I’m Not Ok, and That Needs to Be OK.

So yesterday I posted to my Facebook that recovery is hard. In all reality this should not be a surprise to anyone. Surgery is invasive, foreign, and hard on a body. I did not however expect it to be so hard on me.
I think of myself as a strong and independent person. Capable of just about anything I set my mind to. Right now I am struggling to make it through my commute to work, followed by the 8.5 hours at work, then the commute home which is grueling, then eating and passing out. Lather rinse repeat.
Remember when I worked 10 hour days, stayed up for so many hours at a time with no sleep, worked out at the gym for 2-4 hours a day… now I am getting winded from walking up the three flights of stairs.
I think this galbladder surgery has killed me. I hate having to rely on others to do things like carry my groceries, or lift something. I am under lifting restrictions not just normal ones but extended ones because of my EDS. I worry that this hard spot on my side is a hernia already since I cant seem to remember just how little 5lbs is.
My husband says he doesnt mind helping out, but I dont like to burden anyone with asking for things or help.

I am feeling a full range of emotions at any time. I can only explain it to myself as Trauma. In the span of a moment I can feel everything from sadness to anger to happiness and fear. The pain, comes and goes, in weird ways… not anything like what I experienced before they took my galbladder out but stabbling pains, and aches I assume are related to my Fibro and EDS and lack of movement.
I feel my progress slipping away. I feel the depression creeping in as part of my recovery and I cling to the thought that this won’t last forever.
The reality is though, my recovery has it’s own timeline. There is no magical date when I will be able to put my jeans back on and feel normal again. There is no knowing when I will start to feel human again. It will end, but there is no end date for me to circle on the calender.
Right now I am looking at FitBloggin to be my reprieve. That is right at the end of my expected full recovery window and what a reason to celebrate with my friends and family right?
But the darkness looms here… and I am fighting… but I am not okay… this is hard… and I am fighting. Fighting to get up, fighting to get through the day, and fighting to get back to healthy again. ❤

Depression and Addiction Lie

The world lost a great one yesterday. While I never had the opportunity to meet Robin Williams, he did touch my life. He was an amazing man. Today’s radio programming of the morning show has been filled with stories of how amazing Robin was. A kind man who took time for everyone.

He was recently here in Minnesota seeking help for his addiction problem. He was getting help. It made my heart happy to see someone that needed help getting help, but sad that he didn’t get privacy to deal with his addiction. I am always thankful for people that can share what truly are invisible illnesses so that people can be more aware of what goes on.

Depression is REAL. Addiction is REAL. Both of these things are often suffered with behind closed doors. When you are in the throws of depression, or addiction you feel alone. Or at least I did. It LIES to you. It is a scary place to be. You close off, retreat and fall into the lies.

It is hard to ask for help, but help is there. It is scary when people offer help, it is scary to let people in. Depression and addiction can be invisible. I hid mine for YEARS.

As the world mourns the loss of a great man, who I can only imagine had no idea just the impact his death would have on the world, I urge you to check on your friends and family. Not check on them about Robin’s death, but check on them about whatever is going on. Take a personal inventory of yourself. Be mindful of your moods.

I have written a few times about my struggles with mental health, and right now i know I am being very closely monitored by my friends, as well as Robb, and myself. Loss of a job, combined with wedding stress is enough to trigger me into a roller coaster of instability. I am thankful that my friends are checking in with me. I have a great toolbox full of resources to deal with the stresses internally/personally thanks to my time in the hospital. I have workbooks, and outside resources, like excercise that I have found in recent years to help me. I also have the national suicide prevention hotline number on a magnet on my fridge. I know that seems silly, but it is there for a reason, a last resort there is always someone there. 1-800-237-8255

I don’t know what I want to accomplish by speaking about this today. I am still processing what happened, however I just really want people to be aware that both depression and addiction are very lonely and scary places to be. They are places full of lies that you can’t tell are lies. It’s a very difficult place to escape, and even if you are surronded with love, it can still be the most lonely place you have ever been.

suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Self Care. The Realization That I am Worth More!

Self Care and the realization that I am worth more has been a long and winging road. In my new job I am learning a lot of things, about a lot of things.  Sports haven’t really been a big part of my life.  I enjoy watching baseball, I like a good MMA fight, I do enjoy a football game now and again.  I find myself diving into the sports world to become more educated in hopes of being better at my job.  As I learn more about the great athletes of the past I find inspirational words.

