Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hello world!

Last week I wrote my first little program in Swift, the new iOS (Apple) software language. All first programs written in a new software language are called "Hello world!" where you write a program that simply says those two little words. It seemed appropriate for this post since I feel like I'm starting over from square one on the weight loss and exercise.

My weight is back up in the 220's. I'm not even sure what I weigh since I haven't been on the scale for a few weeks. My 59th birthday was last Thursday. I'm out of shape and feel every year of my 59 years.

I've noticed about 75% of the bloggers in my blog roll are gone. I wonder if they did the same as me and just gave up and decided not to write about it anymore. I completely understand that line of thinking because that's where I've been for months.

The thing I can't figure out is why this weight gain happened. I'm not depressed. I'm madly in love with the man of my dreams. He treats me like a princess and is actually probably a little more in love with me than I am with him (and he reminds me of this every day). I love him like crazy, but he loves me a little more. It's really a nice feeling to be appreciated and loved and to love someone back that deserves it.

Last year was a bit rocky, cancer and divorce. This year my sister passed away about three days after my last post. Which was three weeks after my niece, my sister's daughter, committed suicide.

Even though those were sad events and maybe a little stressful, it doesn't explain the weight gain or giving up on exercising. I was sure this time was it, and I'd never gain the weight back. I've thought that so many times in my life that it "almost" makes me think why even bother to try this again.

I can't just give up on myself. I have so much to live for, so many things I want to do before I die. Since I'm definitely in the last phase of my life, I don't have any time to squander on being fat. So I'm making another attempt to get healthy.

I'm not sure which "diet" or food plan I'm going to do this time around. I rejoined Weight Watchers two months ago, but I just couldn't get into the swing of it. Since my favorite leader quit I can't find a leader that I even sort of like. They all sort of annoy me. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

I am back at the gym and boy is that hard. Working out is painful when you're 220+ pounds. My body feels like it has lead weights attached to it. Every minute on the elliptical was pure torture. I only did 20 minutes today but it felt like an hour. I had done five minutes warmup on the the Stairmaster, which was even worse torture than the elliptical. Twenty minutes of weights and I was out of there. How on earth I ever did 90-minute workouts I'll never know.

So I'm back. Back to posting, back to reading the few blogs that are still out there. Back to diet and exercise. Hello world!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My sister

I can't believe I haven't posted anything here for three months. Definitely a first for me to go that long without posting anything. I've noticed several bloggers just sort of slowly fading away. It's hard to believe that  this blog was my lifeline at  one point, but I guess not so much anymore.

I'm still a member of the gym but I haven't gone once in three months, since my last post. I don't know what to say about that other than there have been some monumental difficulties recently. Sometimes I feel like a drama queen, just looking for trouble.

My niece from Alaska came down to visit her mother, my sister, February 22. It was her first visit to see her mother in over two years since I moved my sister here after her stroke. I was worried that it would  be four days of tears. It was just the opposite. I've never seen two people so happy to be together. My niece was 48 years old. She was my sister's baby and they had always had a special connection. They had a wonderful visit.

My niece returned to Alaska and six weeks later committed suicide. She had suffered from depression for over twenty years and had attempted suicide many times. This time she was successful.

I was in Alaska for my niece's funeral when I received a call that my sister was in the emergency room. That was last weekend. Today I'm sitting at the foot of my sister's bed in her adult family home where she has lived for two and half years. She has congestive heart failure and a large mass on her thyroid (5 cm). She's on oxygen and hasn't been conscious for two days. She hasn't eaten or drank anything since Monday. I was told it's a matter of hours or maybe days. No one knows. She has morphine for pain and seems to be comfortable. As I watch her breathe I think each breath is going to be her last. She's only 75 but the stroke had taken a toll on her. They've placed on hospice care, comfort care only.

I remember watching our mother die in 2005. My sister and I didn't leave the hospital room for five days. Our mother had been taken to the hospital for stomach pain, slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness. I was holding her hand when she passed away. I remember 2009 when my brother-in-law, my sister's husband of 53 years, had a massive coronary at the gym and was airlifted to Anchorage. I held my sister's hand as we lived in the hospital for eight days until they told her there was no hope and unplugged the machines. I held her hand and she held his as he passed away.

Now I sit here alone and watch my only sister dying. She's seventeen years older than me, 75 years old. I knew this day would come. I had no idea how much it would hurt me.

My boyfriend, the love of my life has been a Godsend throughout these past weeks. I'm so blessed to have met such a good man that loves me so much. In the past year he has treated my sister with love and respect. Every weekend it was his goal to see how much he could make her laugh. There was a lot of laughter.

