IGIRL66   11,568
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I Got Knocked Down...Trying to Get Back Up Again

Blah blah blah

I'm back. Well, I never fully left. I've been lurking, using the trackers and trying not to let my Spark extinguish entirely.

I just had a birthday, not a big deal, but, this means I have one year until a really big birthday, which is a big deal. I do not want to look and feel the way I do a year from now. So, the calendars and clocks are now ticking and I have to do whatever I can to get my body into better shape.

Things are still rough ...
Blah blah blah

I'm back. Well, I never fully left. I've been lurking, using the trackers and trying not to let my Spark extinguish entirely.

I just had a birthday, not a big deal, but, this means I have one year until a really big birthday, which is a big deal. I do not want to look and feel the way I do a year from now. So, the calendars and clocks are now ticking and I have to do whatever I can to get my body into better shape.

Things are still rough for me, still no full time job but I am doing a lot more freelance projects. Money is really, really, really tight, after crucial bills (shelter and utilities) I usually have about $20 - $50 per month left to live on, which means I have $20 - $50 for food. Yep. Shelter, food and utilities takes every penny I can manage to earn, and some months I don't have the money for those. So. My biggest hurdle is eating nutritious and healthy on an extremely limited budget. Unfortunately carbs are cheap - potatoes, rice and beans and pasta are an economical diet, but not nutritious and they really, really, really pack on the fat.

But, it's farmers' market season and I volunteer at a local one so sometimes I get fresh produce as "payment" for helping. This is a huge treat for me and a huge boost to my nutritional intake. So for now I'm focusing on that positive and looking forward to fresh veggies for a few months.

And because I work from home, and work unpredictable hours (thanks to clients who have last minute projects that crop up at all hours of the day and night), a regular fitness plan is difficult for me to maintain. I've always found that keeping to a rigid workout schedule works best for me, but that's not a possibility for me right now. So I'm forcing myself to grab 30 - 45 minutes of fitness time whenever I can, even if it's 11:00 at night. Not ideal, but some days it's that or nothing. The next 365 days is all about not choosing "nothing."

So, life happened.

I found out I needed another foot surgery (or two). I was gearing up to go to the Mayo Clinic (yep, the foot is THAT bad, we were calling in the big guns) and...

I was laid off.

And lost my health insurance (can't afford COBRA).

So. No foot surgery.

And no acupuncture.

And since my gym was at work I lost that, too. (Not that I was able to knock myself out there, but, I was trying to do what I could.)

And my mother was suddenly very ill.

And my sister was laid off and came close to losing her home. And my sister-in-law was laid off putting my brother and niece in jeopardy of foreclosure.

So I was the only one able to help my mother.

And if I don't find a full time job soon I'll have to begin foreclosure.

And my hard drive crashed.

And I found about 18 of the 40 pounds I worked so hard to lose. (Even though I'm eating a lot less. Reduced exercise and apparently stress took a fast and vicious toll.)

Yeah. I've been on a rough road lately.


My mother's health is improving.

My sister just landed a low paying but decent job with good benefits.

My brother's family is still struggling, but, they sold a car and a boat, cut back on everything else and discovered how much money they were wasting when they had two incomes.

My brother asked one of his tech support friends if he had a "spare" hard drive, yep, so, I've got a second-hand basic hard drive, enough to get me back online for job hunting and...

I'm doing some freelance work. It's not a lot of money or consistent, I can't live on it, it won't save me from foreclosure, but, it's something to do, keeps me professionally active and I have a few clients with projects I really enjoy.

Those books I've been writing for the past 10 years? Yeah, well, one is nearly complete and the other has taken on some interesting twists and ideas. One positive aspect about being away from my former stressful and soul-sapping work environment is that my inner voice is talking louder and more succinctly with fully formulated creative ideas. I'm not sure if I'll try to get my books published - finding an agent/editor/publisher is a very daunting task. The rejection I'm sure to receive is a given, and I can handle that...my concern is that if I look at writing as an income it will become a job. And I'm not sure I like that mindset in terms of writing. Still working out my feelings about that. Right now I'm just riding high on the fact that I wrote a book and have another one taking huge form. I did it. I wanted to write books, and I did. I am. Getting them published? Yeah. That was never really the goal so now that I've gone and done it I have to decide if I even want to attempt the publishing process.