Muhammad Ali once said “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest! Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.” I really like this quote.  I like to think that he is talking about me, setting my goals and knocking them out one by one.  I can do all the hard things.  I just have to keep trying.

In having moved forward in my life, trying a new career path, being persistent and tenacious in my goals to be healthy and find happiness in my life I have discovered something.  The better I feel the more I take care of myself.  In both the sense of eating better and working out I do better, and in the sense that I enjoy the little things more.

Since I started my new position I have found a new way to reward myself for doing things like going to the gym, eating a balanced diet, and just frankly learning to be nice to myself.  I am of course talking about the simple act of pampering.

A few months ago I went and got a massage… it was not for me.  I spent the next several days, maybe a week sore beyond belief.  My chronic pain and connective tissue issues don’t allow me to enjoy the feeling.  I don’t relax.  I know having my haircut can be a double edge sword for me, sometimes its okay and sometimes it is very stressful. Yes it is just hair, but it’s too much pressure! I have found that getting my nails done is a really great way to spend just a small amount of time on myself.  I can’t do anything except just relax and focus on nothing.  I go every 2-3 weeks for a gel manicure at Ulta.  The girl there that does my nails is fabulous! Her name is Theresa, and she just makes me feel relaxed.

It seems silly that having my nails painted makes me feel more put together, but it does. Some people need to have mascara or lipstick on before leaving the house, I sort of feel that way about my nail polish. I am not a makeup girl.  Mom never taught me how to wear it. We would be late to a lot of things because she was putting makeup on.  It may be part of why I am so resistant to makeup.  My resistance to makeup might also be just that it feels so heavy or oily.

Every time I look at my bejeweled fingers, like little gems, 10 tiny presents on my fingers it is a reminder to me that I am worth taking care of.  IT seems so silly that one little change could do so much for me but it can.  One small behavioral change can be a visual reminder saying Hey Kris! You are awesome! Look at these awesome gifts to yourself!

And since I can, I’ll show off the two April gel manicures.

Self CareSelf Care

Tibial Torsion

*deep sigh* Another diagnosis. Another page added to my book of shit gone wrong, shit that should have been caught 20 years ago. Something that could have been treated then, that now is something I just have to deal with.

My head is in a very ugly space right now. VERY ugly.  I went for a Physical Therapy session last night after work, they had an opening, and I took it.  A manual physical therapist, ok, he felt my joints, which no surprise move very well and decided that my plantar fasciitis is being caused by something else.  External Tibial Torsion.  *sigh* Turns out I have been having this issue since I was a kid.  The loss of inward rotation that has been chalked up to all hip surgeries I had is NOT actually the issue with my feet turning outward.

While this is not the end of the world, it is part of why I have struggled so much with running, and why the elliptical is and continues to be a better choice for me.  There will very likely be no running in my future.  My physical therapy is now being shifted from manual therapy to a running therapist in hopes that he may be able to provide better insight into getting me back into working shape.  As my friends saw on Sunday I am NOT in any kind of fighting shape, so to speak.

The grip of what I want to call “medical depression” just seems to have grabbed ahold of me and wont let go.  While none of these things going on with me is fatal I just can’t seem to get ahead of anything.  Everytime I turn around it is something else going wrong, this is why I stopped visiting doctors before, because it was just one thing after another.  While the human body is fascinating in the way it is all connected, I cry because it seems like there is no end to the connection, no big answer as to what is wrong with me.  What is wrong with me is I am a walking talking living disaster.

So I keep pushing along… for now… but I am really getting tired of more questions than answers but I keep pushing… fingers crossed, the end of new things the resolution of all the stuff wrong so far can’t be that far off.

Flash Point

So the memories of my past continue to trickle into my consciousness as the weight comes off, well okay at this point on and off.  Sunday I was at the YMCA,  I had just completed 28 laps (or more, it is hard to keep track when you are just doing random strokes) in the pool without stopping, I hopped thru the shower into the sauna for a 5, to stretch out the stiffness that was starting in my shoulders, then grabbed a drink at the water fountain. …

And there I was in my head first grade as if I were truly there… over weight, hot and sweaty and I could feel the panic, and the teasing.  I could remember the bullying that went on, even in first grade.  After recess we would all line up at the water fountain in the back of the class, and one person would hold the fountain for a count of 5 *something* (ex Mississippi’s).  I pushed my eyes closed sipped the water from the fountain until my thirst was clenched, pushing the memory away then went to sit on the bench.  I signed deeply and decided I needed to think about the memory that was there.

