Break and Bake my Heart

Oatmeal Cookies

Image by jugglerpm via Flickr

So that is all it took.  Something as simple as Break and bake Oatmeal Raisin cookies were all it took tonight to send me into tears.  I had been fighting off the bah-humbugs and the grinchie-ness of the holidays the last week or so.  I started feeling a little bit better.  Tonight I plugged in the USB Christmas tree.  We can’t have a real tree and live in a tiny studio apartment, plus we are geeky nerds who play way too many video game not to have something powered and glowing hanging out there. 

A few days ago I bought a pack of Oatmeal cookies and tossed them in the fridge.  Just incase I needed something to bring to work or whatever.  Not likely to happen, or if Robb wanted some warm cookies, or heaven forbid I did.  Its okay! I count calories, as long as I am within my range 1200-1500 a day I am golden! So tonight after we exchanged our Christmas presents (yes its early but we are both on call for the next 2 days) I decided I wanted to bake those cookies off. 

Standing in the kitchen over the cookie sheet looking I welled up with tears.  This is the first Christmas without grandpop.  I had kind of been blocking it out.  I thought about him at Thanksgiving when I made his famous bacon stuffing.  Oatmeal cookies were always his favorite.  I used to sneak a few into a baggie and take them to him after the holidays when we would do the family party. 

I lost a lot of things this last year.  Family members and friends through death and other things.  I have lost weight and emotional baggage and sadly gained a bit too.  There is a lot of reflecting that is going to happen in the next week I think.  I know I need to sit down and focus on the good that came out of the last year.  My new friends, my accomplishments, all the amazing things I learned.  But just for today I am going to focus on the fact that tonight after dinner is done and the dishes are washed, I will honor my grandfather’s memory with an oatmeal cookie and some almond milk.  Not because I am emotionally eating.  That isn’t my thing.  I will savor the bite that takes me back to a childhood that I wish I could remember.

Happy Thanksgiving

frozen light in a snow weekend, MANZANEDA ☃

Image by Paulo Brandão via Flickr

So it is the time of year where you see lots of “thankful for” posts. While I disagree with the need for a holiday to take inventory of the important people in ones lives, or the things one is thankful for I think if it gets people to take a moment and think about things then it’s all good!
So where do I begin? I really have a blessed life. So much to be thankful for…
I have THREE families. First there is my family, Robb and I. Robb has been such a great support to me and a friend. My biological family and my to-be in-law family make up my other two families. My real family and I have had many ups and downs over the years. As i have gotten older I have tried to forge better relationships with the rest of my family. Robb’s family is amazing. Ever since I attended my first holiday, and really even before that, like the first time I met anyone from his family, I was welcomed like family. Living 1000 miles from my family it is really nice to have a family here.

I would also like to give thanks for the warm bed I get to sleep in at night, and the food that fills our bellies. I am so thankful that someone finally was able to help me get a handle on my chronic pain.

It’s so hard to pin down just a few things to be thankful for really. It almost makes me feel selfish when I think of all the things I am thankful for. I am thankful for the laughter shared among friends, the smiles from strangers when you do something nice and unexpected.

There are the material things too that I am thankful for, which is a list that has changed so much in the last year. I am thankful for my YWCA membership, swimming pools, elliptical machines, recumbent bikes, Coke zero, 24-hour grocery stores, clearance racks (so I can buy smaller clothes), my iPod touch and hummus.

Yes it is a mash-up of a list, and just a sample of my thankful list but over the last 2 weeks I have spent copious amounts of time thinking about just how lucky I am. I try to spend some time every month taking stock in my life.
You never know how important someone was until they are gone. Please take time this holiday to tell people you love them. Be safe, drive responsibly (designate a driver and wear a seatbelt Please!!!!).

Happy Thanksgiving.

So Here is the Skinny!

One Year — 138 Pounds!
So proud of myself I could cry, but I can’t let it out, or haven’t yet maybe this will help.