Before I lost my health insurance my doctor stocked me up with pain meds, pain patches, sleep meds, anti-anxiety meds, antibiotics, flu shots...you name it, I've got something for it in my medicine cabinet. I don't like taking any of it, and use it sparingly and as a last resort.

And my friends pitched in and gave me a gym membership to a pool in my neighborhood. (Yeah. My friends rock.)

So, things have been and are bleak...but...I'm determined to take it one day at a time and focus on the positive.

Now that I'm back online and swimming and determined be as healthy as I can (considering my foot situation) I'm creeping (literally) back into Sparkland. I've been lurking when I could, but I was using public computers at libraries, with a time limit, so I had to focus on my job hunt. So, I haven't been able to keep up as much as I'd like.

I want to to lose at least those 18 pounds I found (hopefully more). Now more than ever, without health insurance, I absolutely have to be as healthy as I can be. There is no money for doctor visits. So the focus is health.

Proper nutrition is very difficult when you have very little money to spend on food. Fresh produce is expensive. As a vegetarian this is particularly difficult - I haven't been getting enough protein because my normal sources of protein are expensive. So a big goal for me now is meeting my protein requirements.

Unfortunately another difficult goal is eating three meals a day. Healthy food is expensive. Unhealthy food is cheap. So I was forgoing meals, opting to only eat one or two healthy meals instead of two or three unhealthy meals. I knew it was a bad strategy but without a paycheck I thought it was the best solution. NOT! So. I'm trying to come up with a meal plan strategy that is healthy, balanced and inexpensive.

The new mantra: We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction.

(The back story starts here...)
Even though I eat quite healthy I've spent the last 18 months pretty much immobile due to severe foot and ankle injuries and surgeries. I cannot believe how much weight I've gained and how out of shape I got during this ordeal.

What's really frustrating is that I can't participate in the activities I love like ice skating and hiking at the level I used to regularly maintain.

Thanks to pain management via acupuncture I can finally increase (moderately) my activity level. I'm learning new ways to gain strength, balance and cardio care.

The added weight isn't doing my foot and ankle any favors, either, so even though I have pretty good eating habits, "pretty good" is no longer good enough!

I'm breaking up my total weight and fitness goals into small increments because the total amount is too overwhelming.

The first Benchmark Date was March 13, 2009.
1/23/09 - 3/13/09: Goals: Eat healthier; get active with cardio focusing on treadmill interval routine; lose 21 pounds.
Goals MET! Lost 21 pounds, gained healthier eating habits and increased cardio sessions.
Read More About IGIRL66 (Updated May 29)



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 Pounds lost: 15.0 

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Member Since: 1/23/2009

SparkPoints: 11,568

Fitness Minutes: 18,038

My Goals:

I'm breaking up my long term (total) weight loss goal into smaller segments with benchmark dates. The total weight loss amount is overwhelming. The smaller increments aren't as intimidating.

So regardless of what my tracker says, I've got a LOT more to lose than that.

My Program:
Vegetarian diet - "nearly" vegan. Reducing carbs, limiting sugar, adding healthy fats (small servings of almonds, olives), weaning myself off diet pop, adhering to a regular, routine eating schedule.

As for fitness...anything I can do with an injured foot and ankle - mainly swimming.

Personal Information:
Vegetarian, (have been full vegan a few times but find it too difficult to monitor and maintain 100%), Chicago (city) resident.

Other Information:
Music lover, book reader, professional designer.

Exercising my writing muscles, too. I try to blog every day. It forces me to spend some much needed "me time" doing something I enjoy. Someday I want those writing muscles to be agile and have enough stamina to face the challenge of writing a book and strong enough to handle the publishing submission process.


Candy Cane


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Member Comments:
5/21/2009 2:15:53 PM

Hi IGIRL! Hope you are doing well! Have a great (long) weekend!

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5/15/2009 4:04:06 PM

Hellooooo (hellooooo), anybody theeerrrre (anybody theeerrrre)?

Just letting you know you're missed. I hope you're well, sweetie. Come back and visit us soon.

Charlie x

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5/2/2009 4:32:57 PM

Got to say hi!!!!!!! All my best to you from Maine! emoticon emoticon

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4/30/2009 6:48:23 PM

Hey Laurie,

I hope you're OK and things aren't getting on top of you. Check in soon, we miss you.

Charlie x

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4/29/2009 10:59:57 AM

Just thinking of you and wondering how you're doing.
Take care.

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