I'm going home in a few  minutes. It doesn't look like today is the day. Maybe tomorrow or the day after.

This is how I want to remember my sister, not as the frail little lady in front of me, but in the summer of 2010. It was the year after her husband had passed away and our brother took the two of us four-wheeling in the backwoods in Alaska. We had so much fun. We both almost died that day (thanks to my brother for taking us off the trail and up a very steep mountain), but we laughed like teenage girls. I love her so much.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Decision: Go to the gym or cancel the membership?

I'm in the middle of a refinance on my house. This is a "post-divorce, must cash out half the equity for the ex-husband" refinance. So far it's going well, credit approved, closing date about to be set, now just waiting.

I have to come up with a significant amount of cash for the closing costs (which of course, is all out of my pocket and must be paid up front). I've been brutal with my budget, really cutting back on things I deem unnecessary.

When I saw the $32.00 monthly gym membership withdrawal in my checking account last week, I questioned myself, is this really a good way to spend my money? I've been averaging a once a week visit to the gym. That's about $8 for 45 minutes of exercise a week. I walk a couple times a week at work during my lunch hour. That's been it for my exercise for months now.

So I've made a deal with myself. I have to go to the gym three times this week, starting with today. If I can't get my butt to the gym at least three times in this seven-day period, then I go to the gym one week from today and cancel my membership.

The thought of canceling the membership makes me sad. It feels like I gave up on trying to exercise. I keep telling myself it's only $32.00 a month and maybe I'll start going again on a regular basis. On the other hand, it's stupid to pay for something if I'm not going to use it.

Maybe I should use the cookie versus my foot mentality on the gym. If I don't exercise then I'll most likely gain more weight and get diabetes. Which is worse, going to the gym or losing my foot? I sort of suspect losing my foot is much worse then exercising a few times a week. In fact, there's no comparison.

I promise to post back here next week on how this goes. My intention of course is to go to the gym at least three times this week. But that's been my intention for months, and I haven't done it. Maybe a public announce will do it for me. Let's hope so. I feel like something needs to click for me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Do I want a cookie or my foot?


Every year the month of January is dedicated to the same topic on all the television shows. Our heads are filled with suggestions on how to get healthy with weight loss and exercise.

I've heard it all, but this year it seems more intense. It's more urgent this time around, or maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm feeling more urgent. I am pushing 60. Okay, technically I'm only "58", but the years are passing me by quickly. I'm still not at a healthy weight.

Even my cancer diagnosis didn't convince me of the importance of eating right and exercising. Of everything that could convince a person to get on a healthy track, you would think cancer would scare the pants off of me (or rather, the fat off of me!).

I let the fear of my cancer returning control me for a few months. I banned sugar, white flour, choose only organic. I was even paying an arm and a leg for free-range, organic fed chicken, only to be told free-range and organic doesn't always mean what I thought it meant.

A couple weeks ago I heard something on a morning news show that jolted me. It was an actress talking about her 60-pound weight loss. I don't know her name, and even tried to go back and find the story so I could give her credit, but I can't find anything on the story.

Her story was a familiar one and perhaps one we've all been through. She was about 60 pounds overweight and borderline diabetic. She is a single mother of a young child. The actress' own mother had died of diabetes when the actress was only eight years old.

This actress said something very profound that has stuck with me since I saw the interview. She said that when she wanted to go off her diet and eat something like a cookie, she would say to herself, "Do I want that cookie or my foot?". She said the answer was easy, she wanted her foot of course!

I'm not pre-diabetic, at least not yet. I had my blood work done in December and everything was normal except the crazy cholesterol numbers. I still don't know how my cholesterol could have jumped 80 points in just six months. I go back to the doctor in March to have my blood work done again.

Back to the diabetes. I could easily become diabetic because of my weight. I had three aunts that were diabetic. One even had both of her legs amputated before she passed away from complications from the diabetes.

So my new mantra to myself lately has been, "Do I want <insert bad food choice here>, or my foot?". As creepy and morbid as this sounds, it seems to be working for me. I've really cut back on the sweets.

In fact, I've cut back on a lot of things but the weight isn't budging. I know it's because of the obvious, I'm still eating too much and I'm still not exercising on a consistent basis. My only exercise is a walk during lunch at work two or three times a week and once a week gym visits. It's not enough. My body needs more exercise.

I know the importance of a plan when it comes to getting healthy, and then following the plan. At the moment, I don't have a plan.

