RE my Weight Loss Journey – the original reason for this page 🙂
UPDATE – HW – 384 – LW – 247 –
regained up to 292
CW – 272
My 3rd year anniversary June 10, 2016 – it is incredible to me that I can still wear the same clothes I did last summer.
It’s been since end April since I’ve posted about weight loss.
I am so grateful to have found an Online Food Addiction Program that is working very well for me –
In Feb 2016 I was in despair because I’d regained 40 plus lbs and felt so out of control.
Then I watched a series of free videos and took a susceptibility quiz re addictive foods – THEN I signed up for an 8 week boot camp that I took for 10 weeks.
The 8 weeks of intensive support and 24 hour online access allowed me to once again go through sugar and flour detox, and get back on track with a food plan – modified for my “sleeve”, and pick up tools once again to help me get back on track.
The program is called Bright Line Eating. And Susan Peirce Thompson, Phd who founded the program is a 13 yr recovering food addict and a brain scientist who can and does explain the brain chemistry of sugar addiction.
I feel so happy again and so hopeful as I watch the scale go down again and have resumed my physical activity.
If you would like to ask questions please IM me and I’m happy to chat with you. Or just ask me here – I am very open. I am “Anne Wing” from Rockland, ME, USA on my facebook page and my email address is email@example.com .
My highest weight – 384 – Dec.2010
Fall 2014 – and current weight – 270 lbs
Today is the first time I’ve felt the urge to write. I wrote and posted this piece on my private facebook page which is where I record my recovery from addiction and depression since early 2011. This is a new beginning perhaps.
Watch Night – http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20111231/PC1602/312319963
And from my facebook page:
Happy New Year to all. May 2016 bring you many blessings, much joy and peace of mind and heart.
Just below (above)I posted a piece about “Watch Night”. It is about the history of the celebration of this night among the African-American people and churches – this was written about the Charleston, SC area – Deeply moving tradition. I hope you might read it and feel deeply, too.
When I was growing up the church my family attended used to celebrate “Watch Night” from 9pm to 12A midnight every New Year’s Eve with each hour a different activity. It is good to have such a pleasant memory from that church and that time in my life. One hour was a meal, the last hour was a candlelight service and I cannot remember the third hour.
PEACE! H O P E! LOVE!
In honor of tonight being New Year’s Eve I am thinking I should write a blog post tonight, especially as I’ve not written in ages. I wish to acknowledge the ending of 2015 during which I suffered much, and to acknowledge the HOPE of a New Year to start in a few hours, 2016.
My intention is to let go of the old and I’ve been sweeping away old “stuff” from the corners of my mind and heart as well as de-cluttering and getting rid of “stuff” from my home. My wish is to live as a minimalist and it feels great to shed layers – the sweeping is work and tiring by the end of that leaves me feeling more open each time.
The greatest surprise and joy in 2015 was the arrival of my little poodle, Rusty. He came to me end of May, 5 days after his owner since puppyhood died. This was all very traumatic for him and he suffers from separation anxiety – sometimes I suffer with him in reaction to his pain. We have made progress. He can now ride in a car without continuous shrieking. He needs a lot of attention and frequent “outs” sometimes but he is a lot better than the first time I tried to take him on a trip.
He is teaching me lessons – especially patience, also endurance of another’s pain without becoming crippled by it so that I may be present to him and helpful to him. He is a stoic little guy. He is happy, intelligent, playful, loving, sometimes willful, sometimes eager to please especially for his favorite treat, often clownish.
My angst with him has occasionally been so great that I’ve considered putting him into Poodle Rescue but I manage to get through those times – they give me reason to use the coping skills I have with which to manage my own anxiety. We manage to get through the tough times together – always comes peaceful loving times which bless us both, and make me ever so grateful that he came into my life.
I’m looking forward to taking a college course beginning Jan. 20 – will be the first course I’ve taken in 15 years. This will be another time of transition for Rusty and for myself as it will be another opportunity to strengthen my own perseverance and commitment schools as I have no car and will have to rely on sometimes unreliable public transportation here.
I don’t seem able to come up with anything profound tonight and I don’t feel very inspired to write. I hope my inspiration will return soon.
Haven’t written a blog page in a while. Read an inspiring blog piece today by a young male Aussie writer that was passed on to me by another blogger. I decided I need to put more effort into writing – even consider – gleeps – perhaps some kind of regular commitment to my writing.
Thank you “GreatnessViaPassion”, an Aussie and thank you “MainelyButch”, another Mainer (isn’t the Internet an awesome thing? I can meet folks from all over the world! ! ! ).