The actual one year date was Oct 25th, it was unavailable at the doctors office so Today was the day!  Close enough for guess work according to the doctor.  Dr Beckman (at the U of MN weight clinic) is who I see to track my progress.  It is nice to have a doctor that is a cheerleader for a change.  So many years of doctors telling me to lose weight and never offering help or a solution that was manageable.  I am sorry when you have multiple medical conditions telling someone to exercise just does not cut the mustard! She and her nurse Mary have just been great cheerleaders for me. They are excited to see someone working so hard to avoid surgery and having the degree of quick success with it that I am.

Today has been a day of reflection in a way, as I stepped on my bathroom scale (breaking my once a week rule, just to get a restart number) remembering last year that my home scale was unable to weigh me. Where did I go to weigh myself to see how I was doing? The cargo shipping scale at my work, in the middle of the night, when noone was around.  How degradeing! I remember a doctor telling me I should get weighed at a truckstop or weigh station because their scale didnt go to 300 pounds.  I told them to get a new scale.  (seriously, 300, seriously?!)

I went down the 3 flights of steps in my building, not much has changed… out to the car… into the car… I remember when I would not struggle, but have to perhaps work a bit harder to get into the car and Zip Zip seatbelt on with room to move and groove! Whats THAT about?! I remember thinking, I really should get something to make the seatbelts fit better.  In the winter with my coat I would have to remove my coat or go without a belt… (So I would freeze until the heat kicked in!)

Coming home I bound up the steps like a champ! 3 flights, Yes it is still the SUCK! 3 flights, everyday, even at 429 pounds I still did those stairs… and the first thing I would do was sit! Now I come in and Hang up my purse, or wash up the dishes or whatever else I feel like doing.  I don’t need to beeline for a seat. I always let my guy go up the steps first in the past.  I never wanted to hold anyone back from anything.  Lately I have taken to trying to push ahead of him when we come in at the same time and bound up the steps just to show how far I have come.  With every creak pop crackle snap and crunch of my knees and ankles I climb those stairs and LOVE that I can do it!

At the gym I proudly stride across the parking lot, knowing I belong there. When I started going to the gym I would watch the ground, not make eye contact, never say hi to anyone, mind my business and do my thing.  Now some of the staff consider me a friend and I have made friends with some of the other people in my water aerobics class.  It is a great community! (although I do wish I had the ability to hop on an elliptical or stationary bike in the middle of the night but whatchagonnado) I even have random people approach me and tell me how much of a difference they see in me from time to time.

I think I have finally come to recognize that my body has changed.  I did not physically see a change for a VERY long time.  Now I am starting to see more tone, more definition.  I think I will struggle with body image no matter what size I am.  I have wide hips and wide shoulders, built like a linebacker made to run with the boys and carry the babies! I really did the girly thing, I am not into mani-pedis and I have never had a spa day.  I missed out on that Bonding experience as most of my friends were guys. So I think perhaps the fact that my wardrobe largely consists of jeans and pocket t-shirts does not help me attain a figure. So I am working on that. A proper bra fitting was a HUGE first step.

I went out to play trivia at The Rail Station in Minneapolis tonight, (which is SOOO FUN! GO TEAM DAMN SKIPPY!) and I felt perfectly normal in there.  By normal I mean, I did not feel like the elephant in the room.  Part of it is being there with someone I am comfortable around, but even the first time I went in there, I atleast did not feel ashamed to be out in public.  Yes I am shy.  I don’t know how to approach people and start a conversation, but I felt good, confident, REAL.

So here I sit… a year gone, but a year finally lived.  To think I spent so much of my life existing, bobbing along, feeling like utter crud! I cannot wait to see where I will be in a year!  I am sad that my weightloss has slowed, I only lost about 10 pounds in the last 9 weeks or so, compared to what I think had been much more, I keep reminding myself that even if I lose .5lb a week that would still be 26 pounds in a year. I also need to keep repeating so many of my mantras… My fave of the moment… There is no such thing as “Only lost #”  You need to celebrate everything, even things you view as minor. It helps…sometimes.  Nothing works all the time, but you can’t expect it to right?

So tonight I rest, knowing I did my best today, as I do everyday. Tomorrow starts new.  New me? Not quite, New outlook? Not really.  New Motivation? No, just determination.