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Sliding down the mountain......a shining star.... a decision....and more stars

Friday, July 28, 2017

I have not been here for a bit. I'd like to say I was here in spirit - but I wasn't.

My healthy eating and physical activity ceased. Excuses - I had many. My daughter's house fire, her recent surgeries, stress at work, a two week vacation, it was too hot, it was raining, I didn't wanna. During this time, Mr Scale reflected my lack of participation in forward movement on my path. I not only slipped off the trail, but started that slide down the mountainside.

So my current situation is this. My fat clothes are fitting tight. I get winded climbing the one flight of stairs to our office. My feet and ankles hurt after I spend any amount of time on my feet. My weight is almost back to where it was at the beginning of the year - about 1.2 pounds away from that starting point. When I see pictures of a slimmer, healthier me I wonder where that girl went. I feel sad. I feel somewhat hopeless. I have tried this so many times, different approaches, different paths, I can't seem to find my way.

Enter into equation the woman in my office who needs knee surgery and was denied because of her weight. She has started a medically supervised weight loss plan her doctor recommended and has dropped over 30 pounds since March. She has not had those cookies, bagels and other treats that find their way into the office. She has passed on going out to eat, stuck with her meal plan and is doing great. She has been obese ever since I met her and I never thought she would be able to lose ANY weight. I was amazed at her commitment to herself and her progress.

I chatted with her briefly about the program she is doing. I thought about it for a period of time. I talked about it with my daughter. I said "I want to try this program", but then I rattled off a whole list of reasons why it would have to wait until at least October. She said "Mom, just pick up the phone and make the commitment - there will always be a reason to put it off."

I am really tired of feeling crappy. I am really tired of all the things that these extra pounds prohibit or limit me from doing. I don't like the feelings of shame and guilt that I feel after binging on a package of donuts or whatever the food was. I don't like feeling lethargic. I don't like feeling like this is a hopeless battle that I will never be able to figure out how to live with. I don't like being breathless when I come in to work in the morning after the brief walk across the parking lot and up the stairs.

I picked up the phone. The nurse explained that there is a process to go through before you begin the program. There are forms to be completed to see if your health insurance will assist with cost. There are several options available from bariatric surgery - to diet modification and support using your own food ---- and several programs in between from a balloon implant in your stomach to a strict diet using only their prepackaged foods and fresh vegetables. I gave this thought. I really WANT to figure out how to eat healthy. .

As part of the program, you go to a meeting once a week. Prior to the meeting you weigh in. You discuss your successes, struggles, etc with others on the same journey as you. They also have you meet monthly with a counselor who assists with any areas which you feel are obstacles to your weightloss. They also have a nutritionist who will give you a meal plan tailored around your food likes/dislikes. They have someone who will give you suggested exercise and strength training to do at home. (Sounds like Spark People - only live)

So I made the commitment. I go to my informative meeting next week Saturday, which will be followed by my health assessment in the following two weeks.

I am truly hoping that a structured program such as this with lots of accountability factors will be helpful to me. My co-worker said what she finds comfort in is that most of the people there have over 100 pounds to lose. They are all in different stages of this journey. She said she feels hopeful there and not defeated like she has felt in other weight loss programs where most of the people only had 20-30 pounds to lose.

So.... There it is..... the slide down the mountainside, interrupted by a glimpse of a shining star (my co-worker) and a decision to get back on the path yet one more time.

The other stars? Well a few months back I committed to doing this 5k with my friend which we do every year. This year I really didn't want to do it, even thought I had registered. I feel so unfit. It is a struggle to do much of anything with this extra weight. I didn't WANT to. Well, my friend broke some bones in her foot earlier in the year. She said she didn't think she COULD do the race. Normally I would have encouraged her but instead I said "Let's just go pick up our race shirts and go have pizza for dinner." She laughed. She said she really WANTED to try - but just wasn't sure she could. Again I suggested pizza. She said, no - let's at least try. So we did. I didn't want to. I didn't want to be the last one crossing the finish line. I wasn't prepared. It was hot. It was sunny. I was tired walking from my car to the starting area. My heart wasn't in it.

We stood on the sidewalk near the starting line as they started the wheelchair race and the 10k, the 5k was to follow. We were chatting away when we noticed that they had already started the 5k! I said - heck we missed it, we were meant to eat pizza! She said nah, we can still see them, let's go. So we did.

I walked slowly by her side and she said again "I'm not sure I can do this" I said "If you want to quit, maybe you should go to your car" - I didn't want her to injure her foot more. She said "What I want is to finish, but I'm not sure I can."

