Monday, December 3, 2012

Once upon a time in a NYC far away...

This post is overdue, but it's something that hasn't left my mind. Back in October my friend Angie and I went to NYC to a conference put on by our dear friend Krissy who wrote a book called How to Love an American Man. First of all, I can't recommend this book enough. Second of all, let's talk about how incredible it was to read this book, have the author skype in to our book club, and then have her become an amazing friend.

I knew the weekend was going to be an emotional roller coaster and I knew the weekend would bring some learning for me, but I didn't realize how much. I got to spend a day with a room full of educated and professional women who I respect. I spent the day with people from plus size models, to a beauty editor at a famous magazine, to other authors.

One of the things we talked about that day was the people we have in our lives and whether they add or detract from our happiness. It made me think of a lot of people in my life and a lot of people in the lives of people I interact with. The main concept was that these people in your life who detract from your happiness, not only do something as basic as that, but they also draw your energy away from the people who deserve it. Those people who are in your life that make you happy aren't getting reciprocal energy or love or attention from you because you're draining your energy on those in your life who just aren't doing much of anything for you. It seems like a simple concept and yet it was mind blowing to me.

It made me really conscious of people in my life who don't even bother to engage me, ask me questions, or pretend to even sound interested in the things in my life that are important to me right now. Which might sound selfish to you...and it IS. That's the's about being a little selfish.

I know that's kind of heavy. So I'll leave that there for right now. Don't try to process that all now and apply it to your life. Just let it soak in for a little while and come back to it later to gather your lessons. Trust me on this.

I'll tell you some more about the fun we had in NYC to take your mind off of it. We stayed in Queens and took the subway everywhere. We had people ask us directions so obviously we looked like real New Yorkers. We strolled through Central Park and I pointed out all the places joggers were killed on Law and Order. (It happens!) We got to meet Krissy's lovely family and they warmed our hearts. Angie and I made our friendship bi-coastal this weekend as we had traveled to Napa together just a few months ago in July for Team Challenge. (I will need to blog about this later...that was a trip that needs it's second half marathon and Angie's first in the books).
I got to see the Lincoln Tunnel and if any of you love the movie Elf, you'll understand that reference. I was able to meet two dear friends, Codie and Lisa, in person for the first time after being internet friends for years. We had dinner with Krissy at this wonderful little Italian restaurant in Brooklyn and spent the night sharing our lives and stories. We went to China Town and immediately regretted that decision. We ate mussels or oysters or something slimy. We got drunk on Park Avenue directly across from where the Kardashians lived while there, which basically makes us honorary Kardashians. Here are some pictures. New York really is my kind of town. Enjoy! I know I did.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Second verse, same as the first

Who would have thought two years ago I would be sitting here writing about the same hopes and fears (mostly fears) I had the first time I went through this?

The first time I had surgery, I thought what if this fails? What if I fail? I also thought how on earth did you let yourself get to this point?

Tonight, as I prepare to go to work on Monday, I find myself thinking about what I'm going to wear. But not just about what I'm going to wear, but what is going to fit. A weight gain of 15 lbs is a full pants size and a lot on my frame. And I find myself thinking again, how on earth did you get here? I always knew I was going to have the "replacement" surgery. But I remember when I was sick last year due to the complication and I was at my lowest weight and I told myself I'd never be in this position again. And yet here I am...and how can I not consider myself a failure because of that?

To be honest, I know that weight wasn't real. I go back to my definition if insanity. The logic is there. I was losing weight because the piece of plastic they put inside me was eroding my stomach...I was sick! But what I wonder is why I couldn't be strong enough to not even gain an ounce of that weight back even though during this time I was training for my second half marathon?

The pain isn't what I'm worried about. The part about them removing a piece of my stomach isn't what I'm worried about. (Although it should be, I mean who does that? Just like, here I've got some excess stomach I just don't really feel is doing me any good, why don't you just take that and give it to all those poor people who don't have enough stomach).

I'm worried about failing. And that is the scariest of them all.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm posting so you know I feel angsty

Jan 7th is my new surgery date and it can't come soon enough.
I've gained about 20 lbs back since last November when my lapband was removed and I will tell you something. Even though I'm still 60lbs lighter I feel like I'm back to square one. The depths of hate for myself and my weight issue can't even be described here, which, speaks to a larger issue than just a weight problem I know. It also really pisses me off that I can't be smarter than this!

