Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Companion

I don't own a full length mirror.  I did when I was younger.  It was a flimsy one purchased at a big box store held together with staples and cardboard.  So for more than thirty years, I have only viewed my body from the neck up.  It only fed my desire to avoid the difficult image of my obesity.  Unhealthy and willing to put off what needed to be done, that is until I was psychologically ready or maybe too sick to have any choice.  With a mirror that only reflected a smile, I was able to eat all the chocolate, cookies and ice cream I wanted.  

Having lost hundreds of pounds at various times before, only to have gained it all back; today as I get closer and closer to my goal weight, I recognize that fear is clutching onto my wrist holding me tight.  I cannot go back to the aches and pains that came with carrying 60 extra pounds.  Many hours were spent in my recliner with my legs elevated to ease the swelling.  Stairs made me breathless and hurt my knees.  These symptoms are gone.  I am choosing to focus on all the things that are possible due to my health.  Perhaps my resolve and strength to recommit to myself each day will allow the fear of success and fear of failure to whisper ways I can use this dreaded emotion to help me succeed.  

Perhaps I will be shopping for a new I embrace all of me including my companion fear. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Early Blessings

         Rusty sprawls across the back while Rex is nearly snoozing and Julie is likely in the crook of my elbow purring.

My lanky dog Rex thinks he is a lap dog. He tethers me to a series of morning routines; all about him. First, out to go potty, he takes a few nibbles of kibble and then he sprawls across my lap while I sip my latte. Generally, he remains still enabling me to bring the mug toward me for a sip, however an occasional 'I think I will chase the cat now!' upsets not only my sip but my peace too. When the moments pass without a chase, I am bound to my recliner for an indeterminate amount of time until he is bored or becomes too hot for people contact. Most mornings Rex, Rusty our dachshund and Julie our big money cat share room and attention. The series of events witnessed predictably each morning may go unnoticed for some, but I find it an extraordinary start of my days. 

Friday, February 12, 2016


House cats roam
Perched on and under
While the rest of the house
Nestled beneath down
In darkness.

Warm and milky
Does little 
To tame 
The mind that 
In darkness.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Passing Through

This morning my son drove us as far as his high school.  Farmland where cows and sheep graze on summer days, were white and empty save the long shadows cast by early light.  Usually the driver, I realized how much I must miss keeping my eyes on the road.  Trips carry me from point A to point B with little time for quiet observation or the road side picnic. I'm always on a schedule.

When I was little and automobile gas was cheap and plentiful, the family piled into the car and we would just drive usually to no place in particular.  The car seemed to mindlessly take us to Old Orchard Beach to sit on the sidewalk bench, eat pizza and watch the tourists clog the sidewalks on their way to or back from the stretch of sandy beach.  Other times we'd end up on country roads, not quite sure how we got there  we would help our mother navigate the car back home. Those days stretched on forever.  Carefree, the windows rolled down as we sang at the top of our lungs.  

Sometime in the 70's, we no longer took long leisurely rides.  Long lines at the gas stations caused by world crisis made us suddenly aware of our excessive ways on the road.  I took to walking and riding my bike. Economically, it made sense however I missed the spontaneous, zany trips to nowhere.  If only I could slow down and not race from one place to another.  Walking forces me to slow down and notice the world as I pass through.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Icy layers

Monday, February 8, 2016

Maine Winters

What our human spirit yearns for is certainty; however in reality nothing is certain, especially Maine winters.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Discipline

"All you think about is food," my husband exclaims as I whisper my plans for our next meal and the next at some ungodly hour of the morning. It is still dark.

It has been six months, yes. Yet I wouldn't say anything is automatic. Food, walking and workout routines are in the forefront of my mind. So if I miss your birthday or something else important in your life, I apologize ahead of time.

I suspect that if and when my behaviours become automatic, then I will no longer be fully mindful of what I put in my mouth or how long I have moved my body. Right now I write everything out longhand. I have stacks of food/exercise journals chronicaling months of me including thoughts and emotions. Writing by hand, it doesn't become a mindless set of choices this way,  but a series of choices done with a deliberateness that is quite rare in my life. I tend to be reactive and impulsive. That's why I ate myself to obesity, but I did find my way out.

Please don't diss anyone who is trying to change by weighing, measuring and recording food intake and activity output. Everyday it takes effort and mind space. Right now there is little time for anything else. I'm not certain that things will shift; they might, but I have to be prepared to love myself into a certain discipline around food and exercise. It might come easily to you, but not to me. I think about it all the time; no matter the hour.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Legacy

Most of my recipes are collected electronically on Pinterest and Evernote. Gone are the favorites of my childhood scrawled in my mother's hand and nestled in a pink box the color of Pepto Bismol. I don't know what happened to it. When I was little we cooked a lot together, mostly jello and sugar cookies rolled into uniform balls and pressed with a small juice glass. 

