This Is My Happy Face

I haven’t blogged in a while. I haven’t had much to report. Nothing exciting has been happening in my weight loss journey. I’m still struggling with being positive, and up beat about this whole process. But some days are harder than others! Especially when I don’t see the progress that I want to see.

This last month has kind of been like a yo-yo. Two pounds down, two pounds up. Not really going anywhere. Frustrating! Frustrating! Did I say FRUSTRATING?!? Every day I remember to smile and thank God that I have one more day to keep working on loosing the weight and to get healthier. Thank Him that I haven’t yet dropped  from a heart attack…try to remember to be thankful for the little things like that.

Years ago I was watching some cheer leading movie that had Tommy Lee Jones in it. He was playing a FBI agent under cover as a Texas college cheer coach. He was supposed to be smiling and showing his “happy face” to the whole crowd at the football game. His expression was more of a grimace. The assistant coach said “Show them your happy face” through clenched teeth he said “This is my happy face”. That’s it! That’s exactly how I feel!  Some days are easy to laugh and be up beat. the other days…not so much. I just grin and bear it, and say “This is my happy face”.

I’m not depressed. Honestly I’m not (my doctor says I’m mentally sound). I just have a personality that likes things to be smooth and easy, and when that doesn’t happen I seriously stress out and want to throw in the towel and say that’s it I’m done (yeah it makes my life way harder than it should ever be). Easy? Yeah right! That’s NOT how this has been! It hasn’t been easy. Every day I want to say screw it! I’ll stay fat and happy! But the reality is that I’m not fat and happy. I’m fat and miserable!

 This is my happy face!

So onward I go. I’m doing my interval training and my trainer has just added some weights to my exercising. Trying to stay positive I remind myself that I can see changes. I was able to get the treadmill up to a new high speed for me on my interval training (5 miles per hour). That’s a good thing. My favorite pink t-shirt is a little  looser. That’s a good thing. I’ve lost head to toe a combined total of 4 inches. That’s a good thing. I’m down 25 pounds. That’s a good thing. I had to by new underwear because my old ones were getting too big (TMI I know but hey at least something was getting to big). That’s a good thing. I feel like I’m getting a little stronger. That’s a good thing. Small things. It’s the small things that I have to remind myself of. That way the big things don’t seem impossible!

This is my happy face!

This week has been a good week even with the yo-yo stuff on the scale. I got my daughter into the gym with me. On the way home she said that she was surprised at how hard I work in the gym. That made me feel good. I felt stronger on my treadmill work outs. I loved the introduction of the weights but not the sore muscles. I loved the fact that I was able to do some stadium stairs after walking two miles on the track. Maybe my walk could have been a bit faster, but my legs and butt were still a tad sore from the weights. But hey I completed my work out!

This is my happy face!

This is not easy for me. I really want to walk away from it all. But I won’t, I can’t. I know that when I really start to see bigger results I will begin to feel more excited and pumped up.  I’m just wondering when that will be? When will this plateau be over? When will I feel like true progress has been made? When will I see a big physical difference?  When? When? When?

 THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE!

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Love And Hate: Fighting My Emotions

Dear self, I hate what you have done to your body.

Dear self, I love that you are trying to change what you have done to your body.

Dear body, I hate that you are not cooperating with my efforts to get healthy.

Dear body, I hate that as hard as I am working the weight is not coming off.

Dear body, I hate that diabetes is a huge factor in not losing weight.

Dear self, I hate that you allowed your body to get so over weight that diabetes is now a problem.

Dear self, I love that even with all the struggles you keep trying. Keep working through the emotions and self doubt.

This is so stinking hard! Did I make the right decision to not go through with weight loss surgery? I have been working so hard to loose weight and it seems like I am facing an uphill battle! This stupid diabetes is not helping! If I eat, my sugar levels go up (even with medicine). If I cut back then my sugar drops way too low when I exercise, and I can’t work out as hard or as long as I need to. I hate this unhealthy feeling I’m having towards food. I am beginning to hate food. I am eating healthy but it doesn’t seem to matter.  I started at the gym. I do great when I am there, but when I don’t get there working out on my own is so hard. I do it but it’s just so tough doing it on my own. I feel like I have support but I also feel alone at the same time. I keep telling myself to not give up. That I have  to keep doing what I am doing. Yet I wonder how long will I mentally be able to stick with this if I don’t see any progress. Sigh…I hate days like this.

Tomorrow is a new day. I will keep on trying. I will keep on working. I will try to do more than I was able to do today.

Reflecting On The Past

As the 4th of July approaches, I tend to ponder and reflect on the past (as I now do with Memorial day and Veterans Day), with a new found respect for what these holidays represent. Before September 11, 2001, to me they were just days that reflected some of our country’s history. Not any more. September 11, 2001, changed the direction that my family’s life would go. It forever changed how I felt about what our Armed Forces do.

When the Twin Towers were attacked, I remember my husband saying ” We will go to war over this” and I felt such a relief that his time with the Army National Guard had been up for about a year. He had served his duty to our country (he was in the Navy during the first Golf War,and later enlisted in the Michigan Nation Guard). That relief was short lived. He came home from work one day and said that he wanted to re-enlist with his unit (1461st Transportation Unit) because they would most likely be heading to Iraq and he needed to be with his “family”. I stood behind that decision. I understood, they were an extension to our family for many years. I understood  his desire to serve his country. I respected that and was proud of that, but at the same time, as a wife and mom it was scary, I did not want to be a single parent and a widow. A few years went by and no deployment. Some of the unit went with the first wave of troops that were sent over to Iraq but My husband was not on that list. They all came back safe and sound. However, deployment was not to avoided. It would happen.