Since I have so few memories, and I have been told time and again that I have “no good stories” I figure I need to explore these things as they come,  Putting the puzzle together as it were.  I sat for a few minutes, which actually seemed like it was longer.  I thought back to the line for the water fountain.  I thought about how when it was my turn to hold the fountain down for everyone I always picked a long word, like spelling out Mississippi.  I would make sure everyone got a long 5 count of the word and I let everyone have the same amount of time to drink.  I thought about how I tried my best to be fair to everyone, then I thought about my anger towards the girl in first grade who stole my My Little Ponies and claimed they were hers, I had to have my mom come to school and then we had to go to her house to get most of them back.  I never did get them all back.  I though about how when almost everyone else held the water fountain they would favor their friends and give them super long drinks of water then would count to 5 as fast as they could for mine.

I took a deep breath and I tried to let go.  Kids can be cruel, I was from a small town.  I left that place behind as soon as I had the ability.  I didn’t want to be like them, I didn’t want to end up like them.  I have a kind heart, I have a giving nature, something to be nurtured and developed, to be shared.

I talk to my parents for a few minutes each weekend and every few months my mom comes to the realization that I had a horrible childhood.  She has come to see now just how bullied I was.    My parents did the best they could, even when I told them that I was miserable and that things were bad they didn’t hear what I was saying.  They get it now . It means a lot to me that they can understand it now, that there is a face on the world of bullying, and that they can see how much hate there was inside of me for where I was.

I am working towards peace in my heart for the time I spent in that prison of punishment and torture called public school in my youth.  Each time I get one of these flashes I feel like I heal a tiny bit, like I am able to let a little bit go.  I know I will never get an apology from the people that made my life miserable growing up, because they still act the same way. It is the way things are there sadly.  If you are different it is a bad thing, whether it is because you are too fat, or have glasses, or are black, or have less money than someone else, whatever makes you different makes you less of a person.  To me whatever makes you different makes you who you are.  It is important to be yourself and it is important to follow your own path and not compare yourself to others.

I don’t know why I am sharing this with yall, but I guess I figure maybe  you can see how I landed where I am today, and how I have ended up with the tools I have, and the reason I am the way I am.  *shrugs* Have a good Tuesday friends!

Success Redefined

How do you measure something that there is no clear definition of? Something that is not actually quantified by everyone the same way? How can one person simply define a word and it be the pinnacle and definitive answer for everyone. Simple, you can’t, I can’t.
Each and every single one of us must sit back and look at the big picture and look to see what we are trying to find success at. Are you successful can be such a loaded question, and lead down so many roads. It can lead you to a very positive or very negative place based upon where you are mentally and how you interpret the question.
In the health and wellness world how do you view success? When I started losing weight I was over 400 pounds. I know you have read it over and over again but it bears repeating because I will never forget it, I felt as though I was going to die. I was trapped inside a tomb that was my body. I had high blood pressure, dangerously high, I had high cholesterol, horrendous triglycerides and the thought of doing anything except driving around delivering packages in my car, and drinking red bull and Starbucks at all hours of the day and night was my reality.
I am still not at my goal weight, I got to about 250 and my life went through a shift. My personal life underwent an overhaul, my professional life went through a complete shift where I went from working nights and weekends to a 55+ hour a week shift that starts at about 3:45 every weekday morning. I regained in the neighborhood of 50 pounds and if I didn’t know better by most of the definitions that I can think of that would make me a failure.
WRONG! I make my own definitions of success, and I do not view this as a failure, because I am still trying. I am still actively choosing to pick the better choices for food. I choose to go to the gym instead of going to the coffee shop on Saturday mornings. I choose to push myself to be better I choose to get up and go.
I measure success not in the number on the scale, because a number while a unit of measure is not a measure of self worth, and is not a measure of what I have accomplished but in how I feel. I do not measure success in the size of my jeans, or in the number of friends I have or the number of miles I can run, which by the way is ZERO. I measure my success on the number of times I get up when I fall down.
I measure my success on how strong I can be, for myself and for my friends. I measure success in what I can give to others, and the strength I can share. This past weekend I participated in the #happy5k project. (Check them out on Facebook and Twitter!) I love this idea, it is a virtual 5k, and their motto is Have a Purpose, Push Yourself. I love this motto. As most of you know I am currently stuck in the pool for exercise (and if you followed twitter last nights dreadmill went horribly and I am back in the water until further notice) So I water walked my 5k.
I love that there are things like virtual 5k’s that I can participate in that allow me to have the sense of community with other athletes, that can give me the same rush and feeling of success that I had when I did the Prior Fat Pack 5k, or the Fathers Day 5k. I am hopeful that I will be back in action by the time the Color Run comes around in July, but since the treadmill killed me after 1.25 miles yesterday and I can barely walk due to heel issues from it today we shall play by ear.
I had a successful virtual 5k, I am part of something bigger. I love it!
So I will continue on babysteppin-waterwalkin my way thru one setback at a time as long as it takes.
I am a success story, I will forever be my own success story, I just have to decide how I want to end my success story… luckily there is still too much of the story to be written to worry about an ending.
Are you successful? Do you keep pushing yourself despite the odds to get where you want to be? How do you define your personal success?

