The Emotional Side of Losing Weight

A lot of different things have been coming to a head lately and it’s bringing up all these different emotions.  These last couple of weeks I’ve been preparing to move and it’s been stressful.  My oldest daughter and I haven’t exactly been getting along and she doesn’t really care to help out much in the way of cleaning.  It’s frustrating because I’m limited on what I can do and I need help.  If I don’t get help from her than I have to ask other people and I hate asking for help.  I do not like being beholden to other people.  It’s also been difficult to find a place on such short notice so it looks like I’ll be moving in with some friends for the time being while I keep looking for a place for Lakota and I.  The environment and support I’ll get there is going to be a million times better but it worries me all the same.  I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.

On top of that my weight loss has stalled.  Granted I’ve not been working out as much as I had been before our trainers had to leave the gym we worked out at.  But it’s still frustrating that I’m eating all the right things and I’m still exercising a few days a week and nothing is happening on the weight loss front.  Sometimes I struggle with feeling like I really can’t do this.  It makes me want to give up and give in to my temptations for sugary, carb loaded foods.  To be honest, and I hope not too depressing, sometimes I wonder if this is all worth it.  Giving up certain foods and exercising everyday that is.  Sometimes it can be quite painful and my body aches because I’m using muscles I’ve not used in a long time.  I get frustrated with my limitations and I try to push myself to do more than I can and then get angry with myself when I can’t.

I don’t know what keeps pushing me forward on those days when I want to give up.  I suppose it’s the great support system I have, finally.  I can tell you that having friends that can talk you off the “ledge” makes all the difference in the world.  They refuse to let me give up and having someone I can, finally, count on to be there is the best gift I’ve ever received.  I’m also desperate to get out of my wheelchair.  I’ve made a lot of progress lately but I’m not quite out of it yet.  I want to be done with it so badly and I know if I give in to my urges to quit that I will never get out of it.  I can’t allow that to happen.  One thing I do know is this:  if I can keep going, I who am a 49 year old lady in a wheelchair, than you most certainly can.  Don’t give in to your urges because you are stronger than your urges to be unhealthy or to give up.  Keep fighting!

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Blackberry Picking

I had the extreme pleasure of going blackberry picking this last weekend.  I haven’t gone berry picking in years and years.  These last three years especially since I’ve been confined to a wheelchair.  I was pretty apprehensive about going when it was first brought to my attention.  My first instinct was “I can’t do this!”  Oh but I wanted to, so badly.  I agreed to give it a try though so my daughter, Lakota, and I piled into Breeze’s van and down the road we went.

We went to this quaint little ranch called The Berry Ranch.  They sell all kinds of different fruits and vegetables but the berries they sell you pick yourself.  They have HUGE rows of each kind of berry including raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.  They gave each adult in our group, myself excluded, a flat to put our berries in and directed us to the blackberry rows.  We chose blackberries to begin with because we wanted to make our own jam-plus blackberries are amazing.  Now keep in mind that I haven’t been walking a whole lot.  I still have my wheelchair and I still use that primarily to get around.  Because it’s a motorized wheelchair, when I go on outings I haven’t been able to take it as it won’t fit in anyone’s car and I don’t own a vehicle.  To compensate I’ve been using a walker to get around so most of my outings are pretty short or there is somewhere I can sit down.  Not this particular outing.  Instead I was going to have to push my walker over uneven ground in between these rows of blackberries in order to participate in the blackberry picking.  Did I mention that each row was around a half mile and there wasn’t any way to switch between rows halfway through.  If you started on one row you either walked to the end or turned around to go back to the beginning.  A daunting task for someone who hasn’t really been walking for that long.

I was determined to try it though, I wanted to eat some blackberries pretty bad.  Plus it was something I had done all the time as a little kid and then given up as an adult.  I want to get those things back.  Now I obviously couldn’t push my walker and carry a flat at the same time but I did make my way out to the blackberry patch.  It was a pretty hot day so I worked up a good sweat just getting out to the rows of blackberry’s.  I won’t lie, it was exhausting work and that’s just getting out there.  It was extremely difficult once I got there.  The ground was very uneven and the rows were covered in vines and branches so it was very tough to push my walker through the rows.  It was also pretty narrow in certain spots which meant I had to completely lift my walker off the ground and carry it as I was trying to walk.  I only made it about halfway down one of the rows before I had to turn around and head back.

