but alas, that isn’t it. Not at all. This also has nothing to be with my being Canadian. Contrary to popular belief, not all of Canada is a tundric ruin. In fact, where I come from (which incidentally is the only Canadian city SOUTH of a US one – look it up), they pretty much have the same weather that we get here in Ithaca. The only difference is the topography – Windsor being a epic flatland and Ithaca being a hilly nightmare (in the winter).

So I wish I could say that my childhood growing up in the “Great White North” was filled with cooler summers and ridiculously colder winters but I can’t. Sure, it got cold in the winters. It got to be what I like to call…brace yourselves…”snot freezing weather” but for as much as I often felt I was wearing tissue paper for pants…

I FELT ALIVE!

I am in my element in the cooler weather. Give me 45-65 degree weather all the time and I would be in Heaven. And as I said above, most people are more active and tend to lose weight in the summer…I don’t. I put it on. And put it on.

The heavier I start in the warmer months, most often the heavier I will get until the tides shift and we welcome in October. It’s then that I am more active; more pep in my step. And I start to lose the weight. During the summers, no matter how much water I drink, I swell up like a dead body the CSI team found in the lake – that had been there for 6 months or more. My hands, especially my fingers swell up to wear I can’t wear my rings. And they ache – my typing such as this blog, to even just flexing them to drive or any sort of movement.

I also having trouble with eating in the hot months. The idea of turning on the stove, oven or even using the BBQ gives me fits. But I also struggle with just being able to move around. To do the normal things around the house – cleaning, laundry etc. And forget about exercising.

And then there’s my feet/ankles.

If you’ve read this blog long enough you also know that I have foot pain nearly all the time. Unfortunately, running shoes are the only shoes I can wear that are supportive and that I can walk in. No flipflops for me. No pretty sandals that would show off pretty purple painted toenails. I don’t even wear shorts out in public because of how “deformed” I become (and because of the self-esteem issues). So no matter how uncomfortable I am due to the heat, I wear jeans and running shoes. When I am at home in the evening from work or on the weekends, I wear Orthoheel slip-on shoes. I can’t wear them outside because I cannot walk properly in them due to not always being aware of my feet due to the pain and numbness. I’m clumsy.

This is what my feet look like every night (dry skin aside and my apologies – I do not have pretty little feet):

20160721_234005-1

The darker red band is the normal size of my foot. The swollen part above it (below my toes) is the open part of the orthoheel shoes. Below that band is all the swelling to above my ankle. This is just from sitting. With no compressing, hot running shoes on. I don’t have A/C in my apartment; I can’t have A/C in my apartment.

Worse is in the past two weeks or so, the humidity in the air has had me having breathing issues. I used to get slightly winded walking up my walkway, up the road and down the driveway to my car. Now I am only half way up my walkway and I’m gasping for air. The moisture in the air is so thick sometimes, not only do I get huge headaches but as I said, lately I’ve been having trouble breathing. It became most noticeable to me when I realized that I wasn’t having that issue in my office or like last night at the mall – until I go outside.

I liken that I have a harder time with the heat because of my size. After all, I have a lot of fat (blubber) on my body which acts as an insulator. Think of a whale.

And I’m by no means being derogatory to myself. It’s a simple fact of biology. And unfortunately, while I wish I could just sit here and wallow alone aboard the self-pity train, I really don’t think I can wait until the Fall. I will never succeed in losing all the weight and getting healthy if I can’t get through the summers. I just can’t.

I certainly hope people understand now that when I complain about the heat that I’m not doing it just for the sake of whining about something; that it’s understood that it’s something that affects every part of my life – my body and my mind – my health and my everything. I have the tools and know what I need to do but the weather is messing me up – big time.

And believe me when I say that the fact that I have a hard time breathing in this humidity is scaring the ever-loving bejeezus out of me.

So starting tomorrow RIGHT NOW,  I’m renewing my determination to fight through this. To do everything I can to get back on track and succeed. I have to. I’m feeling lost in this gigantic dome of weather-related health issues and honestly, I’m scared. I don’t like feeling like I’m suffocating. I don’t like feeling so swollen that I can barely move. I don’t like feeling that I’m failing. And I really don’t like feeling like I’m dying.

So…

Fuck you Mother Nature!

Its-too-hot-today

So here’s to another determined push to get through this and be successful. I could certainly use some words of encouragement from the masses on this one. I’m feeling so lost…

Thank you all,

Dani