Three years later in September of 2004, the biggest challenge I ever faced in my life happened. I stood alongside my children and my husband’s family and wept with fear and sadness as I watched my husband and his fellow soldiers prepare for deployment. I still  feel the agonizing ripping of my heart when he leaned out the bus window and pointed at me yelling “I will be back!” There were the questions in my mind that I refused to voice out loud… How do you know you will be back? Are you God? Do you see the future? I was filled with a fear that I have never felt before. It truly was a sickening feeling! It would take months before I could sleep at night without crying myself to sleep. It would be months before our kids would settle in to our “new normal”.

For the next 14 months, I would be a worried single, yet married mom of three, hold down two jobs, and take care of not only my household duties by my husband’s as well. I had support from friends and family, but mostly I did things on my own. I learned that I truly was a strong woman. But I still yearned to have my husband by my side. I waited days and weeks for for video chats and phone calls. Prayed for there to be no knocks on my door from the men in dress uniforms. I learned no news is good news.

This is a picture that my husband sent home. One of  our favorites! A sweet message from dad from far away to just say “I love you”

 14 long months passed before Marty (my husband) and his unit came home. It was on Thanksgiving day, 2005. One of the happiest days of our lives! His promise to come home was fulfilled. We could go back to the way life was. Or so I thought. Physically, my husband, and father to my children was home. However, it would take several months before I realized that the man that left was not the same as the man who came home. Marty was not as happy or carefree as before he left for war. His anger was quick, and emotional issues were setting in. For a long time, he had a hard time driving down the road with out having the drive be tension filled and in high alert mode. Finally through a visit to the VA Hospital, he was diagnosed with PTSD. It has not been an easy journey these last few years. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a silent disorder in the sense of there are no outward signs of it. It’s mental disorder that will never go away, he will only be able to have treatment to learn to manage it.

This is my husband in the turret of his gun truck

Flash forward eight years, and life is finally finding some sense or “normalcy”. Marty is retired from the Military, and has taken a medical retirement form working at the prison. While his PTSD is more manageable, it still at times holds us captive. This war is still going on for our country and for our servicemen and women and for my husband and our family. We are still living with the side effects of  deployment. All five of us in my family have been affected by Marty’s deployment in different ways.  It was by the grace of God Marty returned to us. I am thankful, and praise God often that we did not have to endure multiple deployments. God has been faithful, and through lots of prayers, tears and hard times, our marriage and our family has remained intact.

As we head out on the 4th to celebrate with a canoe trip followed by fireworks over the lake, I am thankful that finally we can go to the fireworks without them sending Marty into flashback mode. I am proud of what Marty has done for our country. I am proud of his service during two wars. I am proud of the man that he is and for trying his best to overcome the issues that he has from his time over seas. I am proud of all of our family members who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and our extended military family from the 1461st. I am proud to be an American.

Thank you to all our servicemen and women active and veterans and our fallen heroes. I appreciate you!

Happy Pants Dance

Recently I saw a re-run of America’s Funniest Home Videos. There was this little girl who was maybe 2, and every time she answered a question right she did this cute little  “Smarty pants dance”

Ok so you get the point..super cute.

I have been increasingly frustrated because while I see small changes in my appearance while dropping weight I haven’t noticed any big changes. It just seems to be a horribly slow process. However I did decide to take my measurements. I hadn’t taken them in a few months. I was pleased. I lost 4 1/2 inches. Feeling positive, I tried on my favorite pair of blue jeans Capris. Two weeks ago I was able to put them on but I was not even close to being able to zip or button them up. There was about a 2 inch gap between the sides of the zipper! Guess what? I was able to zip and button them! Whoo Hoo! Well let me tell you I did my own dance! Running out to the living room where my husband was, I pranced around singing “Look at my pants! Look at my pants! Happy pants dance! Happy pants dance!” Needless to say he just rolled his eyes and chuckled, not overly impressed with my song and dance. When I was done acting like a total idiot he gave me a hug and said good job. As you can see it doesn’t take much to make me happy!

Flash forward a few days, we are at a store getting some things and I notice my husband constantly pulling up his shorts. My oldest son and I spent a few minutes picking on my husband because when he pulled the shorts up he hiked them way up and it just looked so funny! I teased him about needing a belt. Marty (the hubby) is quite good at ignoring  me. This time was no exception. When we got home I watched him place his cell phone in his pocket, and had to catch his pants as they slid down. Really? So I said “Are you ready to get some new clothes yet” (he hates shopping with a passion). The response I got was “Nope not yet they still stay on my body. Maybe when they drop to my ankles”.  Did I mention he hates shopping for clothes? Ha Ha The only thing keeping them from doing that is his big butt!

Out of curiosity he got on my scale. Marty had lost 9 pounds, but that was in the evening, so he did it again in the morning….11 pounds! Good for him. Marty seemed quite pleased. Me, not so much! Yes happy for him but I think I was a tad jealous! I’ve been working my butt off and haven’t seen any big physical changes. He isn’t even trying to loose weight! He just cut back on drinking soft drinks and his pants drop off! Really? Where is the fairness in that?  If he had done the Happy pants dance I think I may have thrown something at him!

I will do my Happy pants dance again one day! I will be a dancing fool! Victory will be mine!