I was very frustrated about that.  I had wanted to be able to do it so badly but once I got out there I just knew it wasn’t going to work.  I tried though and for that I’m proud of myself.  I don’t feel as if I gave up-I know my body just wasn’t ready.  The hard part for me is the realization that these limitations that I’m experiencing are the consequences of years of bad decisions.  I let myself get so debilitated that working myself back up to being able to walk can be constantly frustrating and exhausting.  It really sucked having to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else do what I couldn’t.  I don’t ever want to be there again.  I’m going to use this experience as future motivation whenever I feel like giving up.  The only person I would be giving up on  is myself.  I can’t allow myself to do that anymore.

My friend Jenea came with

My friend Jenea came with

Lakota had such a good time

Lakota had such a good time

Our haul-Yummy.

Our haul-Yummy.

I may have snacked a bit

I may have snacked a bit

I had to reach for the good ones

I had to reach for the good ones

The sun was in my eyes

The sun was in my eyes

Proof that I did it.

Proof that I did it.

I was pooped!

I was pooped!

See how overgrown the rows were?

See how overgrown the rows were?

Getting Educated

As promised, I’m back to post some pictures of this last weekend.  It’s taken me a bit longer than usual as this week has been pretty hectic between doctor appointments and all the running around I’ve been doing.  I’ve been wanting to post the pictures though because we had such a good time out at John & Crystal’s ranch.  So without further ado, here is our weekend in pictures:

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John teaching us about harvesting wheat

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The Kids got to learn too

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Outside they showed us how to remove the chaff

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Chaff is the dry husk around the grain

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More removal

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My friend Julie

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Part of our group

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My daughter and I

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Lakota loved riding the horses

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They got to do a little trail riding

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Lakota is riding Rebecca’s horse, Raine

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Julie and John

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Cheesy smiles

We had such a good time on the ranch.  It was fun seeing how the wheat can be harvested and getting to spend some time with other adults.  I was so happy that Lakota got to ride horses and participate in the activities.  She’s often left out because of her disabilities and I was happy that this time she wasn’t.  She has talked about that weekend for days after wards.  It made me very happy.

A New Look

Lots of things are changing and have changed in my life.  I feel like a brand new person some days and I wanted that change to be reflected on the outside.    I decided to dye my hair a more natural color and I think it turned out pretty good.  What do you think?

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It looked more red in the kitchen light than it is.

I’m going to look at houses today.  I’m starting to get anxious to get a place as my lease will be up at the end of this month.  That’s one of the biggest changes I’m going to be making.  I’m anxious to get it done but I’m also pretty excited.  Couple that with my goals to get rid of my chair by the end of the month and there’s a lot going on.  I’ve also been spending a lot of time with Breeze and his family learning some new life skills that I’ve been trying to apply to my own life.  This last weekend we got to go to a friend’s ranch and spend some time with their horses.  I’ll be back to post more about that.  For now though I’m off to go house hunting.  Wish me luck!

Facing Adversity

ImageWhen I started this journey to become healthy, mentally as well as physically, my family thought it was just another fad diet.  I’ve started, and failed, what feels like hundreds of diets before so it wasn’t a big deal to them when I joined a gym.  Then I met Breeze and things started to change.  I wasn’t buying the same kind of food that I had before and I wasn’t letting my children bring it into my home either.  I started going to the gym more and Breeze started coming over to the house for workouts.  My family sees me getting stronger and sees the changes in my attitude and they don’t like it.

I’ve let my family use me for as long as I can remember for free rides, money, and whatever else they’ve needed.  They’re never there when I need help and I’ve often gone without to help them.  Being around Breeze and his family and seeing what a healthy family dynamic is has really helped me to want to change.  Breeze is giving me confidence, self-worth, and teaching me to be independent and to realize that I am valuable.  My family doesn’t like my new attitude and they’re constantly telling me what I’m doing is wrong and that Breeze is wrong.

My children don’t want to accept the new foods that I’m bringing into the house nor do they like the way that I prepare it-usually with lots of vegetables and not cooked in oil or butter.  It’s hard for me everyday to look at my children and realize that I passed my poor knowledge about “health” on to them and that their obesity is my fault.  Trying to correct that now when they are grown is very disheartening and they are very resistant to change.  I’m especially worried about my oldest who is pregnant.  I want her to know the difference and to understand what being truly healthy means so she can pass this on to her children.  She resists at every turn and refuses to eat the foods I bring into our home.  They continue to buy unhealthy food and drink soda.  She tells me every day that I’m not cooking things correctly or that I’m wrong and what I’m doing, like going to the gym, is wrong.  She really cannot see the benefits to being healthy, and worse she doesn’t want to change.

I have absolutely no family support and they actually try to dissuade me from changing my lifestyle.  I face adversity everyday, all day.  Sometimes I lose sight of the end goal and it takes some amazing people in my life to remind me of my goals.  I know when I get to the end of this journey that I will be stronger and my rewards will be greater for having gone through it.