I spent a weekend in NY with some of the best and brightest women around. We discussed body image issues and society pressures and how we could love ourselves and yet I simply can't. I'm horrified at the thought that people see me daily. I exaggerate a lot and that is not an exaggeration. If I could hide in my house until my surgery was complete and I had confidence that I was going to start losing weight again I would. I base EVERYTHING on my weight. my happiness, my confidence, and clearly Ive never learned how to stop. The worst part of it all is that I KNOW how insane I'm being.
Maybe that's the definition of insanity. Being insane, knowing it, being conscious of it, and not being able to do anything about it?
Is it insane that when I talk to people I think they are thinking about how heavy I am? Yes. Is it insane that I compare myself to people I have no business comparing myself to? Yes. Do I do it and think it and continue to be conscious of how insane I'm being? Hell yes.
I'm not saying surgery will be a magic fix. It wasn't the first time around and it certainly wasn't easy. But it's a confidence boost to give me the power to be able to do what I need to do. Why j lack that without it, I don't know.
So, until Jan 7th, I'll be hiding in a dark corner over there, imagining I look like a hippopotamus and just being generally insane. If I start talking to some rope, please hang in there. In a few months, I'll be better.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Didn't think it could get worse....

But it did.
Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about Ellie. And how I lost her. And it wasn't fair. And now it's EXTRA not fair. I haven't even healed from Ellie and my heart is breaking all over again.
Last night, I couldn't find Christopher.

When I finally found him he was under the bed. His left leg was limp and he was breathing very heavily. I immediately took him to the Emergency Vet. They said he had saddle thrombosis...blood clots in both his legs that cut off the blood circulation to his legs. And this was due, most likely, to congestive heart failure, which can be virtually undetectable and can strike in an instant. And it did with Christopher. The vet said that he wouldn't regain use of his leg and there was nothing we could do for his heart...and that it would start to get very hard for him to breathe and the clots would start to cause some pain. (Sometimes, reading facts make me feel better, so I've included this)

And with that...I lost my second baby. We had to put him to rest so that he didn't suffer. And again, I held him while he took his last breath in my arms and told him how very loved he was. He was, for all purposes, the most mellow and LOVING cat you would have ever met. Give him a belly rub and he would be yours forever. He couldn't meow. He had a pitiful little squeak...almost like a soft honk that made me giggle every time he did it.
I told him how I loved all his snuggles and the time I spent every morning and every night with him, and the way he wrapped his paws around me in a never ending hug.

For both my kitties, 12 years and 13 years seem like such a long time....and yet, it IS NOT. It is a short, short time. I am not prepared for any of this.
I didn't think my heart could break into smaller pieces, but when it's already shattered, apparantly that's possible. Yes, my animals were so loved. And yes, they had a grand life. And yes, I have another kitty at home that I need to give all my love to. And yes, their lives were so much better with me in it. But, so was mine. Part of my life WAS them. And now that's gone. And now I have to sit here and wait for the pain to lessen again. With a larger piece of my life and my heart missing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Five Things

For those of you actually reading my blog, sorry about your luck. It's been chock full of nothing pleasant lately. I would be full of lies if I told you from here on out it was going to be rainbows and unicorns. (Except, how awesome would it be if I actually DID have a unicorn? You'd never believe me and then I'd show up at your house with my unicorn and yell at you to never doubt me again.)

Anyways. I wouldn't say I've overcome my sadness just yet. In fact, I might even say I've got a lot of anger boiling up right in this general vicinity right now.

Instead of talking about that though I'm making the choice to do something that is a little bit healthier for my mental state and talk about three things I am lucky for or am happy about. (Yeah so here's the thing about that title right up top. I thought maybe I should do five things, but I could really only come up with three. I mean, with all the things going on, you should really just give me a break.)

1) I was just offered a promotion at work. I will now have direct reports and it comes with a teeny bit of a raise. In the grand scheme of things, I've now gotten my second promotion within a year. Which means I'm pretty damn good at my job and I'm pretty damn awesome.

