Monday, January 7, 2013

Outweighing the pain and fear

I find sources of inspiration surrounding me in the oddest, most unexpected places sometimes.  It was while watching tonight's episode of The Biggest Loser that I was really struck with such an incredible couple of phrases that just stopped me in my tracks.  They were so poignant that I saved them as notes in my iPhone, but I wanted to share them here with you.  They both were said during training sessions with Jillian.

The first one was, "It's got to be the desire to change is outweighing the pain and the fear.  You just have to dig deep and make a choice."

The second one was, "You have got to push through the terror of failing because it's worth it on the other side."

Now, to explain why those statements were so poignant to me, I need to back up a little and talk about the rest of my day leading up to watching the show first.  Today was the first day back to work.  I left the house earlier than normal because traffic just seems to be getting worse and it takes me 45 minutes to travel about 15 miles as it is, so easing myself into it was a good idea.  After I stopped taking the Optifast supplements, I went back on one of my medications that the clinic originally took me off of while I was fasting.  I have a little bit of swelling around my ankles.  Certainly not as bad as when I was heavier, but it's still there so I take 1 pill for that.  The only problem is that it's a diuretic and I swear it has me visiting the ladies room about 20 times a day minimum.   So going there was one of the first things I had to do after booting up the computer in my office.  There is a bathroom in the office with three stalls so if I'm carrying anything when I go in there, I set the items down on the little table next to the stalls.  Everyone does that.  Shoot, I've had times where I've put my purse on that table with my keys next to it and they still were there by the time I was done.  I never worried about anyone taking anything.  I work in a high school and that is a staff restroom.  It's relatively safe!  When I walked in this morning, I put two pieces of mail I had in my mailbox down on the table.  There was someone already in another stall, but she finished before I did.  Yet, when I came out, that person had taken my mail.  WTF?  Why would someone do that?  She didn't have anything on the table, so she'd have no reason to "accidentally" pick up my mail.  One was an envelope that looked like a Christmas card someone had given me that I had yet to open so I don't even know who it was from.  The other was folded up copies of my absence reports stapled together.  Each one of those pages had my social security number written on them.  So I started to panic.  That number was enough to open a fake credit card or loan account in my name.  I couldn't get my mind off it, so I did end up emailing everyone in our high school and at least the absence reports were returned to me anonymously.  It didn't look like they were tampered with, so that was some relief.  In the anxiousness I was feeling around that, I wanted something to eat to ease my racing mind.  If I would have had bad food around me, I think I would have gone for it.  Thankfully I didn't.

Then, later on in the day, I had to juggle some doctor's appointments around because the worker's comp medical evaluator wants to see me this week to do nerve testing on me before he sends a report of his findings as to my medical condition to my attorney as well as to the insurance company's attorney.  I had nerve testing done on my right arm from the tip all the way up through my neck around April or May last year and, let me tell you, that is intensely painful.  In fact, when I had it done on me, the doctor performing the procedure told me most people don't make it all the way through the testing because of the extreme pain coupled with all the blood that comes as a result.  Yet, I did make it through.  To know I'm going to have to go through that again causes stress.  What do I want to do when I'm stressed?  You got it ... I want to eat.  Again, thankfully I didn't have anything inappropriate in my office.  I just had my morning snack, which was a peace and cheese stick. 

Further in the day, I had a conversation with one of my doctor's nurses to talk about how I've been doing with my blood sugar since I had those episodes of going to low (including one today, drat!).  She did tell me that although I did really good in taking care of myself when my blood sugar was so low, I made two very vital mistakes that I cannot make again:
  1. If I have glucose, soda, orange juice or some other item to raise my blood sugar to a normal level, I must also have a serving of food to balance things out so that I don't "crash".  She said that happens if you have a spike in your blood sugar and do nothing to keep it there.  That explains why I couldn't sustain a higher level in my blood sugar even though I was having things to raise it.
  2. This one is vitally more important than the other one ... if I ever have two days where my blood sugar is below 70, I must contact the doctor's office right away because I could be causing some serious damage and/or there could be something very wrong besides low blood sugar.  Just for the record, I had six days in a row where my blood sugar was below 70 and many other days not in a row where it was below 70.  Don't be a freakin hero, Kathy ... next time, call the doctor's office sooner.  You don't have to prove that you're strong and have everything under control.  Six days with blood sugar below 70 ... seriously??
I am scheduled to see the doctor on Tuesday morning next week, so I will be bringing in my record of everything that has been going on, including the amount of carbs I had to see how that counterbalanced the spikes and lows.  My doctor has ordered me to stop all diabetes medication if I haven't already done so (which I did).  All of that caused stress in me today and, again, I had that urge that I wanted food to make it feel better.  Thankfully I had packed a healthy lunch for myself today.  I am an emotional eater, that is the crux of my problem, and had I had different food choices on hand today, who's to say that I would have made good decisions for myself.

So, fast-forward to when I was watching The Biggest Loser later on in the evening.  I was challenged to think:  Is the desire to change outweighing the pain and the fear?  Further, am I pushing through the terror I am feeling of failure to get to the other side?  These were questions I really had to ask myself with all honesty.  There is a lot of fear in me and so much pain that I'm working through, not only physical pain, but emotional pain as well.  I don't know how to live in a world where I'm in a smaller body.  I'm a foreigner in a strange land and I don't understand the funny language everyone is speaking.  Sometimes I feel like I'm a fraud when I go to the gym to workout, like someone is going to "out" me for not belonging there since that's a place only reserved for healthy people (news flash, Kathy ... that's you!).  Being smaller causes me terror a lot.  It's just so unfamiliar to me.  But here's the difference for me now as compared to at other times when I tried to lose weight in my life:  I'm willing to fall flat on my face.  I'm willing to go to any lengths for my health today, even when it feels incredibly uncomfortable and painful.

I've mentioned on here before that I had cancer.  Melanoma, to be specific.  Mine was not the kind that was a mere threat that I needed to keep an eye on ... mine was full-blown, worst kind of melanoma you can get.  The kind that, if not removed from your body, is one hundred percent fatal every single time.   It was on my back.  I had to have two incisions to ensure it didn't spread - one area going from the bottom of my shoulder blade almost down to my waist on the left side of my back and another one under my left arm to make sure it didn't spread to my lymph nodes.  The long incision required 30 staples and about six weeks of recovery time.  From the moment I was told I had melanoma, even though I was living in a lot of fear, I was willing to do whatever the doctors told me to do.  Surgery to save my life?  You bet!  Full body scans every three months to ensure the cancer hasn't returned?  Of course!  Recovering from being a super obese woman also takes the same amount of willingness, if not more.  Whatever pain and fear I may be feeling can still be something I experience.  I can even feel terror as I worry about failing.  But, in my book, the only way I can fail is if I don't ever try.  So here I am, every single day, doing everything I can not to fail. 


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