Until next time …
Warning: This post is kind of a rambling and personal brain dump. Feel free to skip it if you want. I promise I won’t be offended.
Sometime, life is hard, especially when emotional baggage is involved. For me, this week has been hard … really hard. I feel almost guilty saying that, too. In light of what the victims in Boston are going through, it feels really petty to say my life has been hard this week, but you know what? It has been. My emotions have been beating up on me and I’m just spent. What I really want to do this weekend is just curl up into a ball, sleep, and ignore the world, but I can’t. I have things that have to be done, so in true Southern woman fashion, I’ll just suck it up, slap on a smile, and move ahead.
I don’t really have much of a relationship with my immediate family (long story), so we very rarely talk to each other and see each other even less. So, when an occasion arises where I do have to interact with them, it definitely makes an impact.
This week was one of those times. I found out from my dad via email on Wednesday morning that my mom had been recently diagnosed with scoliosis (which the doctor said she’s likely had for YEARS) and had undergone corrective surgery on Tuesday at a hospital just outside of Nashville (about 90 miles from where they live). Yes, I found out via email the day after she’d had surgery after never having been told she’d been diagnosed. Yeah, that’s just how my family rolls.
Being the dutiful daughter, I’ve called the hospital several times to check in on her condition. Thankfully, she’s doing well and is being released today to go home. I’ve actually spoken with my parents more this week than I probably have in the past five years combined.
Speaking with them as much as I have this week brought up a flood of memories of the reasons why our relationship fractured in the first place. It brought up memories from my childhood that 10+ years of therapy wasn’t been able to exorcise. It’s been rough. It’s been painful. It’s been exhausting.
I guess the thing I’ve actually hated most about this week is that it’s also been a horrible reminder of just how far I have to go to conquer emotional eating. After every conversation with my parents, I found myself within the hour eating crap food. A couple of times I hit the vending machine at work and got candy bars. Once, when it was closer to lunch time, I went to the cafeteria and instead of getting my usual salad, went to the grill and ordered a cheeseburger and fries. It’s as if all the lessons I’ve learned from Weight Watchers just flew right out the window. I was an emotional basketcase and, quite frankly, didn’t give a fuck in that moment of what I was shoving in my mouth. I just wanted something to fill that gaping black hole of memories that had been ripped open yet again.
I really wish I could say that after 40+ years of dealing with these childhood issues that I’d finally conquered them, but I know I haven’t. In fact, I don’t even know if I ever will. I just know that I really want to work on finding better ways to cope with these emotions when they come up rather than immediately turning to crap food.
I know it’s going to be ugly when I step on the scale tomorrow at my Weight Watchers meeting. Even though I know that, I’m still going to go and face the scale. Ignoring it won’t change what happened, so I might as well face the music and own up to it.
I don’t really know why I’m writing about all this. Perhaps I just needed to spew it all out here in order to get it out of my head so I can move forward. I know that just keeping it bottled up inside definitely doesn’t serve me well, so perhaps putting it out there here on my blog will. I know this has been totally random, so thanks for putting up with my spewing stream of consciousness this morning.
Until next time …
When I was younger, I used to be a runner. I loved the feel of the wind in my hair and the freedom running afforded me. I especially loved those times when I would get in that “zone” where I felt like I could just run forever. During those years, I had the pleasure of visiting Boston several times and running at various locations around the city. I especially loved running in the Back Bay area which is the area where the Boston Marathon finish line is located.
Now that I’m older, overweight, and had to have a knee surgery last year to repair a torn meniscus, I’m a walker. Even though I’m “just” a walker these days, I still enjoy watching marathons, triathlons, etc., and following the progress of my friends as they participate in them.
This morning I was following the progress of two friends during the race. I also had a third friend who was running Boston today, but didn’t know it until later in the day. Anyway, no sooner had I finished posting on my Facebook page to congratulate a friend on her finish than I heard the news of the explosions. Thankfully, the two other friends I had running the race both both OK as well.
The more and more news that came out, the more my heart began to ache. When the news came out that one of the fatalities was an 8-year old child, all I could do was weep and send out thoughts of condolence to the child’s family. I just can’t wrap my brain around why someone would target the finish line of a marathon for an act of terrorism. If you want to read a first-hand account of what it was like being at the explosion site, you can check out this amazing post written by Tori — Scariest Moment of my Life. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to be there in the midst of that chaos not knowing if my loved one was OK, whether another bomb might go off, etc.
I’ve seen a lot of speculation by people on social media over whether this was an act of an individual, a domestic terrorist group, or an international terrorist group. Personally, it doesn’t really matter to me. I just hope the authorities catch the person(s) responsible and bring them to justice.
To all of the runners who participated at Boston today, you are in my thoughts. To those who were in the area of the explosion when it happened and saw the untold horrors, you are in my thoughts that you can find peace from the memories of what you witnessed. To the people of the city of Boston, you are in my thoughts. To the families of those killed, you have my deepest condolences and are in my thoughts. To those injured, I’m sending you speedy recovery wishes. To the person(s) responsible for this, I hope you rot in hell for perpetuating this cowardly act on innocent men, women, and children.
Until next time … prayers for Boston.
Well, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day that happened earlier this week, I guess the old luck of the Irish adage has been holding true for me! I’ve actually won two pretty cool items in contests this week.
The first thing I won was a pretty cool set of Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones. I won them in a contest that Diane over at Fit to the Finish was hosting. They have a retail value of $199.99! Wow!! Here’s a pic of what they look like. As always, you can click on any of the photos to biggify them.
