Thursday, April 30, 2015

When Accepting Hurts...

This Tuesday, Chloe started vomiting right before I took off to my last workout session.  I cleaned up the mess, gave the dogs some treats to distract them, and headed off for my appointment.

Upon my return, I took both dogs out for a walk, then had to get on conference calls for work.  During one of the conference calls, Chloe came close to me and vomited again.  I cleaned that mess up and started to worry about her.  She had gone back over to the chair where she likes to sleep under and looked pretty puny.

During my last conference call, Chloe got up and vomited again.  I had already called her vet to ask what I could do.  Since I had not heard back from either the vet or the tech, I decided to take her on over to the vet.  I was afraid that her gall bladder or pancreas was giving her some fits.

She slept in her car seat for the drive over to the animal hospital.  Right before I arrived, she woke up and vomited in the car seat.  It was not very much, but luckily, I can take off the cover and wash it.

I got her into the hospital and the vets there ran tests.  While listening to her heart, the vet stated that she could hear a murmur.  Then, she progressed by saying that Chloe may have early stages of heart disease.  That really upset me.  Furthermore, she had mild pancreatitis.  
I decided to have Chloe stay there overnight, so that her normal vet would check her.  I was so upset over what had been said.  When the vet taking care of her that night called before leaving and said that she had an enlarged heart, I felt my heart and stomach fall.  It really upset me that night.  I cried and cried because I have to accept the fact that Chloe won't live forever.  I know I am getting borrowed time with her.  I know I am not ready for her to move on to the next plane, but I need to accept some facts.  Chloe is not getting younger.

Yesterday, Chloe's vet called me and told me that all was well.  In regard to her heart, she said that it was fine.  She was concerned about the increased liver level when the blood test was done.  However, that could be helped by increasing a dosage of a medication she was already taking. 

I felt better after talking with Chloe's regular doctor.  However, I realized how much I really love and care about that little dog.  She is the world to me as is Bo.  I am not sure what I will do when both pass away - I know I will be terribly torn up about it.  

Most people tell me I should get another dog.  I just cannot think about doing that.  For one, I need to take some time and do some thing that I would like to do, but won't because I have the dogs.  Still, I am willing to wait a while before any of that is to occur.  I want to be able to enjoy having them here and being able to play and love them as much as I can now.

Stepping My Way Back...

For the past two weeks, I have been working on doing the 10,000 step challenge.  I had my last trainer session on Tuesday.  Now, I need to motivate myself to keep active and try to lose weight.

On Monday, I had my three month visit with my endocrinologist.  My weight was about the same, but my A1C went from 7.5 to 8.9.  I knew that number would be high.  I had several days where my blood sugar was pretty high.  Now, I am trying to refocus.

Last year, I had lost 35 lbs.  Now, I did use the meal replacement shakes, but I was also holding myself accountable for what I put in my mouth.  Basically, I would journal every piece of food I would eat.  I really need to spend more time making myself more accountable for what I eat.

The other piece of that equation is being active.  As I explained to my trainer, when I had some FitBit technical issues, my goal is to achieve 10,000 steps a day and be active for at least 30 minutes each day.  I will reserve Sundays as my day of rest.  That does not mean that Sundays are "cheat days."  Sundays will be that I won't work so hard on getting the 10,000 steps done.  That will give my body the time it needs to recover.

I want to set a realistic goal.  Basically, I would like to be 15 lbs lighter by my next endocrinologist appointment.  Overall, I would like to be down near 200 lbs before I turn 50.  I want to be healthy and active - no longer feeling pain first thing in the morning while I walk the dogs would be fabulous.

I can do this - I know I can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Baptisms - An Observation...

