Sep 022014
 

I skipped last weeks timeout without realizing it. The past two weeks have been… rough. My Grandfather had a heart attack and died, the ceiling in our bathroom had to be ripped out because of a leak, and for several days in a row we were wading through water in our kitchen and hallway due to a clogged condensation line in the air conditioning unit. Maintenance was in and out all week and my sleep schedule was thoroughly trashed.

Last Monday I went to my first party as an adult (I know!) and drank entirely too much. The mosqitos decided I was a buffet and I still have angry red welts marching up and down my legs. The party was worth it though, it helped take the edge off a brutal week at work and I got to know some of my co-workers better.

Nick has joined me on the journey towards good health and I couldn’t be happier. Having a partner to go through this with makes it much more enjoyable. Here’s a picture he took of me for a private weight loss group I am a part of. The assignment was to take a picture of ourselves in “warrior” gear, otherwise known as workout clothes. I had just got done walking over 2 miles so I figured what better time to strike a warrior pose? Ignore the dirty kitchen!

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And here is a picture of one of my favorite meals this week. Food photographer I am not! It was tasty though. Baked “Fried” ChickenGarlic Snap Peas, and half a white potato that I baked and then cut in to wedges and seasoned with Onion & Herb Mrs. Dash.

Weigh In: 303lbs
Starting Weight: 360lbs. Reboot Weight: 324lbs.
Previous Weight: 310lbs. Current Loss/Gain: -6lbs.
Total Loss: 57lbs. Reboot Loss: 20lbs.

GOALS:
LAST TIMEOUT:
– 64+ ounces of water daily. – Accomplished
– Take meds daily. – Needs work
– 7+ hours sleep daily. – Needs work
– Track daily. – Accomplished

THIS WEEK
Keep tracking and drinking water.

Take meds daily.
7+ hours sleep daily.
Workout 5 days a week.

 Posted by at 1:38 am
May 142014
 

A quick recap of what’s happened since I last posted:

  • In January I fell and broke my leg/ankle in 3 places.
  • I was off work for 7 weeks and am still not up to full strength.
  • My sister and her two kids lived with me for 2 months which means I have a phone full of adorable pictures.
  • I moved to Ohio at the end of April and am now living with my boyfriend and our pets.
  • In June I start my new job at a teaching hospital in Cincinnati.

Life has been busy and full of change lately. I am doing my best to keep up and want to start writing again. There are definitely a few experiences I want to blog about and I know as things fall in to place here in Ohio I will have lots more to talk about. Unlike in November when I said I was going to start posting again soon this time I really mean it.

 

 Posted by at 9:33 am
Jun 172013
 

My Dad was always around when I was growing up. He met my Mom young, and they had been married for nearly 23 years when he died. There are very few memories of my childhood that don’t involve him in one way or another. He collected strays, welcoming people in to our home, feeding them even though we rarely had enough to go around. My parents always said that our family had the gift of poverty.

As a Reverend and Chaplain his work entailed ministering to our community, a job which he took to heart. I learned the importance of volunteering and public service from my Dad. I still remember the way he looked in his Navy whites, even though I was tiny the last time he wore them. Towards the end of his life he had shifted from leading churches to ministering to inmates. He led a service every week for men who were not able to attend Sunday services because of their past history. Dad never condoned the crimes these men had committed, but his faith in a forgiving God was unwavering.
I don’t want to paint a perfect picture of him, which is easy to do when someone is gone… but today is a day to honor him, and so I will just say that I couldn’t have asked for better. Missing him is something I will live with until I go home for good and get to walk the streets of gold together.
God didn’t stop there though. For the past 6 years I’ve had a pretty awesome Step-dad. Our relationship was rocky for a long time, and honestly we are still learning each other. The best thing about Bill is the sheer volume of his love for my Mom. He is always there for my sisters and I when we truly need him, and he pushes… pushes us to try harder, to be more independent.. to break the mold.
Bill is a retired Marine and is very involved with the AA in our area. It’s funny how my Mom found someone who is incredibly differently, but eerily similar to my Dad. Bill has never treated my sisters or myself as anything other than his girls. And when it comes to the grand-babies… he has that touch. As much as my nephew L looks my Dad, many of his mannerisms are Bill’s.
Although my precious nieces and nephews will never know the man I grew up calling Dad, they have a Grandpa any child would be delighted to love.
Happy Father’s Day!
 Posted by at 4:48 am
May 272013
 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

The three days I spent in the hospital were a God send. The new anti-depressant I started several weeks ago threw me for a loop. The harder I tried to hold on the deeper I fell. As much as I pretended to have it all together, that I had hope, that things were getting better….