I have been thinking lately how handy it would be to write down our favorite family recipes. The only thing is I would hand write each one. There is something about the legacy of handwritten letters and recipes; uniquely personal and touching. An electronic collection does not resonate with the heart.  What I would give to find that wooden pink box.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Far From Ordinary

I  hear him coming home, the plow's blade scrapes upon the driveway pushing the snow into mounds. I sit in my recliner waiting for my husband. Soon steaming leftovers fill our bowls as the fire crackles in the wood stove reminding both of us how fortunate and blessed we are here in the USA. Another segment on the PBS News Hour highlights the plight of refugees. It is hard to watch. Difficult to listen to, but I force myself as a mother separated from her husband for who knows how long, cries uncertain of a future as he attempts to build a life for them in Germany. Another peddled Bic pens in desperation to feed his young children, his daughter asleep draped across his shoulder. With little choice, another father plans a dangerous trip by sea.

The choices I have in life day to day are mundane; at least it seems like that way most of the time. Our pantry and cold storage overflows with fruit, vegetables and lean plant proteins. Grains line the counter captive in gleaming glass jars. I have choices. I have food, shelter and heat. My husband sits on the couch, my children in their rooms well-dressed with full bellies while my kitty is nestled on my nap purring. My life is anything from ordinary; it is remarkable, bountiful and I often take it for granted. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Inspiration NOW!

It is important to seek what you need for health wherever you can find it.  "You are such inspiration!" I am often told. 

I have hypothyroidism that is often portrayed as a condition  that thwarts efforts toward weight loss. Preparing healthy food and walking the miles, I did not think of this. I changed my behavior to reclaim my health. 

There are no magic pills, concoctions or gimmicks to lose weight. Just start. Each day is filled with new opportunities to learn something new. 

Taking care of myself is not something that is innate. I don't know if it is for other woman, but me it takes planning and effort. 

For self-preservation, I take this journey one day at a time. It is manageable that way. Otherwise we have talked ourselves into delay. Seize the day! There's no time like the present. Let me know how I can help.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

All Good

                   Avocado Chocolate Pudding

The threat of the onset of a condition that could alter the quality of my life did nothing to stop me from overeating. My friend a diabetic who knew all the best places for large slabs of blueberry pie topped with vanilla ice cream shuffled as she walked. Having permanent nerve damage caused by progressing diabetes made it impossible for her to know when her shoes were making contact with her feet. She had lost all sensation. As she pulled into the Hancock General Store to just run in for a whoopie pie or two, I vowed that I would never let myself go. On my worst days of eating and being glued to the recliner, I thought of my friend and it made no difference. As a young woman Terri watched her grandmother bedridden lose toe after toe, a complication of diabetes. A haunting image with the false security that that would never happen to me.

Procrastination was my biggest enemy. I'm young. I have plenty of time to change. Suddenly, with 60 looming big on the horizon, the realization that I am running out of time and excuses I believe contributed to my decision to act. Nearly seven months ago I walked through Community Healthcare ready to listen. I wasn't particularly strong in my conviction to get healthy as I sat across the table as the Diabetes Prevention Program was explained to me. However, I made a commitment to focus on me and take things day by day. A former Weight Watchers lecturer I knew what I needed to do: Keep a food diary and start moving. This was not anything new to me.  However this time around has been different. I have been engaging in positive self-talk, I seldom eat meat and I do not project expectations especially in regards to weight. 

Aside from my walks in the woods and by the sea, I have reclaimed my kitchen. Finding family friendly healthy dishes has been challenging, but we have collected a few favorites. The good news is that culinary creativity is not compromised with healthy whole recipes. I am grateful these changes are long lasting.

I am not sure what has driven me to commit so wholly to my health for 209 days so far. But I am keeping on, keeping on. Oh and thanks for the undying support and applause. There is less of me now, but then again there is so much more about myself that I have learned and have yet to discover. It's all good!

Monday, February 1, 2016

I Want Answers

It has dragged on for far too long. For the last three weeks, I have been dead tired and I don't know why. Do I have a vitamin deficiency? Am I missing important nutrients in my eating? Every so often, I am not able to sleep however I catch up with sleeping ten hours, but I shouldn't be THIS drained. Is my thyroid to blame? Am I depressed? It is 6 pm and I am ready for bed, but I must eat first! Help, I depend upon answers to help navigate my next steps. Where do I begin to answer any of these questions?