Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Struggles...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
I have been trying to write this post for 2 weeks.  It seems like every time I get a moment, something comes up and I have to put this off for another day.  I decided, "Today is the day, no matter what," and so far the day has cooperated! :)  Granted we have gotten a blizzard of sorts so we can't do much, but I'll take what I can get! LOL :)

Now onto my post...

I have been dealing with a lot of struggles lately, most of which have to do with what I want to be able to do vs. what I am actually able to do.  I want to be able to play with my kids like I used to be able to do before Fibromyalgia.  I want to shovel snow so my boys and hubby don't have to do it all (especially when the windchill is 20+ below!).  I want to not be stuck more or less on the couch because I overdid it the day before and can hardly lift my head.  I want to be able to make my brain work and remember things like I used to on the days when Fibro Fog has taken over.  I want the Fibrowolf to leave me alone and not haunt me and my family.  Basically, I want to be normal.  Why?  Because I feel I should be.
I don't want to have this handicap of sorts.  I feel like I am letting down everyone, including myself, because I don't look sick.  I feel like I shouldn't feel like this; tired, sick, stiff, down, etc.  I feel like, if I just wanted to enough, I could make it all go away.  I feel like I'm not trying.  I feel like I'm lazy.  I feel like I'm not giving it 110%.  I feel like I am broken.  I feel like I am not doing all I can.  I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle because I'm not strong enough, because somehow I "decided" that I was too weak to win.  I feel like I am being a wimp.  But this is not reality.

Reality is that this is my new life.  I will have days that I hurt.  I will have days that I overdo it.  I will have days where I want with all my heart to do things that my body simply says no to.  I am stuck in a body that does not know nor care that I have a life and family that needs me.  I am stuck in a body that likes to say no.  I have a body that mocks me even when I'm trying my hardest to be normal and do normal things.  I have a body that traps my best intentions and desires deep inside and lets me feel them without being able to do them or that lets me do them and then pay dearly for it later.  I have to choose between helping and hurting or being sick (and not just for a few hours, but for days or even weeks), and I hate it.

No matter how much I want it to be otherwise, I have Fibromyalgia.  I can only do what I can do, and I have to embrace my limitations and know that I am not broken.  I may not be able to do it all, but I can do some, and I need to stop getting mad at myself for not being like I was before.  I need to enjoy the days that I can do the things I used to.  I need to stick to my rules about food, exercise, attitude and environment and stop making excuses why it is so hard. 

Life is hard for everyone.  Just because it has now gotten harder does not mean I feel sorry for myself and stop living.  So it's not fair; so what.  I was never guaranteed or promised fair.  I was promised that God would be with me (Isaiah 41:10), not that it would be easy.  I have something to learn from this Fibromyalgia, and I will learn it...I just wish I knew exactly what it was.

This is the new normal.  I have to make friends with it in a way.  I have to realize that I may not get better, and I may get worse.  I have to do my best to stay healthy and able, but I have to realize that there are and most likely will be days (and probably several) where that just might not happen.  I have to weigh my choices with the consequences and decide.  I have to realize that my choices have a lot bigger consequences now, too.

I have this knowledge in my head, but it is not in my heart yet.  Please pray for me.  I have been pretty emotional lately as this all seems to have come to a head and there is an overwhelming sense of worthless.  I will not let Satan defeat me in this way, but I cannot win this fight on my own.  Lots of prayer and reading God's Word is essential, as is your (and other friends and family) support.  I really appreciate it. :)

Know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers, too.  If you need an ear, my email is always open. :)  I am here for you!

What are you struggling with today?
What helps you get over the blues?