I wasn’t safe to be alone. My parents were at their wits end trying to help, and when I went to the doctor on Wednesday I wasn’t able to hide behind smiles…

So in to the hospital I went. You see all the commercials for anti-depressants and it talks about how it can increase certain feelings in children and teenagers…. Well, if you’re bipolar it can do the same thing!

Yeah, so I am bipolar. Found that out while at the hospital. I spent a lot of time with doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals who all came to the same conclusion. Especially considering my diagnosis of ADHD as a child.

Turns out that a lot of people my age who were diagnosed with ADHD as kids were really early on-set bipolar. The periods of hyperactivity were maniac periods… And since I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember…. The result was logical.

This makes sense since behavior therapy and sticking to a schedule was always more effective for me than the ADHD meds. I actually spent 12 days in the hospital when I was 11 for almost exactly the same reasons I did this past week.

An inventory of my adult years led to a stunning conclusion… Every time I hit a maniac period in the past I’ve moved, quit my job, started school, ended/started relationships, invested in a new hobby… Another words I always ran away and lost myself in something so I didn’t have to address what was going on in my head.

This time I had no way to run. I can’t quit my job, I’m not ready to go to school, and the idea of a new hobby when I have so many already was overwhelming. I was sleeping for days at a time. Or staying up for 48 hours straight. It took hours to fall asleep, and I’d spend hours cleaning and then the next week the dishes would sit in the sink until the house stunk.

It was everything or nothing. I’d find the middle of the road for a little bit and revel in it. This pattern has been going on for most of my life but the past 6 weeks or so have been hellacious.

The anti-depressant intensified everything and I finally crashed. At first I was strung out about inpatient treatment. The staff at the hospital was amazing! Every day I was reassured about my confidentiality, I was able to skip the typical admitting process and was actually hidden on the patient census. The people who took care of me are people I have worked with and at first that terrified me.

It shouldn’t have. God went above and beyond. His timing is perfect. I was treated like a normal person who needed help. I didn’t get special treatment (still had to hand over my phone and anything dangerous to myself or others) from the staff who knew me, but they did talk to me like a colleague when they could.

It was nice because they know what sort of stress I am under at work and we addressed some of the best ways to handle that stress. I learned lots of different coping strategies and ways to identify triggers and when I am starting to swerve out of the lines.

I’m off the anti-depressant and on mood stabilizers. I took some heavy duty sleep aides for a few days too, but am off the benzodiazepines now. Hopefully I will be able to go off 2 out of my 3 mood stabilizers in the future. One of the good things that came out of inpatient treatment was a being able to take a closer look at my other medications.

It looks like I might be able to go off my blood pressure medication and metformin soon, if the mood stabilizers don’t cause anything to act up. Yay!

Back to resting in Christ… I am weak. Unbearably, hopelessly, desperately weak. There is a chance someone from work may find out about me being bipolar. That bothers me a little bit, but I am placing my trust in Him, because that is the only way I am strong.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 7:48 pm
May 182013
 

I opened up to friends today about how bad things have been mentally in the past few months. While getting that off my chest was refreshing, it left me feeling a lot more vulnerable. It’s hard to find balance on how much is too much when it comes to being completely honest. Thank God I have some amazing friends, and a wonderful family! Even though I felt bare afterwards, it was nice to clue these women who mean so much to me in to what is going on.

My life right now is different than I imagined. I drive a decent car, live in a pretty (albeit small) house, and manage to keep my bills paid and generally have a smidgen left over for a movie or a book every few paydays. I don’t need much, and generally don’t find myself lusting for material things. I have a support system that many people dream of, and I am on my way to a healthier me.