Here is a link to the piece:
This is the inspirational quote from that blog:
‘If we all inspired just one person every day, just one, imagine how different the world would look a few years from now.’
That sentiment, exactly that, to perhaps touch even just one other person’s life in a positive way has inspired me in making several important decisions in my own personal life.
Here are some:
ONE – take nurses aide training to achieve my CNA to make at least one elderly person’s life better for one moment. The event behind this was my grandfather was hospitalized and in my opinion treated poorly in that hospital. It made me angry and while there wasn’t much I could do to change his experience when the opportunity came along to take this training this was my reason for doing so.
TWO – My CNA career lead me down the path to further education and I got my LPN, Licensed Practical Nurse, then my RN. As an RN I wanted to specialize in Women’s Health, and especially to work in the OB/GYN, mostly the OB, department in my hospital. After I fulfilled my post-RN contract with the hospital of working one year in off hours on a Med/Surg floor – Medical/Surgical floor I decided to pursue OB training – Obstetrics – and was hired for that position. The inspiration for that was my own 2 previous experiences of giving birth – both had been less than desirable for different reasons – this would be another blog piece – and I wanted to make the birthing experience much more positive and supported for other single women giving birth.
THREE – I was in an abusive relationship and marriage for 7 years from ages 23-30. I learned first hand about the dance of Domestic Violence behavior – though at that time that theory hadn’t even been put out to the public. When I finally got free I wanted to reach out to other abused women to help them to get out of their abusive marriages. I met a woman who had already begun pursuing the possibility of starting a program in our own area of Maine. I joined her and with 5 other women, eventually, we went on to found the program in Rockland, Maine called “New Hope for Women, Inc.” The program started out as a 24/7 telephone line in her home and since 1980 has grown phenomenally, and provides services now to abused women and children, also educating and support of all the involved helping professions such as Law, Health, and Mental Health, and also offers Safe Homes and extended assistance – they operate by grants and donations. There are also services for abusers.
Those are the 3 major issues I remember at the moment. I’ve overcome in my life many other challenges, all of which I’d like to lend support and encouragement to people currently going through them. Some of those could include, rape and incest, unwed motherhood (quaint phrase in this day and age – huh?!), breast cancer, acoustic neuroma, a lifelong and life threatening food addiction with treatment, recovery and a successful WLS Weight Loss Surgery, acute and chronic mental health issues – PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Recurring Suicidality, and who knows what else. The list only to remind myself, and admit to others that my life is full of Grace and experience and I have much Love, Hope, and Encouragement to offer to others.
BTW – some time ago I blogged about wanting to become a Life Coach and focus on Health, Wellness, Nutrition, and Obesity Recovery. I am now enrolled in the local college and will be taking my first returning student college class in January, 2016, in Human Nutrition. Then if I decide I really want to become a college student again I will enroll and go for a 4 year degree in Liberal Studies, thus giving myself the freedom to chose my own courses to best support my career desires. I already have about one third of the credits I need, and I am applying for VRS – Vocational Rehabilitation Services again to help support my return to work after a long time away due to recurring illnesses and healing. I am now well and eager to move forward with my life’s work! YAY! Thank you, God in all forms.
…and Make Us Happy! ! !
Many thank yous to the author of the blog The Seeds 4 Life which I find most inspirational!
OK, folks, I think I’ve finally pulled the pieces together – my life experiences, my skills, my knowledge, my willingness to keep on growing and learning. I have a passion for learning and a proclivity for teaching – I am going to apply for a Yoga Teacher Training certificate. I think that might just be the “cement” to help me pull it altogether – life coaching, Reiki, RN medical, nutrition, health and wellness knowledge, writing, long term recovery from food addiction, and victory over a number of life threatening illnesses, recurrent cancer and recurrent major depression being two, plus a passion for spiritual growth and yogic living.
It is expensive but I really want to do this – I have a big longing to Pay it Forward and help other mid-older age adults with morbid obesity and a strong desire to improve their lives.
So I’m going to apply for a scholarship so I can take the training, but need a full scholarship which might not be doable – another fb friend suggested I do something called Go Fund Me – what do you think?
Need to go fill out that scholarship application – please think positive thoughts for The Highest and Greatest Good for me and those I would come in contact with for which to give service.
I first studied and practiced Yoga in 1994 when I attended a week-long workshop in Energy Training at Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires in western MA. I fell in love with Kripalu Gentle Yoga – a form of Hatha Yoga – and felt I’d finally come home. I went out to Kripalu looking for further connections to spiritual growth and understanding. At that time I was suffering a relapse from food addiction and depression, for which I first went to inpatient treatment in 1988 At Glenbeigh in Tampa, FL. It was to be a long road and a long search, and I’m glad I did not know that at the time.