I am the first one to tell you the following regarding my religious beliefs:
  •  I believe in God
  • I believe that Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins
  • I do not get wrapped up in religious commentary
  • The Bible is a book based upon the writings of many people
  • The information in the Bible can be interpreted in so many different ways - ergo so many different religious groups 
  • No one group is better than another
  • If you get anything out of this, live life with love and kindness as much as possible  
  • There will always be challenges
I am not sure if any of that makes me "saved" or not.  I never went through a proper baptism.  My mother told me that the ceremony for baptism was just that - a ceremony.  What really mattered was that one accepted God and Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Furthermore, Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

I had attended a Baptist church when I was much younger.  Being much older, I realize that I was not there for the right reasons.  I was there because I was promised chocolate milk and donuts.  That was how the church members recruited the kids to ride the church bus and got them into church.  Sounds a bit weird now that I remember that episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon and the gang were going over how to get kids into the comic book store - Get a van to take them to the store and offer them candy.  

I always went to church by myself.  My parents never attended, but when they were younger, they had gone to church.  So, more out of curiosity over what was going on when these people would get dunked in the huge bathtub behind the pulpit, I stated I wanted to be saved.  Through the process, the church came by my house to talk to my parents.  Nutshell, I never went through the baptism process because my parents refused to be members of the church...or at least, I think that is what I remember.  That and was told I had to attend special classes and was no longer allowed to attend Sunday school.

In the end, I quit going to church.  For a child, it was all confusing and I was there for all of the wrong reasons.

Needless to say, I was left with some pretty raw feelings regarding churches in general.  I believe all churches are a business in some form or fashion.  However, I feel that the smaller churches are more geared to the community.  Large churches take on more of a large entertainment show.  For them, it is all about the money.

So, I always have the feeling that the ceremony, whether it takes place in the church, at a lake/river/pond, or someone's backyard, is only that -  a ceremony.  It is also the initiation as being part of the church.  I feel that if you truly accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and that he died on the cross for your sins, then you are saved - with or without the water.  I may still be considered a heathen to many, but that is okay.  We all have our rights to our own beliefs.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hockey Season is Over...

Another Dallas Stars hockey season has come and gone.  While the team did not make the play-offs this year, the boys provided a lot of nail biting action during the games.

Next season, I won't be back as a season ticket holder.  Trying to attend all of the games became a huge commitment and there were other activities I wanted to do.  Also, Chloe is not getting any younger, so I want to spend more time with her.  I can watch the games in the comfort of my own home, so that is just as good.  Maybe in a couple of years, I will be up for that experience again.  Right now, I loved the experience and would not trade it for anything in the world.

I am very happy for Jamie Benn getting the Art Ross trophy.  I know a lot of people were saying Tyler Seguin was being immature for being late for practice, thus his punishment was not to play in the last game.  However, Jamie proved he could achieve the goal without Tyler.  During the time off, I am sure Tyler will regret the mistake he made, but I have no ill will towards him.  As I said, Jamie proved he could get the most points on his own and that is the best.

Till next year - Go Stars!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dragging Today...

At 9:30 AM, this sluggish feeling hit me like a brick wall.  I went to lie down, but had to get up to host a daily conference call.  My mind was completely fuzzy and mood was agitated.  (Well, I was not happy with the help that someone gave to me and made the situation worse.)  I went to lie down for a bit again, but realized that just was not going to cut it.

However, I was not the only one.  Trainer mentioned feeling sluggish today as well when she contacted me to cancel today's meeting.  The same was true for another friend - he needed 2 cups of coffee to wake up.  

I ended up getting some greek yogurt and a glass of iced tea.  That provided a jolt of energy.  Now, I am feeling that sluggish feeling again.  Yuck.

I think that there are too many things floating around in my head.  New methodology where I am trying to depend on someone else's expertise and finding that this person may not have any answers.  This person is not a very good teacher and I should have handled doing these initial stages totally different.

 Luckily, I won't need to make huge decisions for making dinner.  That will be leftovers, but will need to decide how to divide up the ham for freezing.  

I just need to shake off this sluggish feeling and get moving.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter...

One might think I have lost all faith in Faith.  There are times I sit and wonder if I have been forgotten in the grand scheme of life.  I admire those who have someone and the relationship is going well for both parties.  

I won't deny that there are days I wish I had someone in my life that loved me no matter what.  Unfortunately, it is what it is.  Maybe that will change, but time will only tell.

On the otherhand, I am very grateful for those things that I do have in my life.  The ability to go do things that I want, if I want.  I am not married to an abusive or cruel man.  I have two dogs that I love dearly.  I have a job where it has had its ups and downs, but I have a job.  

