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About Me: I am a mother to 4, step-mom to 2. We have 9 grandchildren at the present; ages 5 - 13. I am embarking on this journey for myself, but also so I can spend more time with my family - quality time - and not be a burden to them at some future point.
My Journey Begins: I am going to attempt to find the words to tell my story. I am not ready to start at the beginning where I think things began, but I am ready to share some of my journey with you below. I hope you will come back from time to time to check my progress.

One Woman's Journey:
Today I reached a milestone. I never thought it would be a number that I would be happy to get DOWN to. I remember how freaked I was when I reached it the first go round, on the way UP.

For many years, I would go see my doctor with a whole list of ailments. I would save them all up and go once every year or two, but at the top of my list was always, why am I gaining weight? How do I get it off? About the only thing I can remember coming from those visits was my doctor would say, "my mother is overweight and 80 years old and still gets around great!"

Also on that list was my sleeping. We always agreed to tackle the sleep issue first, and maybe the rest would work itself out, or we could start to tackle those other things at that point. I did do a sleep study and it was determined that I had sleep apnea. So I got a little CPAP. Only trouble was, I hated to use it, and so I didn't. And each year, my weight continued to climb. Each year I would go see my doctor about my weight gain, and once again we would try to tackle the sleeping.

I finally started using the CPAP. I was feeling better, riding horses more, in fact I was taking other people horseback riding and I lost 33 pounds. Then winter came and my activity stopped but I was still using my CPAP and still feeling better. Then we had a devastating house fire. End result my weight starting soaring even higher than it was before.

In the months to follow, my focus was on rebuilding our home. STRESSed to the max, and once again not sleeping resulted in a weight gain of 60 pounds during that year after our house fire. Once again, I reached this number but once again it was on the way UP. At this point though, I didn't really care and I didn't even own a scale to even know how bad it was getting.

At some point, I went back to my doctor. I remember thinking to myself, I am going to make an appointment for my breakdown. So I went, and it did feel good to have my little scheduled breakdown in his office. He said you need to get another CPAP. All you have to do is call the company and get another. By this time, I was so --- I can't even find the words - but I could not even make the call. I did not want to talk to anyone, see anyone, so I could not even call them. So my doctor made the call for me. He said all you have to do is answer the phone when they call and set up a time for them to bring you a new one.

Once we were finally settled into our new home, it was time once again for my visit to my doctor to discuss my weight again along with my long list of all my aches and pains. He was out but I talked to his nurse practitioner. She helped me a little bit more with my weight concerns. Gave me a couple of places to go and talk to. My BMI classified me as a candidate for bariatric surgery which I would have done in a heartbeat if my insurance company would have covered it. We pay something like $800 a month to Blue Choice - it seems like they would have covered something that was such a health issue for me. Not a vanity thing, a health thing.

I was on the verge of everything. I knew it was just a matter of time. My father had a stroke at 59. Heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes - I knew my day was coming. My mother died at the age of 44, when I was just 13, from cancer. My genetic dice are loaded, so part of me was like well let's just see how much weight I can gain and how much time I have before all these things hit. I pretty much surrendered to the inevitable. I had already decided that I am in the last chapter of my life (like 90% complete) and I am ready to settle into being a little old lady with aches and pains and this is my retirement and how I will spend the last of my days. I had decided in my mind that I was somewhere around the age of 80 or more, when in fact I was mid 40's.

So what made things change? Well, I will get into that another day. Today is my cardio day and I need to get some things done around the house. So please stay tuned for more of my journey!


Long awaited update 10/11/12


This is the long version of my blog dated 10/11/12 in which my journey began as a quest for better health - my goal was to prevent the preventable. However my blog began to also outline my path of weight gain which stemmed from a far darker place.

Part 2 of My Story begins now:

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - I am sure that means something to each of us. Somehow or another, it has touched our lives.

We have made great strides since the 34 years that this disease took my mother away from her family, leaving a husband of 25+ years to raise two little girls alone, as well as two grown children with grandchildren, and many more grandchildren that she would never have the chance to see.

It would rear it's ugly head again, just 5 short years later, inflicting itself as a tumor in the youngest of her daughters, my little sister then just 15. I had not been to my mother's grave until my baby sister developed cancer. I went and I prayed that it would be me and not my sister. Unfortunately it returned again when my sister was 16, resulting in a full mastectomy this time, whereas before it was just a partial.

These events have had a great impact on shaping the person that I have become. Good and Bad. We all deal with stress in different ways, good and bad. I learned to be strong, to be resilient, to face adversity, and to just find a way to dig down deep and to keep going. I just jumped in and took over the duties of housework, cooking meals, and raising my little sister. I learned that I was very independent and later would learn that can bite you in the butt - that there are times when it is okay to ask for help and to share your pain and struggles with others.