I knew it was Spiritual Connection for which I longed and sought. I’d been raised in a fundamentalist tradition that preached hellfire and brimstone every time they spoke from the pulpit. Intuitively I knew that God was Love but I just didn’t know where to find my heart’s desire. I tried many organized denominations, and other forms of Spiritual Practice – many gave me something but none gave me what I most needed UNTIL I found Kripalu Yoga and Bhakti Yoga Practice.
The words of the Sacred Sanskrit Chants as they are translated into English are unspeakably beautiful heart-filling to spilling over, and uplifting. . Devotional Chanting touches me in a way no other Spiritual Practice ever has. Here are some of the words from one of my favorite chanters of Bhakti Devotion – Krishna Das.
Wander wild and homeless
All roads lead to you.
Riding wind and laughing at the moon.
Don’t know who or what I am
In your arms the while.
Face of babe before it knows to smile.
My heart wrapped in your blanket sky.
We’re here but there’s no trace.
Everywhere I turn you kiss my face
“Mother Song” from “Pilgrim Heart” Krishna Das – fb page – https://www.facebook.com/KrishnaDasMusic?fref=ts
Krishna Das and Ram Dass are my two favorite spiritual teachers from this tradition. Both have amazing stories and histories, both traveled to India to find their Spiritual Heart. It has never seemed like something I would do to travel to India – many reasons, heat and humidity, allergies and chronic health conditions being some, never to mention my size and coloring. (A friend of mine, similar size and color and height – tall for a woman – had a trip to India to an area where the indigents had never seen whites. She recalls, to my horror, stories of the curious natives staring at her and poking her in wonder and amazement. No, not for me.) But then we westerners who come into contact with the Yogi teachers are most fortunate in that we don’t have to travel to the tropics to find and appreciate their gifts.
During my visits to Kripalu I attended a number of Sacred Devotional Services called Satsanga with a chanter and several musical instruments. The chanter leads and the audience responds – so beautiful. One of the most beautiful parts of the Sacred Service is a Ceremony of Light called Arti. (Arti is most akin to the western tradition of a communion service using different pathways and different tools, in my opinion.) It is thought among many that Jesus was a Guru. It is very possible in His time that He actually was a Guru – teacher and healer of the Spirit). The Ceremony of Light, Arti, spills Light from a special Oil Lamp over all the audience, and deeply touched my heart.
There are lots of chants and sacred ceremonies on the Internet if you’d like to “Google” for them. Here is one:
The first time I experienced Arti I was nearly overcome with emotion, relief and a shower over me of Unconditional Love.
So people who know me may be somewhat confused by my spirituality and my spiritual practices. I consider myself to be non-denominational, ecumenical, Interfaith, and open-minded, open-hearted. I am a Christian and belong to the United Church of Christ, an open and affirming tradition that combines Methodist and Congregationalist and sometimes other Protestant traditions. To me being a Christian means Love and Acceptance. The UCC is a world religion with a web site
I was so happy when I found them. Other spiritual practices that are important to me are attending and practicing The Twelve Steps of AA and other 12 step groups, Reiki and Yoga. I believe it is only by willingness to fully open my heart that I was able to find solace and comfort for my heart and soul, and by this same means I long to go out “into the world” and Pay it Forward to others. Namaste.
Loneliness is something I have struggled and suffered with most of my life. The first time I remember feeling that deep empty place in my middle I was in high school. I used to love to walk facing into the wind. Something about the wind blowing on me and into my face felt like it was touching deep inside, and like I was being “aired out”, and when I would come in from a brisk walk I was in a better frame of mind.
It is true that we come alone into this world, and though others may be there to greet us, and also to say “good-by” when we exit, we leave this world alone, too. A long time friend crossed the threshold yesterday after a lengthy and painful struggle with breast cancer. She was surrounded by loving friends who were quietly singing sacred chants as she wanted. I am sad to lose yet another friend but I am so relieved she is no longer suffering. I don’t think any of us wish our loved ones to linger in those circumstances.
