Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time for a change (rather long post)

Today is World Cancer Day. It is a day set aside to focus on ways to prevent cancer. Their slogan is "Cancer can be prevented too!".
Everyone knows things like quitting smoking and getting breast exams are ways to prevent cancer.
But did you know that obesity is one of the biggest cancer risks there are? It causes higher breast and colon cancer rates along with skin cancer and other cancers.
For the past year and a half of my life, I have been consumed with helping American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Most of my stitching has been for fundraising. Most of my spare time has been going to meetings, talking about Relay, posting stories about cancer prevention and patients going through treatment. Crying at stories that tear your heart out.
But there is one person I haven't worried about. That is me. You see, I am obese. Morbidly obese (that is a diagnosis on my medical chart). I don't eat healthy. I don't exercise.
I have been overweight most of my life. Not so much when I was young, but pretty much in the past 30 or so years. I would lose weight, gain weight, lose again. I was pretty agile, even for a fat woman.
Six years ago I lost 100 pounds through Weight Watchers, but gained it back. I got married and thought I should cook really big meals. And of course with cooking those meals I also ate.
I have been generally happy all my life, fat or not. I am happy with my looks, happy with my personality.
Until the past year. My weight has taken a toll on me. My knees hurt all the time. I don't go to the doctor as much as I should because of my weight. I mean really, what does the doctor want to do to help me if I don't want to help myself?
My life has taken a turn that I don't like. I can't walk hardly at all without getting out of breath. Fun stuff, like shopping or going on vacation is surrounded by the thought, how far is the door from the parking lot and do they have an electric cart for me to go around in. There is a local museum here I want to take my grandsons to, but I know I can't do it. I have tried. I almost pass out and the pain in my knees are unbearable.
This past Christmas I attended a party at a friend's house. My first thought was "are her chairs going to hold me up? What if I break one?".
A work acquaintance asked me to go on a small trip with some staff. I had to say "no" because I knew I couldn't do all the walking they were going to do.
Going out to restaurants and parties and everything is centered around "how close are the chairs to each other? Is there enough room for me to get around?".
All of this is minor compared to what my weight is doing to me. I am 49 and feel like I am 100. And I am at risk for cancer. A big, fat risk.
I didn't write all this to make you feel sorry for me. I did this to myself and I am not looking for sympathy.
I am looking for a change. It is time that I do something to really prevent cancer. IN ME!
So last Friday I joined Weight Watchers. I am adding vegetables and fruit to my diet. Stopped drinking coffee (Starbucks I hope your stocks don't fall). Am drinking more water.
I went to the doctor and talked with him. He is sending me to a cardiologist before he will release me to join a gym. I go on Feb. 10. But for now, I can walk as long as I take it easy, as well as light exercise.
And I added something to our house. My sister named it Satan, and at times it feels that way. But I think it should be named Friend. My friend is a stationary bike. I can't go too long on it (only a couple of minutes at most).
I think God had a hand in bringing my friend into my house. It was on sale at Wal-Greens. The only one. Someone had bought it online and never opened it. It was not supposed to be returned to the store but the assistant manager didn't know that. They had it for $129 (regular $199). And the manager gave me another 15% off that.
So now everyday I get on my friend and I do something to make me less a cancer risk.
Is this going to be easy? No. Am I probably going to fail at least once? Yes. Am I going to keep trying. Yes. Am I going to need all the support of my friends and family? YES, YES, YES.
So I am asking you to follow me on this journey. Many of you have followed me on the journey with my SFAC project. Follow me now. Encourage me. Scold me. But mostly love me as you always have, fat or not. Be my friend.
Because it is time for a change and I want to be around a long, long time!

50 comments:

Rene la Frog said...

Dearest Donna, I'm behind you all the way and if you have a set back don't worry about it just get back on the right road. I fought the battle of the bulge most of my adult life until I was told I was a Type II Diabetic and if I didn't take off at least 60 pounds I would be on the needle the rest of my life. Those pounds came off slowly (took 9 months) but have stayed off. If I can do it so can you. {{{{Donna}}}}

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

I am definitely behind you on this one.

