Monday, June 29, 2009


As a person who carries way more weight than my frame is meant to support, SHOES are a major issue.

My poor feet were always tired and sore, carrying around more than 100 extra pounds. It's better now, since I've lost nearly 50 of those pounds, but I'm still 60+ pounds overweight and my feet suffer for it.

Finding a comfortable shoe that helps to support the fat is always a challenge.

I have a pair of leather shoes that I bought several years ago. They are comfy but rather heavy - if I spend a whole day on my feet my calves get tired from the weight on my feet but on a normal day, they are great.

Except in the summertime. Who wants to wear leather shoes and socks when the sun is hot, the grass is green, and the flowers are blooming?

Not me, that's for sure.

But sandles are a challenge.

To begin with, the straps have to go over just the right part of the foot or they are too tight and uncomfortable.

I have a pair of flip flops that feel GREAT on the top of my foot, but they are completely flat and only about 1/4 " thick at the sole. I can wear them to look nice, but I walk slower and my feet get sore VERY quickly.

So, a couple weeks ago I set off on a quest to find some comfortable flipflops or sandles that would give me enough support to keep me walking at a brisk pace. I was willing and expected to pay at least $50 to accomplish both goals.

Oh, one other criteria....they had to be at least semi attractive - I like my footwear to be as feminine as possible given my weight challenges.

After trying on several nice looking flipflops, I was directed to a display of these 'new' flipflops:

- OK, I was going to put a photo of them here but blogger won't let me move the photo and I'm not going to rewrite everything before this point just so I can have a photo. Sorry

I was told two things.....A) Oprah endorses these shoes. (whoopee) and B) they will actually make you lose inches off your butt if you wear them. (yeah, right)

They are not very pretty, but they're not ugly, either.

I tried them on and walked around the store for about 5 minutes. THAT sold me. I was suprised at how comfortable they were.

The shoes came with a 'warning' to begin wearing them gradually as the workout aspect of them would result in sore muscles. I began by wearing them all day. That night, I went to bed WITHOUT sore, tired feet for the first time in so long I can't remember. I hadn't even really realized that my feet were always sore until the achy, tired feeling was not there!

Seriously, folks - I have not been asked to endorse this product, and I did not recieve a free pair to 'review'. I just paid my $80 and started to wear them.

I cannot say that they provide a workout for my butt and legs, as advertised - I never experienced the sore muscles they warn of, and I did not take my measurements before so as far as that sales gimmick goes - no comment.

I could care less if Oprah likes them.....(sorry, Oprah fans)....but I care that I can wear them all day and feel that my weight is being properly supported. I can walk around all day without thinking about my feet.

If I could, I'd rather have some sandles that are prettier - but I'll leave those for the day I reach my goal and my body is in proper proportion to my feet.

If you want to see this product go to this link. Or 'google' Fitflops.

I bought the shoe in navy - although red is my favorite color, (see photo at the link) I felt that the contrast of the white and red attracted too much attention to the 'chunkiness' of the shoe.

Anyone else have problems finding a good shoe?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Did you Miss Me? I've Missed YOU!

Well, here I am again, my tail between my legs, apologizing for my absence. I re-read my previous posts since April ..... WOW I have been negative lately.

No more.

I am not going to sit here any longer, mad at myself because I cannot seem to rise above things that I make bigger than they are.

Success in my home, my personal life, and my health are interlinked. As soon as I begin to let myself feel like a failure in one area, I begin to ACT like a failure in every area.

I have not lost weight in a long time - in fact, from my lowest weight to today, I've GAINED 8 pounds. I've quit recording what I'm eating and have not weighed and measured my food. On the positive side, I have remained very aware of my choices and have only had a couple instances where I've 'abandoned ship' - in fact, most of the weight gain has been in the last week.

I've been struggling with 'catching up' in areas of my business and home - and feeling overwhelmed with it all. I let that feeling of being overwhelmed leech over to the way I think about myself - resulting in a negative outlook on all areas of my life.