When I got the news I spent some time thinking about what I know about death and dying. I’ve attended many adults dying in my nursing career. That has been a long learning process for me. I’ve also lost some close family members. The first death I witnessed was an elderly woman who also died of breast cancer and I felt very sad. She was a favorite of mine in long term care. I had a lot of learning to do and many experiences to live through between then and now. I must say it is a blessing to both attend a birth and a dying. There is much rejoicing at a healthy lusty baby arriving in this world, but the passage into death is usually accompanied by quiet and somber mood and tears, and often thankful relief. The first birth I attended I shed copious tears, too, of joy! But never have I yet witnessed joy at a dying.
I do believe I have a life purpose and that I am still finding my way. I used to always have at least one best friend in my life and always longed to be part of a couple when I was single. I’ve learned one can be part of a couple, or part of any gathering or group and still feel lonely and alone. I lived in a like-minded community of adults one time and thrived however by the end of my tenure my loneliness had returned. There is no lonelier feeling to me than to be among those who love me and feel that deep yearning of loneliness.
Last night I had my most recent experience. I spent an evening with a very close friend, one who I often confide in. Through life circumstances this dear friend has come to be the platonic roommate of the woman from whom I am most recently and painfully separated. We did enjoyable activities, dinner, movie, a tad bit of shopping and an ice cream treat. As the evening wore on the yearning inside of me grew as I experienced a need to confide my relationship pain for some words of wisdom from my friend, and for sake of good, healthy boundaries was unable to do this with her. The inspirational quote posted above “Be okay with where you are. You are there for a reason…” kept showing up behind my eyelids. I am grateful, even a bit proud of myself, for maintaining healthy boundaries as I adhered to this reminder. I became deeply sad as I experienced the full weight of my loss. Then I began to move more toward a more peaceful place of acceptance.
For some reason I am meant to be experiencing the fullness of my aloneness and my loneliness here on this Earth, and to be living it at this moment. This morning upon waking I’d become willing, and I gave in and “turned it all over” to God. Please, God, take this burden of pain and suffering from me. Whatever is your will for my life please show me the path and remove any obstacles, and I will follow. As I often do when overwhelmed with psychic pain I briefly wanted to follow Robin Williams, but I rejected that and agreed to stay.
It is no secret that I have a longing to be of service to the population of “super morbidly obese” adults who desperately want to change their lives. Through writing and verbalizing my own life experiences the desire grows. At first I thought a book was the way, but it doesn’t seem to be coming together, so perhaps not. Some of my other strengths have been teaching, and sharing with others my personal experiences. I’ve wanted to pull together my skills, life experiences, interests and passions for some time now. A Yogini friend of mine has encouraged me to look into obtaining a YTT certificate. As I have a long passion for yoga, and a personal affinity for Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Chair Yoga it seems like a good thing to do. However the program itself, plus room and board, is very expensive, and seems humanly un-doable to me at this time. So, I said a prayer out loud to The Universe, if it is meant to be please show me the way and remove any obstacles so that I may be of service to those still hurting and suffering. We will see. So be it. Namaste.
As a post script I want to include that my maternal grandmother to whom I felt very close suffered a very terrible loneliness in her life. She had episodes of severe depression, and also a lot of losses from her life by the time she reached 89 years at the time of her death.
Through my search and research for spiritual meaning and understanding in my life I’ve come to believe the intense yearning, often referred to as emptiness inside, or loneliness, is a personal longing for “home”, for “God”, to return home from whence we came. That makes sense to me especially as I believe we came from a place of Great Light and Unconditional Love. Though there is much beauty to appreciate in this world, on our Earth, there also is a lot of despair. Why would we not yearn to return to Unconditional Love?
Good Monday Morning, Blog Readers,
Food Addiction and Weight Loss Surgery – I had WLS – VSG – vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy “sleeve” on June 13, 2013 and though it isn’t easy i would do it again in a heartbeat! )
Another summer weekend passed and we are expected to have a week of sunny 70s weather – anyone want to come to coastal Maine for a visit? wink emoticon
I was talking with another sleever this weekend and afterward reflected on what seems to be a common theme when food addicts have WLS. The focus on weight loss becomes so high that we/I forget sometimes what is the underlying problem – food addiction. For after the weight loss is stabilized I will be facing myself and my food addiction behaviors plain as day, if not before, as I’m dealing with now at 2 years 2 months out. No I cannot eat a whole bag of baby carrots, even if I could w a sleeve, just because it won’t cause me to gain weight for that would activate the food addiction behavior of stuffing, maybe even bingeing.
I was given a food plan to follow post-operatively for just that reason – to help me to address stopping my food addiction behaviors and to support my building a new relationship with food. For me at this stage that includes weighing and measuring the 5 small meals a day with the focus on protein, water and veggies, one day at a time, daily. Of course I do not expect to do this perfectly for I am human, but I now have the ideal plan in my hand, and lots of support to continue onward in a healthy manner with my health being my overall important goal.