2) I have the most amazing friends. Friends who love me no matter what. Friends who don't judge me. I have two ladies in my life who let me be me whether it's good, bad or ugly.
True friends are the people who are there for you unconditionally. They are the people who never question you and support you no matter what the circumstances are. They are the people worth living for.

3) I have my health. In addition to my health, I'm getting healthier. I am blessed to be a part of Team Challenge where I am training for my second half marathon and I'm helping others by fundraising to find a cure. Donate Here
This is not only going to lead me to complete my second half marathon which is KIND of a big deal, but allow me to take my second trip to Napa with an amazing group of people and enjoy life.

Luckily, I have some really awesome people in my life to help me when I feel like everything has been turned upside down. So, in the end...I'll get through this. I always do.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Does it get easier?

Sort of.

On Monday, I wasn't sure I was going to live. Those of you without pets may never understand that statement. And that's ok with me.
On Tuesday, I was pretty sure I was going to live, but I wasn't sure how. And I cried a lot with people at work who understood.
On Wednesday, I fluctuated back and forth between being devistatingly sad and knowing I did the right thing. *(I need to come back to this).
On Thursday, I was doing pretty good. I miss her with every bit of me, but I knew she was better off.
Today, my tears have pretty much dried up. But I have kind of a hole inside. I'm a little numb. I'm kind of at the point where I'm not necessarily realizing this is real just yet. Or maybe I'm avoiding realizing this is real.

*On Wednesday, I got to spend some time with my friend Sue. Who helped me probably more than she realizes. She pointed out what a control freak I am. Which doesn't seem all that helpful on the surface, but let me explain.

I was having a really hard time with the guilt. While I know Ellie was really sick, I kept having these feelings of wishing there was something I could have done to keep her here with me and hoping Ellie wasn't somewhere wondering why I didn't. Which is illogical...because had the vet told me that there were some kind of possibility to save her, even if I had to go into debt for it, I would have done it.

Sue reminded me that this was all bigger than me. I want the control over the situation, but the reality of it is, I never had control in the first place.
And the other reality of it is, this happened exactly the way it needed to happen FOR ME.

I knew something wasn't right at the end of April. And I had a good month and a half to "prepare" myself. I knew inside that things weren't getting better. And even though I may not have realized it at the time, subconsciously I WAS preparing myself for it.

In addition, I had the opportunity to spend that time with her to love her and say good bye on Monday. God gave me that because He knew that had it happened the other way, where He just took her while I was at work, and I didn't have that time to say what I needed to say, it would have been more than I could bear.

So, long story short?
In the end, God was taking care of me. And He was taking care of Ellie. And I couldn't be more grateful for that OR for the people in my life who have continued to take care of me when I needed it the most this week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When the pain needs somewhere to go...

...I usually turn to writing. That's why my posts are so few and far between. I always say I'm going to keep up with this blog. And yet, when the good times roll, the blog dwindles.

Keeping right in tune with that, I have had a gut wrenching 24 hours. It appears the tears have dried up for now. Yesterday I had to put my beloved cat Ellie down.

She has been with me since the end of my freshman year of college. She's been there through the ups and downs and the tears and excitement. She's been a constant through many years of uncertainty.
One day, at the end of April, I had been gone for a week and came home to a different cat. She was thin. Over the past month there had been a quick decline. She stopped eating. She started staying under my bed, only coming out occasionally. The vet did a complete workup and all of her blood work and xrays came back normal. And then she started vomiting blood clots. It was rare at first and then over the past week it became horrifyingly regular. Yesterday, it happened again and I could see how very weak she had become. She needed to rest walking 5 feet to the water dish. I called the vet and said that something wasn't right...he said they would do more tests but the outcome was most likely not going to be good. I knew then that it was time.

They speculated that it was a hemorrhage due to some kind of GI cancer. He said that there just wasn't a treatment. There was nothing they could do for her any longer. I could tell she was tired. She was exhausted and I could see it in her face. And her life was no longer enjoyable. In fact, I hadn't heard her purr in the longest time.

I got to spend time with her before they sedated her. We snuggled. I told her how very special and loved she was. I told her I knew she was tired. She purred the whole time she was in my arms. And I think she was saying thank you. I choose to believe she was telling me it was ok. She fell asleep on my chest and wrapped in my arms, held tight by my love.