And I still find myself spiraling down deeper in to depression. Which makes me feel guilty. And then comes more depression. It’s a vicious cycle. Occasionally I break free, but never for very long. Sometimes I spiral up, so far up that I lose control and find myself slamming back so hard that it undoes everything I’ve previously achieved.

How do you tell people that even though you’re happy, you are depressed? I feel like such a whiner when I say that. When someone asks me how I am I smile and say it’s OK. It reminds me of when my Dad died, and very few people really wanted to hear “it sucks, I cry all the time and when I do manage to smile, it hurts”… I know from experience that grief gets better. That gives me that depression will too.

Dad has been gone 7 years at the end of this month. How vastly I’ve changed in those 7 years. I’m a grown up now. I know he would be is proud of everything I’ve accomplished and the woman I am. I do not miss him less now, but I don’t wallow in grief either. His absence has simply become a part of who I am. Some days I wonder if I’d be who I am now if he hadn’t of died. Scratch that, I KNOW I would be different. Part of my success is fueled by a pledge to honor his memory and live a full life.

When I was little my Dad lost a lot of weight by running. He went on to join the Navy, and then left to become a pastor. The pounds came back and by the time I was a teenager he was morbidly obese. When he learned he was a Type 2 diabetic everything changed. He started eating right, walking, and doing his best to honor the body God gave him to take care of. (My Dad fought a lifelong battle with depression as well, he was someone I could always talk to because he got it.)

When I lace up my running shoes I am promising to do everything in my power to live long enough to meet my grandchildren. 4 years now a miniature version of my Dad has been roaming the earth, changing my families life forever. Sometimes I look at my nephew and stare, because it is like looking at my Dad. I dream about what it would be like to see them side by side, laughing and playing with each.

I want to be there when my (someday) kids have kids. So I am going to conquer the darkness and run in the light. It’s funny how much peace training for this 10k has brought in to my life. Just 6 weeks of getting out and doing my best has given me a new reason to go on. The depression is still there. Some days it is still crippling. It won’t always be.

Tonight I had a too few many cookies and treats at a potluck. At first I couldn’t understand why I kept eating! Then I sat down and started to write and realized I was pushing food in to my mouth to give my brain something else to think about. Processing it and moving on is a much better solution.

So I am going to go home after work, sleep, and go out and get a few miles in before getting ready for another long night. And then it’s the weekend! Hallefreakinglujah. My goal for this weekend is to go for a 6.2 mile walk. No running or jogging allowed, I just want to get out and walk a 10k. I will let you know how it goes.

 Posted by at 7:59 am
May 142013
 

As soon as the sunshine hits I spend as much time as possible in the water. For Mother’s Day I went to my parents house, we had a small lunch and were trying to decide what movie to watch when the sun broke through the clouds. The forecast had called for mid 60s and rain, but we ended up in the 70s with sunshine so we loaded my car with a picnic and blankets and headed off for the river.

I absconded with my Step-Dad’s hat.

My Step-dad drove the motorcycle (which means I got to steal his hat) so it was just Mom and I on the 40 minute drive. We had lots of time to talk and spent a lot of it talking about my Dad, who has been gone for 7 years at the end of the month.

The motorcycle and my car hanging out.

Each time we go I get in a little faster. The water is still on the cool side right now (and honestly, it never gets truly warm in this part of Oregon) so it takes a few minutes to get numb. As soon as the water hit my waist I just sat down and soaked myself head to toe.

The River.

We swam, ate, relaxed on the blankets, read, collected rocks for my project, and enjoyed having the water to ourselves. After a few hours we headed home. I had to pull over about a third of the way and let Mom drive.

Scenery

The roads are incredibly windy and not in the best shape, and this was actually my first time driving them in the years we’ve been going. I was tired (had been up since 8pm the night before) and just couldn’t focus on the road anymore. Luckily my Mom loves to drive my car.

Mom and me.

Once we got back to their house we stretched out to watch a movie and I slept through the whole thing. All in all I think I slept 5 hours on their couch. It’s a good thing I spoiled Mom with flowers, a plant, cookies, an beautiful card. Hopefully that made up for my snoring.