Goals 4 August

ImageSomething that I haven’t really let myself do is have dreams.  I learned a long time ago not to have dreams because I’ve had no way to make them come true.  Breeze has helped me change that.  Not only do I have goals (dreams if you will) but I’ve set a goal to have monthly goals, haha.  So for your viewing pleasure here are my monthly goals for August:

  1. Goal:  To get out of my wheelchair completely by the end of August.  Reward:  To go camping/fishing and be able to get up and walk around to interact with others.
  2. Goal:  Move out of my current home where I live with my pregnant daughter and her boyfriend and get my own place.  Reward:  Housewarming party.
  3. Goal:  Lose twenty pounds a month starting in August.  No reward necessary for this one as the reward is that I’m losing weight.
  4. Goal:  Get off my meds (Lisinopril) and get my sodium levels down.  Again no reward because the reward is my health.  How do you beat that?

I’m excited that I have things to look forward to and something to work toward.  I was starting to get a little discouraged because I haven’t been really losing weight.  Breeze tells me all the time that it’s because I was gaining muscle and getting stronger and stronger but when I’m watching the scale and its not going down I tend to lose sight of that.  He assures me that now that I’ve spent some time gaining muscle and he’s changing my diet plan that I can easily see a 20 pound loss every month.  I’m so excited about that and my other goals and, lets face it, I want the rewards.  It’s been some time since I’ve rewarded myself with anything other than food so this will be great!

Weekend Camping

This last weekend marked a first for me in a very long time.  I went camping with my trainers.  They were kind enough to invite my youngest daughter, Lakota, and I.  What an experience it was to be able to leave my wheelchair at home and only take my walker with me!  I felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted just because I wasn’t tied to that chair.  I’m still not as mobile as I would like so I can’t do a lot of walking.  Still I was able to get up and walk in the woods to use the restroom and walk around the campsite a bit.  That’s a big change for me, heck, three months ago I was pretty much wheelchair bound.  I could hardly get up out of my wheelchair at all.  Forget walking around.

Not only did I go with Breeze and his family, I was able to go with some of Breeze’s other clients and some of their friends.  It was incredible for me to get out and be able to interact with adults!  It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve gotten out of my house and enjoyed adult company.  I almost didn’t know how to react.  In reality it’s hard to put myself out there and just talk to someone.  I was raised by pretty abusive parents and I was taught at a young age that I didn’t talk unless spoken to.  Couple that with my physical limitations and there wasn’t a whole lot of talking going on.  On my part at least.

Our first evening there we all sat around the campfire and enjoyed some stories.  Afterwards it seemed like everyone separated into their own groups and my daughter, who is mentally challenged, and I were left by ourselves.  Looking back I don’t think it was an intentional slight but at the time I really felt rejected, abandoned, and like I had no business being there.  My entire life I’ve had family and acquaintances constantly telling me that I’m not good enough or intelligent enough to be around people.  All these feelings came back up when everyone was talking to each other and all I could do was sit there.  I now realize that this feeling of inadequacy is not the people around me but my own perception of myself.  I’m working on changing that.

I felt a little badly for my daughter Lakota.  The friends that we camped with were outfitters and had brought rafts to float part of the Boise river.  Lakota wanted to go so badly but I knew before she asked that she wouldn’t be able to.  The part of the river they were rafting had some pretty intense rapids and with her disabilities it wasn’t going to be safe for her.  She got upset and I got a bit frustrated.  Neither she nor I could go because of our disabilities.  I’m frustrated that I can’t move the way I want to NOW or that I’m not healthy and thin NOW.  I’m frustrated that my daughter will never be able to do things like rafting down rapids.  Sometimes I feel that she and I get slighted because of our disabilities.  I sometimes forget that I’ve made incredible progress and that this change isn’t going to happen overnight.

I did have a good time this last weekend and I’m proud of myself that I was able to accomplish that.  I’m more determined than ever to go back and make a better effort to interact with the people we camp with.  I’ve made it a goal at the end of August to be out of my wheelchair and when I do it, I’m going to celebrate with a camping trip.  In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of last weekend.

It was the most beautiful view.

It was the most beautiful view.

I got to hang out with these cute little guys.

I got to hang out with these cute little guys.

Part of the canyon we stayed in.

Part of the canyon we stayed in.

Our yummy breakfast which included bear meat!

Our yummy breakfast which included bear meat!

Trainer Rebecca and John and his wife.

Trainer Rebecca and John and his wife.

My daughter, Lakota

My daughter, Lakota & Aiden

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Ugh, I don't even think I'm awake.

Ugh, I don’t even think I’m awake.