The fact is that I was behind on bookkeeping for our business - In April, I had to devote much concentrated time to that, resulting in less work in the house. Then, I had to scurry to get some of the garden planted....then Jim got called to work (a very good thing) and suddenly, I had the added responsibility of daily yard work and garden work. I quickly began to feel like I would never catch up - never get a handle on it - and I began to tell myself that I was a failure again.

I hate when I talk to myself like that - it results in my ACTING like a failure....I can't decide what is priority, I can't even take the first step toward accomplishing anything - thus confirming my own diagnosis.

Jim was forced to come home for a day because of rain where he is working - he worked his tail off, getting the yard work caught up and inspiring me to 'just do it' on behalf of the garden. He set things up so the watering will be easier for me (we've not had any rain and our gardens are a LONG way apart and a long way from the tap). If I get on the tractor everyday for an hour or so, the grass should be controllable. The yard is not such a problem (since there has been no rain, it isn't growing very fast) but Jim has worked hard the last couple seasons to groom the field. I don't know how big it is, but rather than have it grow up in weeds and have the County keep on stopping in to tell us to get rid of the thistles, tansy, and chamomille, he spent many hours rototilling it - keeping it black. When he was working, Daniel took over. Last year, he judged that there was now more grass than weeds and he began to mow instead of rototill. He has kept it mowed all spring and it looks very nice as you drive toward our place. When he went to work 2 weeks ago, he told me it had to be done every 6 days or the grass would get so long that the tractor would overheat while cutting it - I managed to get it done once. He had a big job to get it done yesterday but the yard work is pretty much all caught up.

One of the major stumbling blocks for me when Jim is at work is that I do not like to go to bed when he's gone. I end up staying up WAY TOO LATE, watching movies mostly - then, I am either exhausted all day or I don't get up until after 10, making me feel like a lazy slob.

I have made a decision - to consider the time that Jim is at work as time that I am at work. I will be going to bed so that I am asleep well before midnight - even if that means that I do not 'get to' watch my planned movies (which are really not movies, but old TV series on DVD). I will get up by 7:30 am so that I can do yard work before the sun gets too warm then work inside for the afternoon - in my air conditioned home - and then back outside after the sun begins to cool a bit. I can mow for an hour from 9 - 10 pm when the air is pleasant instead of hot.

I've also begun to write down everything I eat - and count the exchanges so I am balancing protein with carbs with veggies with fruit with dairy and fat. I've done this for 2 days now - and I lost TWO pounds since yesterday.

My other resolution is to participate in this blog community. I will post twice a week on this blog and read/comment on other blogs for 30 minutes/day.

I'm counting on y'all to help me to stay focused.

I'm counting on my renewed resolve to combat the negative self-talk, reminding myself that I am NOT a failure! I am well on my way to Success!

So, in the interest of doing what I say, I am going to quit talking and start doing. I'm sure there is some laundry that needs doing - and my spare room needs some TLC.

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you, my friends!

Monday, June 1, 2009

No, I've not disappeared

No, I haven't disappeared, nor have I given up.

At least 3 times a week I sit down to write a post for this blog but get distracted or pulled away before I begin. The biggest problem has been that I haven't felt like I have anything to say. I haven't continued to lose weight but I also haven't gone off the deep end and gained a whole lot of weight. In fact, as of this morning, I am only 1 pound heavier than my ticker says. Yesterday, I was a pound under. I have been as low as 204 in the last month, though, so I have gained from that point.

What's going on? Well, I could run through a list of things that have changed in my life, but there is no real correlation between those changes and my lack of diligence to my 'diet'. The reality is that dozens of little things have added up to prevent weight loss. It is the little decisions I make everyday, because there have not been any 'huge fall off the wagon' kinds of events......just the small 'one piece won't hurt' kind of decisions. The truth is that 'one piece won't hurt' or 'just this once' is OK for me - it really doesn't make a difference IF it is truly 'just this once'. Unfortunately, 'just this once' has been quite often this spring.