No sooner had I gotten over the excitement of finding out I won the headphones when I found out today that I won a cool prize from Weight Watchers, too! I’ve been taking part in their Live 360° challenge over the past six weeks. Up to this point, each week I “won” a discount for a couple of bucks or so off products like their snack bars, smoothie mixes, etc. Well, this week (which just happens to be the final week of the challenge), I won an actual prize! Check it out:
In case you can’t read the print, I won an Ultimate Weight Watchers 360° Kit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would have LOVED to win one of the iPads or the trip to the spa in Sedona, AZ, but I can’t be too mad since I actually won a real prize. Here’s a list of all of the prizes they gave away during the course of the challenge:
• One Spa Trip for Two to Sedona, Arizona
• One Wardrobe Makeover
• 24 Apple® iPads® with Retina® display– 16GB
• 24 Apple® iPad® minis – 16GB
• 50 Weight Watchers ActiveLink® Activity Monitors each with a 6-month paid subscription
• 50 Weight Watchers PointsPlus® Fitness Series
• 50 Ultimate Weight Watchers 360° Kits
• 50 Weight Watchers Exercise Mats
• 50 Weight Watchers Easy Measure Serving Sets
• 30 Weight Watchers Electronic Food Scales
• 30 Weight Watchers Salad Solution To-Go and Salad Dressing Cruet kitchen tools
• Downloadable Weight Watchers Recipe Books
• Weight Watchers Exclusive Product Discount Coupons
So, given they were only giving away 50 of the kits, I feel pretty fortunate to have won one of them. They retail for $39.95 at the Weight Watchers centers, so it’s definitely nothing to sneeze at as a prize. Here’s a pic of all of the goodies that are included in the kit:
Given how sick I’ve been over the past few weeks, and given the fact that I’m Irish and it’s St. Patrick’s week, I’d like to think this is just the Universe’s way of making things up to me. So, dear Universe, if you’re feeling so inclined, feel free to let my Powerball ticket win tonight, too. We still can’t play Powerball here in California, but my dear friend Flo picked up a ticket with my numbers for us to play. If my numbers hit, we’ll be splitting the jackpot. Given the current jackpot is $260 million, I think I could still manage to survive on half of that. What about you, Flo?
Until next time …
If you read my Wednesday Weigh In post yesterday, you probably picked up on my whining about how sick I’ve been this year. Admittedly, missing three full weeks of work over the past two months definitely isn’t a good thing, nor is being on one’s fourth round of antibiotics. However, sometimes it takes getting some horrible news from someone else to really put your own petty little problems into perspective.
I’m not going to delve into specifics of the news I heard this morning because I know several of my readers are also friends with this particular person and I respect the family’s privacy during this time. Personally, I can’t even imagine going through what this dear friend’s family is having to work through right now. It’s completely unimaginable and my heart aches for them.
I guess my point of this post is just as a reminder that regardless of what petty little things we have going on in our lives, there’s always someone else out there dealing with something far worse. So, to my dear friend, please know that you and your family are in my thoughts as you deal with this horrific situation. Love you!!! xoxo
Until next time …
Today is the third annual Blog Your Heart Out Day. It’s a day when bloggers all across the blogosphere speak up about the #1 killer of women — heart disease.
Heart disease is something that has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. My maternal grandfather suffered from heart disease, as does my maternal uncle. Since this BHYO day is about women’s heart disease, I’m mostly going to talk about my mother instead.
Like her father and brother, my mother also suffers from heart disease. In the pre-dawn hours of that fateful day of September 11, 2001, my mother suffered a heart attack a couple of hours before the World Trade Center catastrophe began. Ironically, September 11 also happens to be her birthday. The day of her heart attack, she turned 58 years old.
Everything kind of became a whirlwind over the next few days. The regional hospital in the rural area where she lived decided that she needed more expert cardiac care, so she was transferred to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. A few days following her heart attack, she had quadruple bypass surgery after it was discovered that some of her arteries were 90+% blocked.
Thankfully, my mom survived her heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. It’s been nearly 12 years and she’s doing fine. Not all women are so fortunate though. Here are some facts from the American Heart Association that you should know about women and heart disease:
- Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, regardless of race of ethnicity, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women have died each year from heart disease than men.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
- Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.
One of the other very scary facts about heart disease is that a majority of women who die suddenly from it had no previous symptoms. Not only that, but since it doesn’t affect all women alike and the symptoms of a heart attack for for women aren’t the same as those for men, it’s often misunderstood until it’s too late.
Per the American Heart Association, sweating, pressure, nausea, and jaw pain can all be symptoms of a heart attack in women. They are also symptoms that women often brush off as the flu, stress, or simply feeling under the weather – which could put their lives in jeopardy.
What can you do?
- Know your risks – Talk to your doctor and discuss your family history and any risk factors you might have.
- Live healthy – You have the power to stop this killer. One of the best ways we can fight heart disease is by living a healthy and active lifestyle.
- Educate yourself – Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Take a class to learn how to administer CPR.
I have to admit, writing this post today in honor of Blog Your Heart Out Day really gave me pause to think. I’ve been overweight or obese basically my entire adult life. Given I just turned 49 years old, that puts me less than 10 years away from the age at which my mom had her heart attack. I definitely need to let this continue to motivate me in my own weight loss efforts and really practice that “live healthy” bullet point that I just preached! It makes me so happy that I’ve been pretty consistent lately with getting in my FitnessGlo workouts!
Until next time …