I am heart broken. I am sick with grief. I know in my head that she needed this. That it was only going to get worse from here and the chance for her to be in pain was too high. I could not put her through that. I know in my head that she went peacefully and surrounded by the person that loved her the most. And that it was the best way for her to go. But my heart just doesn't understand. My heart has lost it's companion. My heart is shattered.

I know with time the pain will lessen. But I will always crave the way her fur felt and the sound of her purr. I will always crave the pitiful little meow she gave when she knew there was tuna in her future, like she hadn't eaten for  years. I will always crave the way she slapped the other cats around like it was offensive for them to be in her vicinity. She was MY cat. She didn't much care for anyone but me. We are loners, my Ellie and I. And I think she and I preferred it that way.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Today. And tomorrow. But mostly today.

I never want to forget today. Never ever. It started out as kind of a sucky day. And quickly turned into the kind of day you never want to forget. I had a bad morning. Weighed myself and wasn't thrilled with the result. A few little pounds may seem like nothing to most of you, but to me, after losing 80 it is devistating and it sends me in a downward spiral. (There's a whole lotta crazy up here folks. A. Whole. Lot. Of. Crazy.) (I can't WAIT to have the band put back in) (I'm thinking August after the race) (OMG stop with the parentheses).

Anyways. Only 3.5 miles on the training plan today, but my body and mind, they were having none of it. My body just felt so heavy and didn't want to cooperate. It just so happens that, for the second training season in a row, my wonderful friend Noah showed up. Just when I needed him the most. (And, yes, I WAS singing Dolly Parton in my head when I wrote that.) We talked about fat kid syndrome, and how some of us always have that voice in our heads, and how we never see ourselves the way others see us. He reminded me that even those who have done marathons and ultra marathons and who are crazy ridiculous runners have bad days. And he said some wonderful and beautiful things about me that made me cry. In a good way. And he told me to be kind to myself.
And I am going to try. I can't promise anything, but I'm going to try.

Also, my coach, Darrell also happens to be a personal trainer. And he's going to help me. And I adore him for that. Getting some tools to help me while my regular tool (the band) is on vacation will help stop this downward spiral I mentioned. I know I can count on Darrell to keep me positive and to understand my limitations, my frustrations, and yet push me where I need to be pushed to.

In short, I remembered today that I have this amazing support system around me. And I never want to forget that again.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Yeah ok, maybe I'll really blog this time.

Every time I see my friend Angie post in her blog, I think that I should get back to blogging. And although this started out as a weightloss blog, I guess it doesn't really have to continue as JUST a weightloss blog. Writing always has helped me let things out a little in a way not even talking about things does. Why I continually stop doing it is beyond me. I think some of it has to do with not wanting to make public a lot of things that I actually should be writing about to clear my head.

So le's do some updating on things here, shall we?

1) I didn't win the lottery. Shocking, I know.

2) I have gained some weight back since I had my band removed. We are not going to discuss how much, because it doesn't matter. I mean, in my imperfect little brain it matters, but I know it really doesn't. I'm healthier than I was when I started this journey. And if I put my mind to it, I can figure out what I'm doing wrong. Look, I like to eat ok? That's never going to change.

3) There is still talk of getting the band put back in. If I'm honest with myself, I'm leaning towards doing it. If I do, it won't be until after my second half marathon, which is in July.

4) I'm doing my second half marathon in July. Again with CCFA. Raising money to cure Crohns and Colitis. This year I am a mentor. You can give here. Trust me, deciding to do a half marathon doesn't get any easier the second time around. Although I'm pretty comfortable with doing up to 5 miles right now at a time, the thought of doubling that still scares the pants off me. I keep telling myself I did this last year 30 lbs heavier. And I did it. All that matters is I finish, and I know I can at least do that.

5) I have some pretty fanastic friends. I started with a book club this winter and met some girls who I never would have otherwise spent time with.

6) I'm starting to see that life isn't perfect for a number of people. I know it seems a little ridiculous that I had some ideal of people's lives that they never had any problems and they lived in happy fairytale townland. Not that I'm wishing problems on people all willy nilly, but it's kind of a relief to know that life isn't perfect, even for the perfect people.