I'm not beating myself up about it, though......I haven't given up and I am always aware of what/how much I am eating........the main thing is that for the most part, in spite of several VERY stressful situations, I have been enjoying life. I still want to be stronger, healthier, and closer to a 'normal' size - and I know how to get there, I am simply facing the facts that I need to learn how to incorporate the eating habits I want into a busier life.

So.....what's been going on?

First - the 'biggie' that I have not talked about but only alluded the end of February, my son's wife walked out on him. There was no warning and he had NO IDEA she was unhappy. In fact, just 2 weeks before she walked, she posted on facebook (and I quote) "my husband is the best thing that ever happened to me and I would completely and utterly lost without him" . This is my #3 son - they had been married for 5 years. Not only was my son completely devastated, our family was shocked and hurt. We all miss our daughter/sister since she has had no contact with any of us - other than a chance meeting in town once - and has not returned phone calls. My son did not want anyone to know about this (and still doesn't want his private business the subject of gossip) but he has now pretty much accepted that there is no resolution in the near future. They went together for counceling twice - then she said she wasn't going anymore. He is still meeting regularly with the councellor. We are very proud of our son - he is walking a difficult path and is making good decisions along the way. He has used this heartbreak to become a stronger man and has drawn closer to God along the way.

Second - Jim works in the Oil/Gas industry. This industry is a 'boom/bust' industry and goes through cycles. For several reasons, it is currently in a bust cycle. The worst bust we have seen in the 30 years we have been in the industry. Jim is one of the top few men in his position with the company he contracts to but we have no news of any work for the summer/fall. This could change in an instant, but at the moment.........our future is very shaky. We do not have a lot of savings - what we save over the winter keeps us going for the spring when there is never any work. Spring is over - summer work should be starting. Will we get a call? So far, we haven't stressed about it since we always prepare to pay the bills until July. That means June is fine - but we need work this month to pay for the next month. We need at least 2 weeks a month in order to pay the bills.

Third - Daughter Kathryn has had a very stressful pregnancy - she is sick every single day she is pregnant and without her anti-nausea meds (Vit B in high doses) she would not be able to function. This fact means that she eats little - which of course affects the baby. She also cannot keep her vitamins down most days so there is danger the baby is malnourished. For the last 4 weeks, she has been getting contractions if she walks for more than 4 minutes. The doctor examined her - she was not going into labor, but he told her not to walk anywhere (she doesn't drive). For the last 2 weeks, she had been getting severe pain in her groin area (as well as pressure, which is fairly normal) She went to the hospital about the pain - they gave her no answers.

Last week she went to the doctor for a regular check up. (She was 32 1/2 weeks at the time) Here is what we are faced with:

  • he is concerned about the pain and has no explaination for it
  • Her Blood Pressure is UP an her hemoglobin is DOWN
  • He had trouble finding Baby's heartbeat and when he found it, it was quite faint
  • she is at -4 for weight gain - that is, she is still 4 pounds under her pre pregnancy weight. She initially lost 18 pounds in the first few months when she was actually throwing up (enough it would put her in the hospital) she has gained only 14 pounds since she stopped losing.
  • The uterus is 'laying funny' (that is what she remembers of what the doc said)
  • He forbade her to make the trip to Montana we were planning for this past weekend because he said he didn't want her to 'deliver early on the side of the road' (there are no hospitals between Calgary and Kalispell)
  • He sent her for an emergency 'Bio-Physical Ultrasound' the next day. In the Canadian health care system you do NOT get an ultrasound within 24 hours! Unless it is an emergency. Normally, you have to have your ultrasound booked weeks in advance.
  • By the end of the day she went to the doctor, she couldn't remember the last time Baby had moved so we went to the hospital for a stress test. Baby's heartbeat was found immediately and it seemed to be normal. She also started kicking as soon as the monitor belts were put on around Kath's belly.
  • Kathryn and Vinj returned from the ultra sound at about 4 pm - her doctor's clinic would be closing within an hour and a half - on a FRIDAY. So, Kath started phoning and insisting that the doc call the radiologist for an initial report so they did not have to wonder all weekend if there was something wrong with their baby girl. The doctor called her back - spoke to her for about 5 seconds and told her there is no emergency for the baby.
  • At the ultra sound they were told only two things......the baby is in breech position (still time for that to change) and she is only 3 lbs 10 oz. Very small for her age.