I thought this was a weight loss blog.

So if you look back through my blog lately there is just a bunch of bullshit. Really honest to god bullshit. Have you noticed? I certainly have and I don’t like it!

I know that this blog is a place for ME to write about all the struggles and changes that have occurred during the changes of my weight loss but oh my goodness, there has been no weight loss, there has been no weight loss in about a year… I am coming clean. I feel like a fraud. I am living healthy, and the only measure I ever had was the progress of the scale. I never had inches measured, I never had anything other than the scale, and the scale is no longer my friend.

Yes I can use other measures of success like how clothes fit, but those changes have slowed to a stop as well. My fear is that my body has reached that dreaded “stasis point” I have done all kinds of things at this weight to try and get it to shed some more pounds. I have tried eating more, eating less, working out more, working out less, and there I sit fluxing in the same window of weight.
I am endlessly frustrated, to the point of tears. I want to give up so much of the time. I just want to curl up and eat until I can’t move. I want to eat until I am uncomfortable. I want to be reminded of how horrible that time in my life was. That is not the answer. I am not going to do that. However I don’t know what the answer is.
I am not loving my new gym, while the owner is OMG smokin hot, it just isn’t working for me going after work. After I put in 10+ hours in the stress filled, emotional environment that I am in, I find that I just need to decompress, and when I go to the gym I am not getting a release, I am getting more stress. Stress that my hard work is all for nothing. I know losing weight is easy, okay well not easy, but calories in vs calories out, so perhaps scientific is a better way to phrase it. Why can’t I seem to re-crack my own code?
Making the choice to eat healthy is easy for me, I went to the Seward Co-Op lat night and made a HUGE salad, and didn’t bat an eye picking red peppers and cucumbers and onions and skipping all the old pitfalls like croutons and ranch dressing. I don’t miss those things. When I got home I measured out my 2 Tablespoons of dressing for 80 calories, shook my salad and ate it with a piece of chicken. It was great! However temptation lurks around every corner.
My freezer is currently loaded with things like Haagen Dazs Caramel Biscuit Ice Cream and southern style biscuits, and frozen cheese tortellini. The Baking rack in my place, along with pots and pans is home to Oreo cookies (Happy 100th birthday Oreo, thanks for making me hear about you nonstop for an entire day!), and pretzels, and Cheetos, and all kinds of other things. It is like temptation island. One cookie wont kill me, but one before work, then one after work adds up.
I am meeting with a friend today in hopes of getting inspired again, I know I am not going to throw in the towel, but it just seems like such a good idea some days. In light of how sick I have been in the last week or so it just seems like an easy answer. No worrying about how many calories are in the cough drops I am downing to try and get my voice to last through jut one more phone call at work. I know that this is going to be a lifelong struggle, but I guess I had hopes that I wouldn’t have this much of a problem until I was a little closer to my goal.
I need to succeed, this journey wasn’t about weight loss in the beginning it was about living a healthier life, well, I think it is time to change my mindset and really focus on that.
Lean cuisines, salads, and fruit-cups may just have to be a way of life for me again for a while. Also eating the same food everyday for each meal as much as I detest that may also become a staple. It will not be fun but it may have to happen.
I am unsure what it is going to take to get me back out of the slow lane and on the fast track, but I sure as shit cant sit here letting my friends pass me by and life start to do the same. So please, reach out to me, sent me a tweet a text a Facebook message, leave me a comment, bug the crap out of me. As I adjust to the time-change I will also be adjusting to trying to workout before work. May as well make that adjustment at the same time right?
Nothing changes if nothing changes… and something has to change.
This is a weight loss blog… not a weight watcher blog. I am tired of watching my weight do what it wants to, time to grab the power seat again!