Month: November 2018

Letting the Light In

For the past two and a half months, I’ve been looking back at the Facebook Live videos I did when I first went on bed rest.  Knowing they would start in early September, I was dreading seeing them because it was a reminder of how long I had been out of commission.

But when the Facebook Memories began to pop up, I ultimately had a different reaction.  Rather than lamenting how long I had been laid up, I saw how far I had come in my healing journey.

At first, looking at the videos was painful.  I had let myself go for so many years … decades, really.  I had allowed myself to get caught in such a huge spiral of shame over how unhealthy I was that I just continued to let myself go.  The memories of the shame and my behavior make me cringe:

  • I was dishonest about what I was eating and how much.
  • I looked in the mirror as little as possible.
  • When I had a physical, there was no scale in my doctor’s office that I could use, so I gave an approximation of my weight, knowing in my heart that I weighed more than I said I did.
  • It was horrible when I had to go up another clothes size.  I stayed in 10s for as long as I could until buttons and zippers popped.  Then I had to buy 12s.  When I was finally topping out at 14s and 16s, I could no longer stand to go clothes shopping with anyone else.  I went alone and did it as quickly as possible.  I even put off shopping until my clothes had noticeable holes in them and I had to go.  I let my clothes look as lousy as I felt about myself.

The ultimate shame was letting my health get so bad that it took an extra hole in my behind to wake me up and make the changes that would get me healthy.  Why did I let things get so bad?  That’s a question I am still working on answering.  I’m not there yet, but I’ll get there.  So you’ll probably see more blog posts on this topic and I hope my insights are helpful.  I hope all the entries in this blog are helping you, InspiraGang.

For now, here’s what’s changed following the switch to healthy habits and the subsequent weight loss:

  • After not wearing dresses for years, I was given a dress on my 51st birthday last June.  I couldn’t wait to try it on and now I can’t wait to get another one.  I am looking forward to clothes shopping again.
  • I am now getting weighed on a regular basis to make sure I stay on track.  I actually look forward to it.  True story:  It was a challenge to find a scale to get weighed on until my friend Lisa suggested Bernardsville Animal Hospital.  There is a scale for the animals right in the reception area and I all I have to do is wheel onto it and push a button.
  • I knew before the last time I got on the scale that I had gained a little something.  It turned out to be one pound.  I am amazed that I am so in tune with my body that I can feel the difference of just one pound.  Another switch:  I felt no shame in that.  I just realized that I have to stay disciplined so that a one-pound weight gain doesn’t turn into five, 10, 20, etc.

I am healthier than I have ever been, not in spite of my wound, but because of it.  Like the Rumi quote above, the wound let the light in and I saw it, accepted it and it helped heal me.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Yours in Health,
InspiraGirl

Rising to the Challenge

As I have mentioned in a previous blog post (The “New Normal”, September 8, 2018), the plastic surgeon advised me that, once my wound healed and I started sitting up, ultimately, I should only sit for eight to ten hours a day, with butt breaks throughout the day, for the rest of my life.  This is to guard against getting another pressure wound. I am still not sure if that is a guideline or a hard and fast rule, and part of me thinks it’s a CYA move (cover your ass…pun intended) on the part of the doctor.  But I am going to stick to it in the immediate future, because I want to stay healthy, of course.

As a result of this guideline, I value my time much more now than I did before my wound diagnosis.

I started my sitting protocol this week: thirty minutes twice a day to start.  On most days, I will probably use that time to have lunch and dinner at the kitchen table with my family since I have missed doing that.  There are also special occasions, like this past Tuesday when I used one of my two 30-minute time periods to vote and a special event this Thursday which I may write about in a future blog post and will certainly mention on Facebook.

Back in March, when the plastic surgeon advised me of this new normal, it really pissed me off.  But now, while I don’t think I can say I enjoy the challenge just yet, I can tell you that rising to it is clearly healthier than staying bitter about it.  Bitterness just eats you up inside, whereas rising to a challenge empowers you.

It certainly gives me a lot to think about as to how I spend my time going forward.  In fact, to put a positive spin on it from my perspective, it will probably will make me more efficient with my work and in day-to-day life.

It might be frustrating for my colleagues, friends and family because I can no longer be as flexible.  For health reasons, I may have to shorten or reschedule meetings when someone calls to say they are running late. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  Who knows?  My need to be as efficient as possible with my time may help others do the same.  I hope so, anyway.

There are other challenges I will face as I get back to my usual daily life, like getting in and out of the bathtub and the driver’s seat of my van without hurting my derrière.  As I talk about these upcoming challenges with loved ones, they sometimes seem more overwhelmed by them than I do.  Since I have been figuring out alternative ways of doing things for my whole life, I have grown used to it.  I take one challenge at a time so it doesn’t overwhelm me.  Also, going back to the empowerment factor I mentioned above, with each challenge you handle successfully, the more empowered you will feel.

What challenges have you risen to or do you need to rise to?  Share your comments below.

See you back here next Wednesday, InspiraGang!

Yours truly,
InspiraGirl

 

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