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Monthly Milestones {Intro}

Today is the first day of a monthly feature that I will be doing to give you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc. and in which you can link up a post about some form of progress you are making, if you wish (see details below).  I think it will be a lot of fun, and I know being publicly accountable will help me out tremendously.
Here is what I wish to accomplish this year:
  1. Lose 50 to 80 lbs.  I think the 50 lbs. is do-able, even if I lose as little as 1 lb. a week.  That would get me to a weight that is still heavier than I want to be, but one I will be ok with if I don't lose any more.  The 80 lbs. lost mark is where I ideally want to be, though, and will shoot for if at all possible.  I plan on breaking this goal down into 10 lbs. increments and celebrating each of those milestones as I reach them, no matter how much is lost overall.
  2. Focus on portion control.  I am not a dieter.  I can't follow diets.  I have to make lifestyle changes or I simply cannot follow the rules.  I guess it's a case of wanting what I can't have or something.  I don't know why if I call it a lifestyle change it works, but when I call it a diet it doesn't.  Either way, I know that I can do a fad diet or weight loss program and stick to it.  I can, however, focus on portion control.
  3. Focus on eating real, natural food as much as possible, limiting (and eventually eliminating) processed foods.  I find that I cannot handle processed foods, especially foods with soy and high fructose corn syrup in them.  They make me sick, literally.  It is my goal this year to get back to eating more naturally.  This doesn't mean no dessert or no eating out, but it does mean better choices.
  4. Get active!  I don't have the money to join a gym, and I'm only marginally good about exercising via an exercise program at home, so I'm not going to say I'm going to do any of those things.  I will, however, commit doing the things that I can: taking a walk when it is nice, playing Wii Fit with the kiddos, making it a point to park a little further away from the store so that I can walk a bit further, making a point to take the stairs, play a little more with the kids, do some more physically challenging chores (i.e. scrub the floors by hand now and then or doing spring cleaning more often), etc.  I can be a very lazy person if I let myself be, and that's not a good thing!
  5. Get more sleep/rest.  I am horrible about getting to bed.  I am very much a night owl.  However, with my Fibromyalgia and for weight loss and optimum health, sleep is essential.  I really do need 8 hours, which means I can't go to bed later than 11pm if I'm going to get up at 7am.  I can and need to do this!
  6. Focus on being more positive, thankful and encouraging.  We've already started on this as a family with our Thankfulness Basket, but I want to make it a point to just be more positive, thankful and encouraging in general.  It really does help me stay healthy, mentally and physically.
  7. Do more as a family.  I don't know about you, but I feel like time just slips through my fingers these days.  I have made an effort to be more interactive with my kids and hubby, but some weeks seem like there is no time together.  I would like to make it a point to spend some quality time together as a family at least once a week.  I think we all could use more of that.
  8. Stay accountable!  This is the toughest one.  I am not looking forward to sharing my ups and downs with you each month, but I will do it because I need to.  It is the only way I will stay on task because I know I will have to share my progress publicly.  There is nothing more motivating than that!
  9. Purge and organize!  There are so many things that we need to get rid of and so many ways I'd like to improve our organization.  I know doing this will help me feel better, too.  No more excuses!  This is the year we work on this!  Wish me luck!
  10. Finish old projects and try something new.  I am horrible about trying new things and finishing up things.  I have some novels/books in the works (have had for years) that I'd like to finish up and try to publish in some form.  I'd also like to branch out in my recipes and try more "around the world" type dishes.  I wouldn't mind getting back into some old crafting things, too.  We shall see where this year leads!
There are some lofty goals listed above, but not too lofty.  They are possible.  With prayer, support, focus and determination, I think I will be able to accomplish them all at least in part. :)
Oh, and one last thing before I close this post.  Each month I will be posting *gulps* pictures of me and my progress in the weight loss/fitness area.  Here is the first one:

This is me at 235 lbs., taken today, January 4, 2014.
I will be wearing the same outfit 
(though I might mix it up with my socks ;)) and be in the same poses each month so that you can see my progress, and hopefully the progress will be that the clothes get looser, not tighter! :)  Wish me luck!
Best of luck to you all with your goals this year!  Please link-up below and know that I'm on your side, cheering you on!  We can do this! :)  Feel free to email me at any time if you need a cheerleader, friend or help in any way.  I will do what I can to help!

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Best Of 2013 {Link-Up}

Happy New Year, all! :)  I wish you all the best in 2014.  May you accomplish all your goals and even exceed them.  May you be granted peace, love and joy in the greatest forms and capacities.  May you make new friends, realize life-long dreams and know that I am praying for you and always will be. :)
Before we plunge head first into 2014, I thought it would be nice to review 2013.  Over the next few days, I would like you to join me in sharing some of the best of your posts from 2013 via the link-up below.  You can link up anything you wish, including link-ups of your own (more details below), as long as they cover 2013.  I will be sharing the link-up here and on Natural and Free.  I hope you will check out all the posts linked up and link up some of yours as well. :)
Here are some of my favorite posts from this year:
First up, the post of mine that was the most popular in 2013, with nearly 235 views:
Next up, the guest post that was most popular in 2013, with 775 views:
(shared by Christy Pooschke of
And, last but not least, my favorite post of 2013 is:

10 Things Guarenteed To Make You Smile

I hope you enjoy the recipes and hop on over to Natural and Free to see what I've shared there.  I also hope you take the time to link up and join in the fun!  Have a great day!


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