We still do not know why she is experiencing the pain - which makes coping with a 1 year old, a home, a job, and university studies pretty difficult. We still don't know if the ultra sound showed any problems that would not be labled an 'emergency'. We will probably not know until Thursday when she has another doctor appointment booked.

Forth - Youngest Son, Daniel, is at school in Montana. He will be leaving in about 10 days for his 'field assignment' in Thailand and Cambodia. We are going to go visit him this week or this weekend. I will miss being able to see him off at the airport - I've never sent any of my kids off around the world without being at the airport when they left....I don't even know what airport Dan is leaving from - there are none near where he is. BUT he has been enjoying his experience and his studies and is looking forward with excitement to the experience of living in a foreign land for 2 months.

Fifth - We are attempting to plant a garden large enough to store vegetables for the winter. The weather has been a challenge. We had snow a week or so after we planted our potatoes - but not enough to give much moisture. We have not had a drop of rain all spring. We are still getting frost warnings at night. I have gotten some of the garden planted, but we are also bringing in dirt from the field (better condition than the garden dirt) and building raised beds - this kind of slows us down a bit. We are not behind, by any means, since the cold weather plants are all in, but I am still not sure we can handle such a large undertaking on our own (as in - no kids living at home to help).

The positive aspects of this are: Jim and I get to work together, it is always exciting to see the results of hard work, we will have fresh/frozen/canned veggies for the winter that we grew ourselves, I have learned MUCH as I studied about gardening for the last several months - learning is always a plus.

Sixth - We've been enjoying lots of time with our kids/grandkids.....including the little girls' soccer games twice a week. Also, we've stated that Sundays are 'open house at the farm'.....whoever can make it gathers at our house on Sunday for the afternoon and for supper. This has been a great weekly event! We've also been able to spend time with each of the kids in their homes - something that doesn't happen much during the winter

Seventh - Jim hurt his back last Friday, working at Vinj and Kath's while they were at the UltraSound. He was unable to move without extreme pain all weekend. It is getting better, but he is still in pain and must be very careful not to reinjure it. This puts a stop to building more raised beds in the garden for a few days. It also delays the work he needs to do on his truck in case he gets a call to go to work.

Eight - Son number 2 began a new job yesterday. He is working now for his FIL. This is good - he will have much more time with his wife and kids since his old job had him working every weekend and holiday and 5 days a week from 10 am - 10 pm for not a whole lot of money. Son number 3 (the one whose life has been turned upside down by his wife) has not had much work all winter/spring. Just when he thought he had steady work for the summer, that job seems to have fallen through. He is, however, at an interview right now for another job - one that will keep him at home (the other job was working away).

I could go on.....there is so much happening in my life just now - some of it stressful, some of it happy. Let's just say that we believe that when Jesus said "I will never leave you or forsake you" He meant it. We have Peace in each of the difficult situations we face. We have faith that He will see us through whatever is in our future - no matter how difficult. We count our blessings often:

  • We love each other,
  • We are together all day every day for now,
  • We have great kids and grandkids, and get to be with them often and we all get along well
  • Although we are both over-weight and are getting older, we have good health and we have the potential of being stronger than we are.

Where does weight loss fit in with all this? Just a little more discipline - I think if I were to make myself write down EVERYTHING I eat EVERY DAY I would be back to losing. It has only been since I have not been as disciplined in this area that things have stalled out. Also, taking part in this blog community regularly is another small discipline that makes a difference - even if I don't think I have anything to say.....because obviously, I had lots to say when I thought I didn't have anything to say! (LOL)

In the meantime, I am enjoying my life and the good gifts God has given to me.