Monday I had a doctors appointment and errands to run, so I headed in to town early. I found some great produce sales, so I will definitely be juicing this week! Seed wise I bought habanero, jalapeño, mixed hot peppers, mixed mesclun, Swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens.

My doctors appointment went well. We are going to give my new med 3 more months and reevaluate. So I don’t have to go back for 3 months! Between my asthma and depression I have been at the doctors office nearly every 6 weeks this year.

My weight was down 3lbs from my last visit, but still up from my lowest weight this year. My doctor is actually a PA and she just happens to be a personal trainer and coach too… So she showed me a few stretches to do before and after running and provided lots of encouragement.

I came home and planted my seeds, then set to cleaning house and getting ready for the work week. For tomorrow I have scrambled Mexican eggs & potatoes, half a blueberry oatmeal smoothie, sliced veggies and fruit, and a salad.

I started using My Fitness Pal to track calories and activity this weekend and hope it helps keep me accountable!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 7:35 am
May 072013
 

I hit 3.1 miles today for the first time. It took 56:49 but I did it!

Today’s run was a bit of a mishap. I set out to the river earlier in the day and spent two hours enjoying the cool water. A good part of that time I spent swimming/walking against the current in an effort to reach the shallows so I could collect rocks for a project. My legs were tired by the time we got back to the van!

Powers
Bill jumping off the diving board

Even though my ankle was still sore I decided to go for a run while my Mom cooked dinner. I got dressed and told her if I wasn’t back in 45 minutes or so to call me. I’ve driven the area around my parents house countless times, but wasn’t quite sure which way to go when running.

My initial plan was to do an out and back down the road I was most familiar with, but my Step-Dad suggested doing a loop around, promising it was just over 3 miles. Mom said it was probably longer, but I really liked the idea of not doing an out and back so I took off the direction Bill suggested.

Almost instantly I was ready to quit. My legs were heavy and tired from swimming, and my stomach hurt. Instead of turning around I kept going. The road was a nice change because it had some subtle hills and sharp curves, but there was barely any shoulder. I had to hold my breath while big trucks came barreling at me.

My parents live in an incredibly rural area (population 120 – and I think that includes domestic animals ;), and I’d say a vast majority of those people are farmers of some sort. Some keep organic dairy cows, others have horse ranches, a few pig farmers, a couple large scale gardeners, and chickens everywhere!

View while running.

These drivers aren’t used to slowing down for runners on the road. I know how I drive these roads… I doubt I will run it again! The entire way I was beating myself up because I couldn’t keep pace with my training app. The walk periods felt short, and almost every time I glanced at my phone it said I still had 15-40 seconds left to run. It was agonizing!
At one point I was pretty sure I was lost and tried to call my Mom but the phone was busy. Finally I just kept going, trying to run as much as I could, still really disappointed in what I thought was my inability to do a full minute.

View while running.

Once I hit 3.1 minutes I realized I still had a good mile to the house. Defeated and angry I tried to channel that negative energy in to something positive. Even though my training for the day was done I’d run as far as I could as fast as I could, walk, catch my breath, and go again.
When my Mom drove up next to me at 3.42 miles I was overjoyed! I turned off Nike + and climbed in the passenger seat. I’d been gone for an hour, so she’d come to make sure I was ok. I have the best parents! I’d been thinking about calling for a ride from the moment I hit 3.1, but didn’t want to give up.

View while running.

I started fiddling with my phone to post my run to Facebook and realized I had set my training to the wrong day. Instead of running 1 minute, walking 4 minutes, running 1 minute… I was running 1.30, walking 3.30, and repeating. No wonder I could never make it as far as my phone said to go!
Between the new road, tired legs/sore ankle, and wrong training day I still feel like I did pretty well today. Once back at my parents I collapsed on to the floor and stretched. Then I enjoyed dinner. 1 rib, a serving of cottage cheese, and baked beans. Mom had cooked me two ribs, but I could barely finish the first.

The best thing about running so far has been its affect on my appetite. It’s shrinking!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 8:56 am
May 062013
 

My whole post from yesterday seems to have disappeared. Now I get to tell my story all over again.