I dropped out of Weight Watchers. Just like everything I try when it comes to losing weight, it works for a while, then I get bored with it, and it doesn't work anymore. I don't know what the next big thing is for me.

If there's anyone reading this that has found something that really works for them, please drop me a comment and let me know what is working for you. I'm just sort of at a loss right now. I need a plan! Keeping my feet is a good plan, but I need something more.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's a new year and a new life

So much happened to me last year that it almost seems like it happened to someone else. In spite of the really ugly parts, I'm glad I made it through it.

If you've been reading along you know the year was filled with despair and pain. Starting in late 2012 with a physical assault against me by my husband of 24 years, followed by a long year of waiting for the case to go to trial and then it being dropped at the last minute by the prosecutor. Not enough evidence.

During that year I was in the middle of a bitter divorce battle with my husband. True to his word, he had told me many times that if I ever divorced him that he would destroy me. Well, he tired but I'm proud to say that I'm officially divorced as of December 31,2013, and I'm still standing. He didn't succeed at destroying me even though he gave it his best effort. In another post that I plan on writing someday is the flaws of a community property state, but I'll save that for another day.

Throw in the cancer, a rare, deadly and aggressive cancer, Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and two cancer surgeries to remove it, and you get the picture my last year.

On the other side of all of this tragedy something wonderful happened. I fell in love with a wonderful, kind and loving man. I'm not sure if I would have made it through this year without him. He held me as I wept over my cancer diagnosis. He nursed me through both of my cancer surgeries. He commiserated with me over the unfairness of my divorce settlement and the stupid community property laws in this state (Washington). He's gone with me every Sunday to see my disabled sister, when we both put on a happy face for her to make sure she has a good time on her weekly outings with us. He is a good man, and I'm very lucky to have him in my life.

My weight has been on the upswing. I weighed in at 207 this morning. That's 33 pounds from my highest weight of 240 and 55 pounds from my low of 152 about three years ago. I'm fat. There's no question about it.

2014 is going to be my year to get healthy once and for all. I don't have a specific plan on how to do it yet. I'm still working on the details. Exercise will be key since I know that's essential not only to weight loss but to a happy spirit. It's the best antidepressant I know (and it's free with no negative side effects). More on the details later.

Today I'm recovering from the flu. Two days of 102 temperature and pretty much feel like I've been beaten up. I'm exhausted and every part of me hurts. Normal temperature this morning so I'm getting better. For now I'm just resting and taking it easy. By Monday I should be on track with a new plan.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life goes on

My last post was sad. It's so sad that I can't even read it myself. I wanted to delete it, just like I've wanted to delete many of my recent posts. I've decided to leave it. These posts are chronicling my life, even if they are somewhat devastating for me to read. Someday I will look back and this and laugh at myself and all of my melodramatics (at least that's what I hope I feel...someday).

Right now I'm doing "okay". Okay can mean a lot of things, but I think it's better than "not bad". I'm relatively happy for someone who has no idea what the future holds. I don't know where I'll be living next year.

I also don't know how my finances will be affected by my divorce, although I'm sure it will be a negative impact. Washington state is a community property state. I never knew what that meant exactly. I was under the impression it meant a 50/50 property split. I didn't realize it meant my 401k and my pension plan were up for grabs at 50/50. My husband doesn't have a 401k or a pension plan since he's never had a permanent job for more than a couple years and also chose to not work for about half of our married life. I've worked consistently for the last 30 years at the same company. We've been married for 25 years. He's "entitled" to fifty percent of my retirement accounts accumulated by me for the last 25 years. It's a state law. It isn't fair but there's nothing I can do about it.

To add insult to injury my husband just filed for a 90-day continuance of our divorce trial. It was scheduled for November 19. His divorce attorney withdrew from the case. I had to sort of laugh about this. Even his divorce attorney divorced him. Unfortunately for me, this means another 90 days of paying his bills. Including health insurance, car insurance on his two cars and numerous credit cards in both of our names. Again, ordered by the court because he was unemployed until three months ago. It's all very frustrating.

Okay, enough about my miserable divorce. Other than that, I'm really doing okay. My CT scan was all clear. No sign of the uterine leiomyosarcoma cancer returning in my body. It's only been six months since the surgery to remove it. It usually takes seven to eighteen months for it to return and metastasize in another location, usually the liver or the lungs. So I certainly don't consider myself off the hook yet. Sometimes I wonder if my husband is hoping he can wait out the cancer and I'll die before we get divorced. He'd certainly be better off. Especially since the court wouldn't let me cancel my life insurance policy with him as the beneficiary, a rather large insurance policy. He has a very small one with his mother as the beneficiary. That tells you something right there about our marriage.