I need to lose weight too. I am hoping that I can find this courage that you have found to take the weight loss leap. I only need to lose 35-40lbs.... but coming from someone that was always underweight for the first 22 years of life... this is hard.

So I stand with you as your support system in your weight loss endeavor. Go Donna Go! Go Donna Go!

Lori said...

I read your post and wish you well.. I am sending you a private email...hugs and best wishes and good luck to BOTH of us!

Gabi said...

Good on you Donna. It's not an easy thing to do, but I'll cheer you on all the way.
Being that overweight is a huge health risk indeed - and your heart is the most risk.
Wishing you all the best on your upcoming weight loss journey. And you can do it!!!

Carolyn's Crafts said...

I'm so proud of you! I've been overweight as well, I just lost my 69th pound with still a little more to go, you can do it! I know you can!
I'll be watching your journey to a healthier you!

Sadie said...

I'll be cheering the whole way Donna :-)

Mary' SAL Site said...

I am standing behind you 100%. I have Lupus and my doctor told me I need to loss weight also. At lease 30 lbs. but it is a challege. Joining your quest for a heathy life.
~Mary

Bizee Fingers said...

You never cease to amaze me! I am so behind you all the way, been losing weight myself too in order to get healthier!
You will achieve your goal, you're an amazingly strong woman, and I dont believe there is anything you cant accomplish.
You go girl!!

Nessa G. said...

That was very inspirational! Truly sending you the best of wishes. Enjoy your friend!

Carol said...

Way to go Donna. Just take it slowly and steadily with the weight loss.
You'll be racing around with, and maybe passing, your grand kids in no time :)

Pike said...

Donna, I admire you! On my blog you can see a weight loss ticker... has been there since last November. I have been able to lose some, but need to lose more!

Good luck and hugs!

PS. Haven't the squares yet arrived?

Mel said...

This is a great goal Donna. I'm so proud of you!
I do hope that you are able to keep up with it, you sound so positive about it all which is great.
I'll be cheering you on all the way!

Karan said...

Bless you Donna. I've been on my own weight loss journey since my GP gave me a health warning at the end of 2008. It's a hard journey but I can tell you it is so well worth the effort - my blood pressure, cholesterol & blood sugars are now normal, all for losing weight, & I feel so WELL. And last year I went hiking again for the first time in years. :0) I will be here cheering you on every step of the way. You go, girl! :0)

Kathy said...

Oh Donna, My heart, support and prayers go to you. I so know what you are going through. I too have been overweight all my life.

Will power can be a difficult thing but it sounds like you are determined. I know you will succeed. Will it be easy? Probably not but we will all be here to support you.
Love and stitches
Kathy

stitchingnana said...

you go girl you can do it. I need to loose weight also. I have lost 60 lbs. but have more to go. Just take it one day at a time. Don't let it throw you if you gain some back, just keep your eyes on the goal. and keep going. I know it is hard. I still have a lot I need to lose. SO YOU GO AND I AM WITH YOU ALL THE WAY. Wanda

Meari said...

First I want say: YOU GO GIRL!

Reading about your thoughts about going places, parties, and such made my heart ache for you. I didn't realize people thought things like that.

Even though you can only do a few minutes a day on the stationary bike, it's better than nothing and with each passing day that time will get longer and longer if you stick with it. Same with walking for exercise. You can do it!

Kudos to you for doing something for yourself ((hugs))

CheekyChic said...

Donna, what a courageous thing you are doing. I am so proud of you. Just remember to take it one day at a time. Heck, one meal at a time. I have two weight watchers cook books with your name on them. You're doing this for all the right reasons and I'm confident you'll succeed!

Emily said...

Good for you Donna, pulling for you that you can stick to the healthy diet, it is hard. Try Curves as your gym, they are very good at making sure you are getting the best workout for you and have ways to check you heartrate so it won't get to high. You are doing a great service and we need to keep you around. HUGS

staci said...