Once my mother died, my life would never be the same. She was our caretaker, our cook, our maid - the person we always took for granted & thought she would always be there. There was just not enough time for her to teach me everything that I needed to know. She was otherwise healthy. She was tall for a woman, and slim. And I do not know how she did it. Did she exercise while we were in school? Did she just eat right? Was she just genetically blessed? I never really thought about it before on how she did it, but when I did put on a few pounds, I always just figured I got my dad's short & fat genes and it was genetic destiny.

And my dad was not fat, not until after mom passed away. And I was not fat, and didnt start to gain weight until after my mother passed away. And my younger sister was just the puniest most fragile little thing, and it wasnt until later she started to gain weight.

So what happened that we would all start to gain weight after the passing of my mother? Well my father worked many many hours, and then he would come home to work the garden, or hunt or fish. My mother always prepared wonderful healthy meals. The table would be loaded with lots of veggie options along with a meat. Desserts were just a small serving once in a great while.

So after mom passed, my dad needed quick meals that my sister and I could prepare ourselves. I cooked for awhile, trying to cook like my mother, but it was the dawn of the microwave. A new burger joint just came to town. Lard was replaced with bad vegetable oils. Milk was replaced with soda pop. Healthy meals of meat and veggies were replaced with TV dinners. The basic food groups were now contained in boxes. Most everything from the garden and any good meats that were cooked, were deep fat fried in lots of BAD oils.

In gaining weight, I noticed some things were happening. I noticed that not as many boys were pestering me. I always looked older for my age, and gaining weight seemed to be a way to make myself less attractive. So rather than fight it, I just went with it. And then I was home sick from school one day, and watched an episode of Young and the Restless, where Nicki was sexually attacked by what I think was her father. At least at the time, I thought it was her father. My thoughts were.... I have replaced my mother in every aspect, and what if my dad needs a replacement for my mom in "that" way also, and then I would be like poor Nicki? I felt like if I gained weight, and if I became a person that my dad did not like, then he would not want to do that to me. So I began to put some distance between us. I become a hateful snot. I become very disrespectful to my father. I married young and while I was in love, I also just wanted a way out. It wasnt until the day that I got married, many years after this trend started, on my wedding day for the first time in years, I hugged my father and said, I love you Daddy, and we just both broke down in tears. I felt so guilty for the feelings that I had had, and for the way that I had treated him, for the heartache & stress that I am sure that I had caused him, for the resentment all those years, just because I watched a show and was afraid of that happening. In no way shape or form did my father EVER hint to anything remotely so hideous. It was all only a scenario created in an adolescent mind that I did not want to happen. So rather than talk about it with someone, it was just one more thing that I needed to just handle myself. And this is the first time that I have ever put this out there. I was completely awful to my dad for no reason whatsoever. I am sure he was at his wits end with me, and went to his grave never understanding and wondering what he was doing wrong in raising his daughter. I am sure he prayed for help every night, and was at a loss on what he needed to do.

So why would one episode of a soap opera affect me so deeply? Why would gaining weight seem to be such a good idea to keep the boys away? Because as a young girl, I was sexually abused by a person close to the family. I dont even know how old I was when it started, but I remember being maybe 7 or 8 when it stopped. I think it only stopped because I was getting old enough to run away, or to maybe start talking but also there was a younger one in the family to take my place, my little sister. It sickens me to think that I could have stopped it from happening to her as well. However I really didnt know, or maybe just turned a blind eye, but I didnt know it was happening until many many years later. I think I was just so relieved that it stopped, that I never really stopped to think about why it stopped for me. I should add there was never penetration, so nothing that could have ever been proven. Just a sick twisted perv getting his jollies on little girls. I think this is also why when she became sick with cancer, I finally went to my mother's grave and I just prayed that God would give me the cancer instead. I failed my little sister before, I wasnt there for her to stop bad things from happening to her, I just wanted to make it right, make it up to her for failing to keep her safe, so I just wanted to make the cancer take me instead.

So after years of not being bothered anymore, and then once I began to develop and then here were all these boys pestering me all the time, I just didnt want to deal with any of that. So gaining weight seemed like a good idea and due to the changes in our diet, it was just happening anyways, so I just went with it.

I was probably a size 15/16 in high school when I met the guy I would marry. I think sizes are different now-a-days so that may have been more like an 18 now, I dont know. And here was this guy, who loved me regardless. He was a bit older, 6 years and he loved me for me. He even wanted to marry me. So began my desire to lose the extra weight. I dont remember much of the details, except I remember it involved a lot of oranges and a lot of manic exercise. I was 118lbs on my wedding day.