My "roommate" is awesome! I'll leave it at that. Someday I'll write more on this topic, but I can't now.

Diet and exercise...what can I say that hasn't been said a million times? I'm trying, but that's not good enough. It's better than I've been in past years, but I'm not exercising enough and not tracking my food. Usually when I get to this part of my post, I quit writing and shut my computer I have several unpublished posts that prove this point). Today I'm just going to leave it at that...I'm trying. I haven't given up. I'm not eating crazy amounts of food or unhealthy food (well not very much with the exception of Halloween), but I'm eating too much and not exercising enough. Like I said, I'm trying.

I'm still reading your posts but I'm finding that many people have simply dropped out of sight. People that I read for years seemed to have just vanished out of sight. It makes me a little sad. I miss them. But to those of you still out there, I love reading your posts. Even if I don't post a comment, I love keeping up on your lives.

Take care everyone and have a great holiday, that honors our veterans. That reminds me, I need to go put out the flag!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You do not know me

The criminal case against my husband has been thrown out. The assistant prosecutor called me Monday and told me. He is very young and inexperienced. He told me that he didn't think he could win the case. He said it was a "she said/he said" case. I guess the bruises and scrapes on my body, the hair that fell out in clumps the next day from my husband pulling it out, don't mean anything.

Today I read what he wrote about the case and why it was being dismissed. I was devastated. I was called a liar, that I didn't sound like I was afraid on the 911 tape. I finally stood up to the bully and because I didn't run screaming from the house in the middle of the night that what happened to me was my fault. I don't even begin to understand our justice system, but I can certainly see that it's flawed.

I want to send this to the little twerp that's the assistant prosecutor, but I'm not going to. It wouldn't serve any purpose. However, writing it here has helped me.

To the assistant prosecutor on my case --

You do not know me

You do not know the pain I've endured during my 24 years of marriage to a tyrant and a bully.

You do not know how many times I was screamed at and called names like "stupid fucking bitch" or how many times my husband  told me that I was an idiot, that I didn't know anything.

You do not know how many times I was shoved and pushed by my husband. Or how he would stand an inch from my face and called me names that I can't even put in writing, screaming at me so loud that his spit would hit my face.

You do not know about the time my husband ripped the collar on my bathrobe as he jerked me around like a rag doll.

You do not know about the time he literally tore down my locked bedroom door in the middle of the night so he could scream at me.

You do not know how many times he would come into my room in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, yelling obscenities at me. The next day I would have to go to work while he slept.

You do not know about his relationships with other women during our marriage or his porn addiction.

You do not know about his 10,000 emails and chats over the last two years to a woman that was his high school sweetheart. His main topic was me and how much he hated me and that I was stupid.

You do not know about all the years my husband spent not working, always finding an excuse to avoid full-time employment, going for months at a time staying home and watching TV or sleeping or instant messaging his girlfriends and viewing porn. While I worked full-time the entire time of our marriage. I was the main support of the household

You do not know that I was raised by a good family on a homestead in Alaska with wonderful parents.

You do not know that I'm a Christian and believe in God and Jesus as my Savior. I was raised in the Baptist Church and was taught to be kind, to follow the ten commandments and to be a good person and live a good life. I was taught that divorce is wrong and that God hates divorce. However, considering my marriage I'm pretty sure I have God's blessing for my divorce.

You do not know that I have a college degree and work as a software developer engineer.

You do not know that I have worked for the same company for 30 years.

You do not know that I have close girlfriends that I've had for over 25 years and that my husband's only friend is someone he met a few months ago.

You do not know that I'm the legal guardian of my disabled 74-year sister who suffered a debilitating stroke two years ago. She can't speak or walk. I visit her every Sunday and take her out to a movie and dinner.

The most important thing that you do not know about me is that I'm not a liar. What I said happened on the night of November 7, 2012 was the truth. The man I had lived with for 24 years put a loaded 357 magnum between my eyes and said:  "You stupid fucking bitch, do you want me to blow your fucking head off?! I will, I will! I'll do it you stupid bitch!". I didn't make this up. It's embarrassing to me to even repeat those words.

He crossed the line that time and that's why I called the police. That's why I reported this because I finally stood up to the bully.

For you to throw out this case after eleven months and say it was my fault because I yelled at my husband, that I didn't sound scared when I was on the 911 call, and that there's no case is reprehensible. You should be ashamed. You're a disgrace to your office.