ANNIEONLI   47,637
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ANNIEONLI's Recent Blog Entries

Back in the saddle

Monday, December 10, 2012

I will NEVER say that getting back in the saddle is easy.

Never, ever, EVER!

But sometimes are easier than others, depending on how off it's been.

For example: I mentioned that I was going to get derailed this weekend...and you know what? I sure as heck was!!! To the nth degree too!!

There was "visiting eating" - I also call this "polite" eating because you are the guest and it's a special occasion and there is NO WAY you can avoid this specially prepared meal of greasy latkes and brisket. There is NO POSSIBLE way. And the special dessert the hostess made for us because we mentioned we liked it so much! Can't forget that. And of course there is your favorite wine they bought ...Can't not have a glass!

So you see, I had no real choice in the matter. Hey, sometimes you don't! I've been a guest at this meal for 6 years - I know what to expect too!

And then there was the football game yesterday with it's mini-hotdogs and nachos. That meal was a 4 to 1 decision NOT in my favor to have. Ugh. By then, all I wanted was a salad!!!

So here I am today and OH THE BLOAT!! emoticon So bad my wedding band set it tight!

So now it's time to get back to better eating - which means that anything fried, sweet, salty - emoticon Ugh.. just the thought of it is turning my stomach! emoticon emoticon

I'm CRAVING green things. Crispy, green things.

I'm not craving my water just yet, but I'm chugging it nonetheless - and it's helping me feel more normal.

I have a scout den meeting/holiday party tonight - ziti and cheese and crackers... and a NICE BIG SALAD!! emoticon But it's on MY turf and I have control over what I eat, as opposed to the visiting scenario. And that makes me feel emoticon

In the next few days, things will slowly start to feel more and more normal...it takes time, I get it. No worries.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYSACY 12/12/2012 2:07PM

    Ah girl but you've taken control, as usual, and are back on track!



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STODD251 12/10/2012 3:15PM

    I hate days like that... My new strategy is to really just have a little bit because I hate feeling sick afterward. Most people can understand if you say you don't want to leave feeling physically ill...

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Why I don't flip out:

Saturday, December 08, 2012

So today, the scale was up.

Big deal.

So what.

3 pounds.... WhAt!?!?!?! OMG!!!! emoticon

Most of us would be having a sh-t fit, but after a while of learning and relearning, the first thing I do is look back at the last 2 or 3 days and see what was going on...here's the last 2 days:

- Pizza for dinner last night (no big whoop - I ate 2 garlic knots and a slice and a half)
- 2 glasses of white wine (over 2 days - ooooOooo)
- ran 3 miles (Woohoo!)
- water not up to par overall (slacker!!!)
- haven't had a real good, satisfying, colin cleansing, well...you know....in 4 or 5 days (is that T.M.I. ?) LOL

And tonight....well, tonight is our annual Hannukah dinner with our adopted Jewish grandparents...so basically, I've got another meal not in my power to control (and you can't control this one...everything is fried and yummy, and that is AOK, it's a special occassion).

Things I know: wine is NOT good for my body - I blow up like a tick. Haven't had any for over a month and it just sops it up like a sponge!! Yay evil wine! (you delicious evil bugger!)

Things I know: got salt?? I sure have it in my system...you want some? I'll gladly share with you.

Things I know: exercise water retention - after I exercise, my muscles are healing and thus, the water retention. I feel good to, not sore, so let the healing continue!

Things I know: I didn't drink ENOUGH water the 2 days prior to my exercise so now that my body HAS water - it's gonna stay, especially with my salt intake.

Things I know: I need to drink my water today. Like, the whole 8 glasses for sure.

So while others might flip out - I tackle these things logically and calm.

LoL - Oh.. don't get me wrong, there was a day (Ok, many a day) that I WOULD flip out, but time and learning how my body works has changed all that.

Being an observer in your own life is sometimes your greatest ally.

I'll get back to my "normal" in a few days. Between the special occasions during the year, that is what you do - get back on track in between and the up's won't be as difficult to see or bear.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUOVAELLE 12/10/2012 2:05AM

    Thank you for this blog, Annie! I needed your positive and calm attitude and your advice today. I'm sure you're already back on track and feeling better. I had the same problem with salt and water this weekend and today I have to do something about it!
So, cheers!
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-AMANDA79- 12/8/2012 9:23AM

    Great work on staying calm. emoticon

Hope you get rid of that bloat and the scale complies quickly...