The other day, I spent some time with a friend I do not get to see as much as I would like.  She told me that she would be moving to New Zealand.  I was shocked.  I am happy for her adventurous side.  I think it is wonderful that she wants to travel like that.  I will miss her dearly.  I know - perfect excuse to take a long vacation.

However, I felt this pit of loss already.  I do not have many friends and the ones I do have, I cherish with my heart.  Part of me wishes I could do the same, but maybe that is not really for me.  I would love to travel, but part of me knows that this is "home."  My friends have helped me develop a "home."  

My hope and prayer for my friend is to always enjoy life to the fullest.  I may not be there to do it with her, but I will always be there in spirit.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Easy Way Out...

I have gotten to the point where I truly believe that there is no easy way to lose weight.  Seriously!  Everything has restrictions.  That magic pill that sheds the pounds.  No one tells you the nasty side effects.

All my life, I have been on one "diet" or another.  At some point, you have to make a lifestyle change.  Now, I am not saying you have to be 100% good on it.  However, you do need to have some common sense.

I got a text from a friend asking about a particular pill.  A friend of hers lost a good deal of weight from taking it.  That is fabulous.  I took phen-phen for a year and lost 120 lbs.  However, I would like to say I feel that my eating and exercise habits were the keys to losing that weight.  The pill was just like taking speed - I was hyper all of the time.  Small wonder I was never hungry.

Now, I am not saying that this pill will be the same.  Just that I have been down that road in the past.  I am not up for doing that.  

Losing weight is all about where your mind is.  You have to be in that right frame of mind.  Otherwise, it is all for naught.  You can exercise as long as the day is long, but as long as you still eat crap every day, it is not going to help.  I know as I do it now.  I try to be better at it, but again, everything is a misconception.  

I try to eat more salads.  Let's be honest - salads may not always be the healthiest thing on the planet.  I should know.

Rather than looking for the easy way out, strive to look within ourselves and see what we are really doing.  I think that helps.

For me, I am frustrated with back and leg pain.  My trainer has been working with me to help do stretches that will ease and, sometimes, eliminate the pain.  Believe me, when I can get up in the morning without my butt and back of my thighs screaming, it is a good day!

So, for right now, I am not looking for the easy way out.  I am looking for the tried and true because I know it always works.


Yesterday, I met with my trainer for my weekly workout.  I have about 5 to 6 sessions left to go on my current contract.  I have already decided, due to finances, that I need to forgo the personal trainer and work on getting workouts done on my own.

Luckily, I joined YMCA last year and the one close to my apartment complex offers a lot of group exercise classes.  So, rather than paying extra to attend these types of classes, it is part of my monthly dues.  I consider that a huge bonus.

I have been examining the schedule and figure the next steps are to try to attend the body shredding class and one of the yoga classes.  My trainer teaches the body shred course, so I will feel comfortable going to that.  Yoga - that is another story.  However, the point is not what others think, but what I am doing for myself.

I made the comment yesterday to someone regarding riding a bike.  When I was much younger, I had a bike and I would ride it in the neighborhood a lot.  When we moved to Texas, I quit riding my bike.  One can only think of why I quit - angry I moved, not happy with the kids in the neighborhood - who knows?

Anyway, I said I do not feel comfortable riding a bike due to the comments made when overweight people get on a bike to ride.  I remember vividly.  I was in the back of my team lead's car and three of us, two men and myself, heading out for Chinese food for lunch.  The one guy who got a lap band made a snarky comment regarding an overweight woman riding a bike.  Another time, I thought it would be cool to get a scooter to ride back and forth to work and I got another snarky comment from the same idiot.  (Yes, I call him an idiot because he thinks his comments are funny and he cares nothing for your feelings; he only cares about himself.)

It is sad that it comes down to that, but that crap sticks in my head.  While deep down, I know I should not care, I do.  I hate that it is like that.  I hate that there are people out there who are like that and I know them.  It is an awful battle to fight when you feel there is no way to win.

However, I know I must push on through and do this.  I have no other choice.  I have to learn to get past that fear and those voices and do this.