You Go Girl! Congrats Donna for being so courageous! You've already taken steps to a healthier you...and you've taken the biggest step of all~~admitting the need for change. Sending you lots of encouragement and support!!!

Tanya F said...

You can do this Donna. Your post shows you care about those who care about you. You care enough to do something about it so your family will enjoy your obvious love for them longer. Most of all you can because God said so.

"No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." I Corinthians 10:13

Shannon said...

Hi Donna!

I am behind you and hopefully we can support each other. Recently, I have had a scare with cancer. My doctor has suggested that I look into gastric bypass surgery. I am a little leery about the whole thing but I am willing to look into it a little more. The whole cancer thing has me really going crazy and even having panic attacks. So I wish you luck and hopefully we can be a support for one another.

Ranae said...

Donna, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. But at least we give you tons of credit for seeing it what it is and going to nip it in the butt, Good for you!!! I am sure it won't be easy at all, work hard!! will pay off.
We are here to support you and your friendship.
Keep us updated!
(((hugs)))

Debra said...

Best of luck with your life changes. Remember to keep them and you will never have to restart again.

Halina said...

May God bless you in your endevors and positive believeing is receiving. I have the same issue and believe me I fight it every day.

I sahred this with my Dad and his words were pretty cool...positive self tock and speaking it to fruition...

My Princess...
.....as I was reading Don Basham's - The Power of Your WORDS this morning I came across this information on pg 70.
......essentially _ say "I can", because GOD says I can!!!

Here is a simple thing to say to yourself ( not just "think" or mental assent ) ...
.... Say these to yourself ( under your breathe, out-loud as you feel comfortable with talking )
......The power of your words and thoughts are immense. The Word say speak forth ( not 'think' forth), so say these to your self, mutter them under your breath where other cannot understand what you say, speak them out loud when you have an urge.

Love Dad...

If you prefer, create your own, to positively remind your mind and thoughts....

..from the Word, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.

Discover the power of the Words principles:
Discover the ability of Christ to meet 'all your needs' :

I can, I do, resist eating junk food, rich fattening foods. Through Christ in me, I can and do avoid eating high calorie foods.
I can and do by Christ's grace, overcome being a compulsive and binge eater,.
I can and do eat with moderation, temperance, for my tummy shall-NOT-be my god.
Hallelujah - Praise God!!!!! I have discovered the secret:
I can and do conquer my miserable overweight condition through Christ Jesus, who is my strength and sufficiency.

...from pg 70, The POWER of Your WORDS..

AFwife99 said...

I am cheering for you all the way! Just keep on keeping on, and your body will thank you for it. Go Go GO!!!!!

silentsgirl said...

I'm right there with you. I've been using sparkpeople since August and while it is a slow process, it is working. You can do it - I know you can.

Anne Sans Tete said...

Donna,

I know you can do this. You did it before, right? Before you know it, that few minutes on the bike will turn into 30 minutes then 60 then as long as you feel like going! If you are feeling down, just remember that we are all here cheering you on!

Cyndi Harris ~ said...

YAY DONNA! You have done so much for others for so long it's about time for you to have some 'Donna Time'! I'll be cheering you on. I have a weight & throat condition and my doctor told me to do the impossible: loose weight and DON'T excercise! So I walk slowly. I bet your family is very proud of your decsion too!

The Hines Family said...

You can do this!! I'll be right here cheering you along the way :)!

Debbie Jo said...

God Bless you Donna! I know you can do it and will be here on the sidelines with you. I too wonder about the chairs, room to move, how many people are behind me when walking around stores. Since I have not had a job I can see/feel the weight I lost coming back to. Do it slow and steady,,,,good things come in time.

nutmegg said...

Hi Donna, I have just read all your comments and there is nothing much I can add except to say you have many friends backing you and you can add one more ME!!!...good luck and I know that when you've achieved your goal we will all be there to party with you....xoxo

Shelleen said...

I am with you. I am also listed as morbidly obese. I have a wii fit and I use it once in a while. I need to get back to it.