Somewhere this little voice inside said well if you are gong to do this than DO it! Give it your best. So I left my friend at the end of the pack and eyed the group of people in front of me. I closed the gap and finally passed them. I was no longer last. I kept doing this throughout the race. At the halfway point I was tired. I kept pushing. My heart WAS in this! Ithought that once we got back to the main street I only had about a mile to go. I walked on under the beating sun, sweating profusely, but still managing to pass a walker here or there. Finally we turned back towards the area we started. I thought I was on the last stretch only to see the course take a turn and there was one more stretch up a slight grade in the hot sun. I wanted to cry. I didn't think I could finish. I was breathing hard. My legs felt like heavy weights. The policeman directing traffic shouted some encouraging things to me. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I made that last turn and could hear the people cheering at the finish line. I wanted to put my arms in the air and run those last few steps across the finish line - but I didn't have the energy. It was all I could do to keep my pace and walk over the line. I was never so glad to see a finish line in my life. My heart was pounding, I was huffing and puffing, my legs throbbed, my face was beat red and covered with sweat - it was dripping into my eyes making it hard to see! I felt a little shakey and was thirsty so I went to the tent, drank some water and ate an orange - watching for my friend. Finally I saw her coming into view. I went back out onto the race course, arm in arm we crossed the finish line together.

I finished 8th in my age group of 21. I finished 216 out of 306. My friend finished 303. We were never so proud of ourselves. Nothing like that feeling of accomplishment!

Yep, Barb is back!

Here are the shining stars! Me and Lisa crossing that finish line!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD13423552
    Awesome Barb! Though I'm sure the pizza sounded like a good idea, you would have regretted it. I never wear a shirt from a race I didn't do. I feel like a fraud. So nice job!
    1421 days ago
    Congrats on finishing the 5K! Praying that the new program provides the support you need to get on the "right path" to better health.
    1425 days ago
    way to go.... congrats on your finish and your placement. 8th out of 21 isn't too shabby considering how out of shape you thought you were. its amazing what we can accomplish when we really put our hearts into it.

    remember that many of us have back slided from time to time. staying there is what hurts you..... getting up and moving forward is what counts the most. you don't have to reach your goals quickly. just keep working towards them little by little.... it adds up to quite a bit after a while.

    now that you've gone over one hurdle you will have an easier time with the next one... cuz now you have seen what you can accomplish even under seemingly poor conditions. I'm proud of you and very happy for your success. WOO HOO!
    1425 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
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    1426 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    I went all the way down that slippery slope to my very starting high weight before I did my re-boot. I had to restart with baby steps and build back up. Aaaand here I am again. I'm about 22 lbs lighter but I'm sliding again. I have a lot of excuses and one that I may have to actually give in to. I had foot surgery in April. It didn't go well. I have other medical issues that aren't going well. Those are the ones I don't have to give in to. The one I may have to take a complete rest for is that I'm coming down with pneumonia again. I started having the symptoms yesterday afternoon and with me, it comes on fast! I'll be at the doctor's office no later than Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest to get all my antibiotics, steroids, albuterol vials and the standard lecture of no unnecessary activity for the next six weeks with lots of rest, fluids and extra sleep thrown in. I know it sounds extreme but ever since 2010 when I went from well to having a tube down my lungs and nearly dying in three days, they are a wee bit touchy about the whole thing! My main grip was that I was just getting my Spark back! My drive to do it by the rules. The urge to be more active no matter how I had to compensate for for other medical problems! Your blog inspired me and as soon as I am over this "lung thing," I'm going for it! Thank you for sharing!
    1426 days ago
    VERY inspirational blog. You hit on some things I'm going through right now. Your words resonated deep inside and I feel this with you. I need to make some changes right now. Now. Not next week, not when this or that clears up. Sure, I can't do everything I want right now, but I can eat better.
    1426 days ago
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  • LSIG14
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon God bless you! Congratulations on your re-commitment ! You know you can do it!! I do think a structured program will be a big help since it requires accountability to someone other than yourself. You and your co-worker may inspire each other - I wish you both much success!!
    1426 days ago
    Absolutely awesome. I hope that this commitment helps you and good luck w/the information meeting and going thru their process. HUGS
    1427 days ago
    Yes! I loved this post! Good luck on your program! Keep on trying! I just came back after a 6 week fall 'off the wagon'. Stories like yours help me to see that I am not alone!
    1427 days ago
    Congrats to both you and your friend Lisa, you have seriously inspired me not to give up. I can totally relate to "a million excuses why not to"
    1427 days ago
  • P61763
    1427 days ago
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