Then about a year later, we were expecting. I gained something like 60lbs, most of which I never lost. Baby number 2 was just 15 months later, and baby number 3 was 19 months after that one, with only about 15 pounds of weight gain, because I never lost all the weight from the first one.

After about 9 years of marriage, things were just not working. We loved each other, but that independent streak and trying to do things myself and not sharing my problems that I mentioned earlier? Well it would bite me in the butt and resulted in our divorcing. I just couldnt fix everything on my own.

After the divorce, well it was time to get in shape again. I remember manic at the gym once again. I remember lots of chicken. I was 27 years old and 128lbs and I was solid. I was squatting 300lbs, I was benching 100lbs though I didnt work on that much.

I am going to fast foward now, all the working out stopped with baby number 4. I gained some weight with him, but not all that bad really. It wasnt until hectic crazy life after that, that I really packed on the pounds. In fact, was more than 100 pounds heavier than the day I went to the hospital to deliver a 9 pound baby!! Lots of school activities for 4 children that made me justify fast food and supper at the drive-thru. Hey, at least I was feeding them, right?

Thank goodness my kids are fit and healthy inspite of my lack of cooking for them. I can cook, and am a good cook, and I did cook when they were younger, but once they hit middle school, time was a precious commodity. They are all adults now, the youngest son is 18, and they are all fit and eat pretty clean, and have no weight issues whatsoever. As I have learned things about fitness and nutrition, I try to share that with them, so they will never have to worry about weight issues. I often wonder what my mother would have shared with me, if she would have known. I am sure she always thought there would be time.

Ok, so that was way more detailed and sidetracked than I intended for this blog. I only meant to say, that with this being breast cancer awareness month, I am so thankful that I learned that there are things we can do to try to prevent some diseases. Some times, it just happens, as was the case with my mother and my sister, my sister of which later made a full recovery and has been cancer free all these years. But with that family history, and with my Father dying at a young age. He declined rapidly after suffering a heart attack, with high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes - I can't help but wonder how much of my awful behavior might have contributed to that. I feel as though I made part of it up to him though. In his final days, we moved him in with us so that I could care for him. The day that he died, he was actually at dialysis. When I got the call, I remember dropping the phone, and my husband had to call them back. It was all the same feelings as when I remember my dad waking us in the middle of the night, to tell us that our mother had passed away. It's just words you never get over regardless how many decades pass by.

Ok, so where I wanted to go with this blog is that we as a society have learned so much about cancer, and tumors and cysts, and our bodies ability to take care of a few of these things, through diet, exercise and fasting, a form of internal housecleaning. I never would have learned about the benefits of fasting had I not began this journey, and had I not craved for knowledge and researched to find answers.

While sometimes there are just things out of our control, the goal should always be to prevent the preventable. I knew I had to get a handle on my health. I know it is possible to get a chronic disease even in a seemingly healthy person like my mom. She was in great shape, and didnt drink or smoke. (My dad always blamed himself and the birth control pill.) But we all die sometime from something, but what if I could postpone it by cleaning up my diet? I need to do everything in my power to reduce my risks. And it is about the quality of those years, not just the number of years.

I also wanted to pay tribute to the victims of cancer, whose lives were not for naught. Their brave courage through treatments and their adversities have helped us to acquire the knowledge that we have now. I know if given the option, I would do the same to help find a cure and prevent a disease for my daughters, so I wanted to say thank you to all those who have gone before us and made sacrifices for the life saving advancement in treatments that we now have in the war against cancer.

Update 4/25/2013

Ok, so what FINALLY made me start going? Maybe this will help shed some light.

April 25, 2013 Blog Post -

Feeling Extra Chipper Today. It is just a great day to be alive!!

It is just an amazing feeling to know that you are doing everything you can to improve your health, to improve your quality of life, to maybe extend your life.

Two years ago, I was ready to throw in the towel. I felt old. I felt used up. I quit going out with friends. Quit going out much even with DH. Quit going to his company functions. Quit going to most family functions. If you look back through all the photos, I was nowhere to be found - my life was already non-existent, and that was okay with me.

I had just accepted that I was on the downhill side of life. That I would suffer from aches and pains and there was nothing I could do about it. I was hurting physically, I was hurting mentally, I was accepting this as my old age, and I was just ready for it to be over with.

So what changed? Looking back, I am not really sure, but I think it might have something to do with a man (who loves & adores me) & a Harley. As I mentioned earlier this week, when DH got his Harley, I had hoped it was just some sort of "Mid-life I have Arrived" crisis. However I quickly realized that he was going to ride it, with or without me.