Yesterday morning I dropped by the store for shrimp, green onions, and Red Box movies on my way home from work. I walked out with those things and cereal. Why? I ate the whole box of Fruity Pebbles. Although I have several trigger foods, cereal is the easiest one to avoid since most are not gluten free. Seeing the big ‘Gluten Free’ sign on the box made it impossible to resist though.

Feeling like a loser, I got myself busy, as if doing chores could erase my failure. I cleaned the litter box, then washed the back/side of the house and my back porch. One of the windows the sunroom wasn’t quite closed and my bed got a little wet.

So I pulled out the sleep sofa and crashed on it. After 3 hours sleep I woke up and headed to the river with my parents. At first I almost didn’t go. My stomach hurt, I was tired, and I was still furious with myself. On the way there I confessed about the cereal to my Mom, who is basically my accountability partner about the early morning binge.
Little did I know that she’d picked out the swimming hole you have to hike to. I may not have burned off the entire box, but I certainly felt better after hiking down, swimming for a few hours, and hiking back up.

The hike down.
Me at 313lbs.
The swimming hole.
My Mom.
The swimming hole.
My step-dad, Bill.. and Buddy.
Another picture of the swimming hole.

By the time we got home I was pretty set on skipping my planned run for the day, but instead I threw on my clothes and headed back outside. I started out strong and was actually pushing my running interval to almost a minute when my phone rang. I slowed to a walk and talked to my Mom, who had left her glasses in my bag.
We arranged for her to pick them up tomorrow and I picked up the pace. The phone rang again. It was Mom letting my know that my step-dad was on his way to get the glasses. Since I was almost halfway I just kept going and figured he’d have to wait for me to get home.

Not 2 minutes later a motorcycle pulled up in front of me. It was my step-dad. I told him where the glasses were, gave him my key, and he sped off to go get them.

Finally halfway I turned around and tried to make up time. If you use the Nike + app you know you can use power songs, so I turned on of those on. Once it was over my music didn’t come back on so I slowed to a walk and started playing on my phone trying to get the music going again.

My left foot hit and rock and down I went on to my right side. It scared me more then anything at the time, and honestly I was really embarrassed because I run on the highway and there were plenty of cats going by… Typical fat girl can’t even walk. Beating myself up I sprung back up and considered calling Mom for a ride home.

That would mean waiting on the highway though, so I just kept going. My ankle hurt, but not enough to make me walk the rest of my runs. I made it home in great time. Actually had the best pace and distance yet.

Nike + stats.

Once home I forwent my plans of making fried rice and had eggs, potatoes, and fruit instead. Dinner tasted delicious! Sometimes simple is perfect. I got my ankle elevated and iced and quickly fell asleep.
I skipped church this morning since it was still sore, and have been hobbling around trying to get chores done so I can spend the day at the river again tomorrow.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 Posted by at 3:24 am
Dec 292012
 

I had a good Christmas week. It was quiet, simple, and almost perfect. My sisters weren’t able to come down, and I wasn’t able to go up. In a way, this worked out for the best. Both my Mom and I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we carpooled and enjoyed coffee. Hopefully my parents and I will be able to go to Washington in January!

My family rarely goes all out on gifts. We prefer to focus on celebrating Christ’s birth and enjoy the special moments that happen when family comes together. I did get a little spoiled this year though… I got a pashmina, a beaded purse, a vintage cuff, lots of toys for the cats, and candy from my immediate family.

My Grandparents sent me money (saved towards a treadmill), and my Aunt and Uncle sent me a Walmart gift card which got me some new slipper socks, a planner for 2013, and chocolate!

Today my parents and I had a small dinner of pulled pork, salad, homemade au-gratin potatoes, candied jalapeños, and a delicious gluten free chocolate hazelnut bread for dessert. After dinner I asked Bill (my Step-dad) if I could borrow their juicer for a few weeks, and he just gave it to me!

A friend gave it to them, and since they never use it, they gave it to me. I put it to use as soon as I got home and plan to use it a lot more!!

I pulled a few more things out of the attic, and made sure a few things I will want soon were still there. All in all it was a great holiday. Really looking forward to 2013!!

 Posted by at 7:13 am