I’ve had to acknowledge that all along my own food addiction voice was chattering in the background with plans of “now I will be able to eat breads and sweets in one portion sizes” etc – other food addicts know the voice I’m talking about…wrong! I can never again safely eat any of my personal binge foods as if I do it will set up the cravings again. One of the most miserable feelings I’ve ever experienced was the one where I ate cookies until I was full, stopped due to sleeve, yet the craving and urge to eat more and more was fierce. I had the insight that if I followed that crazy addiction urge I could easily become bulimic right here and now. Did I want that? No way! not even so I could eat sweets. What I want more than anything else is sanity. Sane behaviors around food leads to peace for this recovering food addict.
The one book that comes to mind that was most helpful to me in understanding the phenomenon of craving is “Food Addiction: The Body Knows” by Kay Sheppard. It explains that even if we ingest the minutest amount of an addictive food, even without knowing (for me that could be flour or sugar such as in gravies or sauces) the body knows it at the cellular level and the cravings will begin again.
So while significant weight loss is an important goal that I have reached the more important goals are sanity around food and good health. All for now and off to enjoy this beautiful day. You have a good day, too! smile emoticon
I really hope people contact me with ideas and thoughts re this post. You can reach me by responding to this blog post, on facebook IM, email or phone.
The “Good-bye Flowers” email I got yesterday and blogged about put me in a tizzy. I’m strong about respecting others choices but I’m human and love and care for my friends, too, and don’t want to lose any of them.
All that being said, I called my friend this morning, the one who sent me that good-bye email yesterday. She answered and was upbeat and cheerful. It appears she is saying good-bye to me from her life because I’ve moved into a place of wellness and wholeness. Personally whole and well are the type of friends I prefer to invite into my life nowadays, as whole and well as we humans can manage, you understand, as none of us are perfect, or can maintain that even if we achieve it for a moment.
I think all of this relates to the fact that I am an Empath, and unbeknownst to me until very recently I used to be attracted to and get involved in close relationships with Narcissists. In the last 5 years I’ve attempted to have 2 intimate relationships, both with Narcissists although I didn’t know that at the time. I learned that recently by reading posts from Elephant Journal online on that topic. Now that I know it I will never knowingly get myself into a close relationship again with a Narcissist. I’m sure I will initially continue to be attracted to them but hopefully my mind and memory will not fail me, not even if my heart cries out loudly to “help this person”.
As an Empath, that means I live my life from the focus of “others”, I have needed to be a positive, helpful person in the lives of others all of my life. I am the oldest child of 5 plus, I am/was a nurse, I was raised in a fundamentalist Protestant “Christian” church with a huge emphasis on sin and redemption. I lived my life always trying to be “good” and “nice”. I say “Christian” in quotations because I have a much different understanding of that word in my older adulthood than I did in all my previous years.
Do I still want to be helpful to others? Kindness, empathy and compassion are a basic part of my nature and I want to keep that and honor that. But I want to do it from a perspective of understanding that I must be true to myself and take care of my own needs first. I dream to share the rest of my life with a healthy and whole person, each of us happy alone, each of us able to choose an intimate relationship from the place of wanting to do so rather than needing to do so. Until then I shall focus on my own health and wellness, my spiritual growth, and giving service to others from the place of fullness rather than neediness.
Good – Bye Flowers
This morning I got an email from a friend saying this is good-bye and her day of liberation. Ending her life? I don’t know.
Maybe this sounds cold but I believe one has a right to choose one’s exit date. In my age group and older lots of us have chronic health issues, many quite unpleasant with grim prognoses, failing bodies, disappointment and loneliness, mental and emotional pain stronger than the affected one can bear.
I know the thoughts of suicide generate overwhelming negative emotions, judgement and fear among many. Who am I to judge?
In some circles to which I am part the saying goes around that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” – That saying has always bothered me. If that is true why is our suicide rate so high? I am deeply sad still over Robin Williams leaving, and if this friend leaves I will miss her a lot, but I’ve been there, contemplating and were it not for a millisecond ray of hope that hit me each time I would no longer be here either. On the other side of that, though, I am so grateful to be alive to experience one more beautiful Maine Sea Summer Day, and the joy of my dog’s cold nose against my cheek while he snuffles sweet nothings in my ear.
Peace. Love. Joy. XO ❤
Good-Bye, dear friend. Parting is such sweet sorrow. I will miss you! Bon Voyage! XO