Now we are not talking some big fancy touring bike with all the bells and whistles - like extra wide cushy seats, something fit for the Queen of Sheeba. No, We are talking a Sportster. A nice bike, but not a bicycle built for two. Certainly not the size of a 230lb man AND a 270lb woman.

So I knew that I had to ride, or stay home. Staying home would have been fine with me, but I knew he really wanted me with him. And I knew that I did not want to be the old fat chick on the back of the bike. One or the other, I could handle. But not both. And since my fountain of youth was drank dry by the unicorns, that only left trying to lose some weight.

Going to the doctor for help was pointless. I had done it countless times before, but I went once more. It was not my regular doctor, and I was pointed in the direction of bariatric surgery. Given my BMI - (translation - as wide as I was tall) I was a candidate. However my insurance would not pay for it. So I knew that if it was going to happen, I would have to make it happen. It was all up to me. If it is to be, it's up to me..... or some non-sense like that. I really didnt believe yet, but I just knew that somehow, if I was going to lose weight, I would have to figure out how to do it on my own. This last Doctors visit, none of my numbers looked good. I was on the verge of being medicated out my @$$. I really was not ready to give up on living, and I certainly did not want my remaining years to be a burden on my family. So it was time to try to dig down deep and find some bit of strength, some kind of spark.

So I guess that got the ball rolling. But I was rolling uphill. It was a slow go. My head (heart) wasnt really in it yet, I am not sure why not. DH was still riding, but he was riding to work, so about an hour one way, so that 2 hours a day pretty much got it out of his system. Whew, what a relief!! Thank goodness, I could still keep my fat-self in my house.

I can remember laying in bed at night, thinking I might not wake up. I would die of a heart attack in my sleep. Yes it bothered me, but not enough to take action. Then one day for some reason, I just happened to hear a commercial for Dr. Oz. So I watched the show, and started implementing little changes. By the time fall rolled around, I had lost maybe 20lbs. Then I heard about Dr. Oz's Transformation Nation, and my sister and I accepted the challenge.

That same evening, my sister sent me a link to this tracking place, called Sparkpeople. I signed up, but it looked complicated and I was already tracking on my own, so I didnt need it. I told her I was tracking in excel, so why did she even send it to me? Geesh. So I forgot about it.

Then January rolled around. I was making better choices, but nothing much was happening on the scale. I dont know what made me come back to Sparkpeople, but I did. And it made all the difference for me. I began tracking faithfully, and have hardly missed a day since.

Weight loss has definitely not been linear. I have had my starts and stops. But one thing, I have pretty much maintained even with a stop. I am just now coming out of a stop again. It took me a while to even realize it was a stop. I would have a slight gain, followed by a loss just enough to make me think I was gaining ground. I was eating right and all, so I just knew it was a matter of time. Afterall, I felt fantastic!!!

Well once I realized I was pretty much stopped, dead stop, it has taken me a bit to get my groove back on. Now, I have my groove on again! I am hoping I have the formula to take me the rest of the way to my goal.

And what perfect timing. Two years ago today, when I turned 46, I felt 86. I knew I had one foot in the grave. I knew my genetic dice were loaded against me. Now here I am today, turning 48, and I feel... well I dont feel 48 even!! Is 48 the new 28??!! Okay, how about 38?! It doenst matter, it is just a number, but I am so glad to have one more. One more year, one more day - I will take it all!

Regardless of the number, I have learned that I do NOT have to accept the diseases of my parents - like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer - that took their lives way too soon. I have the power to reverse many things just by making healthy food choices. Now that is power. I can heal, I can reverse, I can at least postpone many of the ailments that 2 years ago I would just lay in bed and say, "Here I am, come get me." Now I am getting out, enjoying life, enjoying my family, riding my horse again, loving every minute I spend with DH both on and off the New harley, and now I am saying, "You will have to catch me first!"

Member Since: 11/13/2011

Fitness Minutes: 32,290

My Goals:
I can see the big picture but still I try to take one day at a time. I want to become fit & healthy the right way.

My Program:
One of the first things I did that showed I was serious, was to eliminate sweet tea from my day to day life. At about a gallon a day, that wasnt easy but I did it. I also started eating healthier. Then I added cardio, and just recently added Strength Training. I do this all at home, but I do have some family that come over sometimes for Zumba.

Personal Information:
I love to trailride with my horse, but I gained so much weight that I havent done much of that the last few years. My horse is big and stout but I would like to be a lighter load for him.

Other Information:
This is your journey. Take the wheel and drive!

“Being overweight and out-of-shape is hard. Being lean and in-shape is hard. Choose your hard.”

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    Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for; but, rather something to be achieved.

    You are an inspiration! Thanks for being my new Sparks friend!


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    3450 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/14/2012 12:56:23 PM
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