Lyn said...

Donna,

I will encourage you all the way. I have lost 105 pounds myself in the past few months. I didn't join any groups this time, although I use to go to weight watchers before Jack and I married. My weight has yo-yoed over the years, so I know how you feel in that department too. You go, Donna, you can do it!

stitchinfiend said...

What an inspiring post. I will join you on your journey. I like you am way over weight, suffer from chronic asthma and type 2 diabeties. I do not take care of myself at all and know that if I keep going I will not see my grandchildren. Your story has inspired me to get up and do something about it. God Bless.

Cindy in MA said...

Donna you have my support 100%. You can do it.Just take one day at a time & when you get discouraged & want to quit just think of why you are doing it & you'll get right back on track

Carolyn NC said...

Donna,
Well-said, my dear. We're all completely behind you and will encourage you in any manner possible. You can do it, I know. And so I believe I might join you. Looking forward to your accomplishments!

Vicki in CO said...

Go Donna! I've battled weight pretty much my entire life, so I totally understand what you are going through. I lost a lot of weight a number of years ago, but it has been creeping back on a few pounds at a time. I've been determined to get it back off, once and for all. So, I'll be happy to join you in the fight. One step at a time, it can be done!

socialsue said...

I am behind u on this too....I am also looking for ways to lose some weight. Being on the computer and cross-stitching isn't exactly enabling me to move around much. But I need to set up a routine as well. Congratulation and wishing u the best!

socialsue

Donna said...
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Donna said...
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Texas Outsider said...

Hey Donna this is your husband you are my heart, my life and I'm behind you 100 percent love you babe.You can do this!

Felicity said...

Hi Donna, I've sent you an email as well. Good success! I know you will do wonderfully.

Christine said...

Way to go Donna - you have my support. I will pray for strength for you as you do what everyone should be doing - eating properly and exercising. Easy talk from an overweight woman whose knees have prevented her - at last - from paid work. It's not going to be easy for you but we are here so go girl go!
love
Christine

Robert said...

Good for you. I will watch your blog and support you. You are an inspiration to so many people, including me - I need to lose 30 lbs to me it seems like 300 lbs - a daunting task - but my friend and I decided last night we would eat healthier and go to the gym we keep deducting money from in our checkbook and never going to, time we gave our bodies the tuneup they deserve!!1 Amen!

MaryT said...

Hello Donna, I am so happy that you're going to do something about your weight. I need to do the same, maybe we can help each other along the road to weight loss. I will cheer you along. I have a friend too and a treadmill. Both have been gathering dust, so I need to dust them off and get going too.

Terry said...

You are doing something wonderful, not only for yourself but for your family as well. Take it one day at a time and it will work. Don't stress the small setbacks as you know there will be some. I'm so happy that you are doing something for you. Way to go Donna!!!!! Giving up coffee is a huge step in itself. Big hugs coming your way!

too_busy_to_stitch said...

Dear Donna - I'm with you all the way. A dear friend of mine died of cancer last night, aged 42. She leaves her husband, and children aged 4, 6 and 9.

Daffycat said...

You go girl!

Your post makes me very happy.

EvalinaMaria said...

Donna, thank you so much for sharing your concerns. You've open my eyes to my potential future. I have about 60 lbs to say good bye to and they do not want to go. I'm not only supporting you, I want to be your boddy in weight loss. Would you like to be mine? Send me a note. Hugs.

Mare said...

Dear Donna, You are so brave and honest to share your battle with us. Your words ring very true and hit close to home for me. I too need a swift kick to start thinking about me first & taking care of myself. I am not sure how good of a weight loss buddy I be since I can't seem to get my act together.

If I hear, you are such a beautiful woman if only you could loss some of that weight again, I'll scream. I don't mind being over weight but the health risks and discomfort are taking its toll and my parts are not getting any younger. I need to join you but I am not nearly as brave & exercise is my biggest downfall. I too have yo yo weight issues. Sending hugs & good wishes.