Sod’s Law

I kid you not… Last night I started with a new flare-up. What are the odds of that?

Actually, quite high as my condition is brought on by stress. Friday’s absence meeting was stressful and I’ve thought of little else.

Or may be it is the laws of attraction at work – I’ve worried about a flare-up all weekend so now I have one.

Luckily (if you choose to think about it this way) I still have some ointment from my last flare-up and started it straight away. I should get to the hospital tomorrow but I’m not going to. One, I can’t afford the absence. Two, if the consultant finds out I’ve had a second flare-up within a month I can see another sick note at the very least. No, hopefully I’ve caught it early enough and I can avoid going. If it does get more serious, well, work will see it and I will have no choice.

But, I’m meant to be positive from now on.

So, I’ve started a new three week weight loss plan on Lifesum today. I’ve ordered shopping and have checked the meals are appropriate for my work schedule. I’ve also logged into Holland and Barrett and am trying their trial ‘Healthbox’. I have taken questionnaires based on my current health needs and they have suggested supplements to help. I have received a month’s supply half price and with free delivery – I will try it for a month and will review. I’ve booked in a long walk next Sunday with my friend and am in the process of planning more exercise opportunities this week.

I can do this.


Valuing time

Not long after the ambulance had pulled away, my other sister (my youngest sibling was supporting Dad in the ambulance) arrived. I quickly went over the evening’s events again. Looking at her, I could see the worry and grief of a month of Dad’s illness in her face, her eyes, her posture. I know she can see it in me too- I can see it well enough in myself.

She left soon after to get to the hospital so she could see Dad before work. I lay on the couch, exhaustion making me drowsy whilst I simultaneously waited for news and a more reasonable hour to wake my children’s dad to ask he could come over and watch them whilst I went to the hospital.

I was in the hospital by 8.30am. Compared to the other three times Dad has been taken by ambulance this month, he looked reasonably well. Before long he was taken to an assessment ward while we waited for repeated bloodtests to show whether he had had another heart attack.

Dad was very grateful and apologetic for us staying with him, and for all our support. We kept telling him that we wouldn’t have it any other way: Dad is there for us no matter what the problem.

My sister and I told Dad about the various friends we had who had said how much they love our Dad. One friend of my once said:

“I’ve never really had a Dad. But if I could picture what I’d want in a Dad, it would be yours.” Praise indeed and well deserved.

He’s stubborn and a little old fashioned. He’s stuck in his ways. He still treats me like a teenager if I come home later than he thinks I should. He gives me advice whether I want it or not. He is usually right.

He shows me love every single day. He makes me feel special and loved and worthy. He makes me feel proud of my life because he is proud of me.

I honestly don’t know how long I have with Dad. Part of me is fighting desperately to make the final stage of his life a happy one, but I don’t know how. Other than to show him and tell him I love him every single day… It just doesn’t seem enough.

Why happiness is mine to accept

To understand this post, you may want to read the previous one first!

I have a good job, a nice home and three beautiful and healthy children.

My dad has survived lung cancer and his prostate cancer is in remission. He is still with us.

My relationship with my mum has improved. She is happy and I know she will always be there if I need her.

Never say never. The job I have now is suitable for my situation on the whole. I get time off with my children. My job is enjoyable and challenging and I am good at it. There will be time for change in the future when the moment is right.

My children know they are loved. They know they can depend on me. They may not have as much as some but they have more than others. They are polite and well mannered and have a healthy interest in reading and history and technology, of course.

Happiness is not just for those in a relationship. I can be happy without a man. But at the same time, love could be on the horizon til the day I die.

At least I know that the connection exists. Somewhere, out there is another connection – so strong that nothing will keep us apart.

I tried my best to keep my marriage alive. What I have now are lots of happy memories, three beautiful children and a much better relationship with their dad.

As I write, I am an able bodied woman with no major health concerns other than the need to lose weight. It could be worse.

Life can be good if we open our eyes to it.

Using my skills

Somebody once said to me that confusion is a good thing. He said it is the state that our mind is in when it is working something out. It means it hasn’t given up. It means it isn’t too difficult. Just challenging enough for our brain to process and grow and learn as it works out a solution. 

When I have a job interview, or maybe when I need to present something difficult in an interesting way, I go into this strange mood or mind state. I feel on edge somehow: I can’t sit still as my mind, almost anxiously, whirrs and explores until it final rests upon a speck of an idea. It’s like that little noise a computer makes when it is processing something. 

 I realised recently that I feel in a similar way when I’m binge eating. I know I comfort eat. So it figures that when my mind can’t find solutions to a problem, it turns to the comfort of food for solace. 

(Except there is no solace. A momentary hit of endorphins is replaced by an ever growing need to numb the emotions that are taking control. Food doesn’t work and yet almost mechanically, the search continues. Guilt just fires the need.)

Recently, I have felt that ‘processing’ as I have tried to work out what to do next about my weight. I am thoroughly ashamed to say that I have put on a stone since March. My hard earned weight loss is slowly slipping away. My clothes are tight and this only serves to irritate me further.  I have tried so many diets.  From the well known to the absolutely odd – and I have lost weight so many times. Only to put it back on and more after a period of time. The last few weeks I have searched the Web for a glimmer of hope, only to find the same old. 

I have discussed before how I feel that weightloss has a lot to do with your frame of mind. See me post on this here:  In effect, if your mind is in the right place, any diet will work at least for a period of time. And yet I also believe that to maintain that loss, it is essential to find an eating plan that suits the consumer: a programme of eating that suits the unique tastes and moods of the individual. In my mind, slimmer people are better at managing their consumption of food, either because from childhood they have been brought up to fuel their bodies in a way that suits them or because as adults they have found the diet that suits them. 

I haven’t. I can’t tell you the frustration of being an reasonably intelligent woman,  who knows she needs to eat less to lose weight but just can’t. Or, can’t long enough to maintain weight loss

I have been inspired by fellow blogger recovering carbie who has lost over 100lbs in seven months by following her own eating plan. She talks about how she has created a way of life that is working for her.  Similar to Back in Stilettos, both women successfully use exercise regularly to stay in shape and have found an exercise regime that also works for them. 

  Walking in beautiful places has been revolutionary to my state of mind and for my perception of exercise. I am loving walking and feeling my body respond to the exercise. It’s just a shame that this has coincided with a hefty weight gain. But I need to build on this new found passion and create a pathway to lasting success.  

So, back to the mind-whirring search for a plan that will change my bad eating habits in a way that is manageable and sustainable… The mind cleared and the glimmer of a solution appeared.  I figure that I need to create a bespoke eating plan that works for me.  I can use the knowledge I have gained from nearly 20 years of partially successful weight loss and the failure of weight gain. It will take some time. Some trial and error. But the point is that I try. I cannot keep giving up and then wholeheartedly commiserating my failure by eating. I’ve got to evaluate, assess, tweak. These are skills that I use every day at work. I can do this. I can. 

So today I have been steadily planning and evolving my plan. Tomorrow I will clear out cupboards and shop for a better way of eating. I will not only face my fears head on, I will fight them. I can overcome this. I can learn to love food whilst loving myself and living life to the fullest. I will keep you updated. Wish me luck!