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KANOE10 12/8/2012 8:27AM

    That is a great blog. I did not know that exercsie could cause water retention. I think you have a great positive attitude and understand how your body works. Great on staying calm and understanding that yes, you can go up 3 pounds and that it will go down.


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DARIALEIGH 12/8/2012 7:31AM

  Thanks for sharing and being so positive. I find that I do flip out when the scale goes up. But I think I might have to reevaluate that. You seem to have a good idea about what works for your body. I am going to have to listen to mine. lol. Take care! emoticon emoticon

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Fight the demons

Friday, December 07, 2012

I have this tendency to start a blog...and then delete it lately. I'm up to counting 4 in the last 2 weeks. And there are various reasons I do this, but it's mainly because sometimes I get to thinking that since I am steady and stable, no one is going to want to read what I write...and other times I am thinking that maybe I am coming off too harsh in what I'm writing... because after a few years of reading some things, or observing things, I can get a bit pissy and it comes off in what I write.

So instead of being negative, I just hit "delete" and then move on with my life... leaving my Sparkfriends who actually read what I write and who have stood by me over the years wondering "where the heck is Annie?" Sorry about that guys. emoticon

So today, I am putting out an observation that I have had for a long long time. To share it with you and see what you think.

The other night, I watched a 2 hour story about "The 600 Pound Mom". I usually don't watch these kinds of shows but this compelled me because of this doctor helping this woman. The doctor's goal was to get her down to 500 pounds so that she could have bariatric surgery.

The man set her up with a 700 calorie diet - bed scales to monitor her weightloss - constant one on one attention and support.

Did she lose weight? yes she did...but not without difficulty. This difficulty came in the mood swings and diet rage. (something we all can relate too - at least I can, and it compelled me to watch the show more)

Did she follow the doctors order? for a while - heck she lost 100pounds! but with her success also came complacency...and she began cheating the system thinking that just because her "watch-dogs" (ie, her children and the doc was not there 24/7) were not watching her and she was successful, she began to sneak eat. (ahhh....another point I can relate to!! so I keep on watching the show to see how she fares with her weigh-in)...

The bed scales broke eventually.

Weigh-in day at the hospital came.

They got her there and weighed her on a special bed....and to everyone's shock (especially the poor doctor who staked his reputation on his regimine) she gained back over 100 pounds she had lost in the time period of 4 months. She was eating approximately 7000 calories a day.

They thought she was closer to 500 pounds...but she thought she was smarter than the science and used a sprinkle powder on her meals to counter-act the calories. (aahhhh, the quick fix! Been there, done that method too)

To say that the doctor was devastated is an understatement. To say this woman was devastated and shocked is mild. But it was what it was and it was evident that she had a serious serious problem...and eventually, a doctor was found that would do bariatric surgery on her at 689 pounds.

(I'm still watching the program . . and now I'm thinking this: this woman is screwed. I'll get to why later).

So they do the surgery, they get her in rehab....and she leaves it. Flat out discharges herself. Why??? Because they made her work. They made her exercise. They wanted to make her WALK! for Pete's sake! To HELP her. (But evidently, she had her quick fix right?)..and she wanted to go home.

Long story short. She died a month or so later. It was too late for her to be helped.


NOW - here is my take on this whole thing - and it was just touched upon ONCE during the WHOLE ENTIRE PROGRAM by a nutritionist/psychologist lady:

This psychologist came on to say that her issues were too much to handle and if she didn't get help with resolving those long suffering issues, she would never be successful with her weightloss.

GIVE THAT WOMAN A PRIZE!!!!

DING DING DING DING!!!!! emoticon

A 15 second blip on the tv summed up this entire woman's crisis in a nutshell.

And now - all you Biggest Loser Watcher's out there: what's the turning point for most of the contestants on the show???? Anyone? Buehller? Anyone?

It's when Jillian Michaels is yelling in someone's face about something in their past - confronting their demons - coming face to face with the HARD STUFF that happens in life... and instead of bottling it up inside, they HAVE TO confront it and SAY it because Jillian and Bob aren't going to go away until they do.

It's a process.

It is mental.

It is digging in deep and saying out loud that things hurt, that there has been loss and pain... and that you are worth fixing.

No one is going to do that except you.

Not a pill... Not a doctor prescribing a pill... not a trainer making you do squats... Not a package of food that is delivered in the mail is going to fix things.

The work happens in your head and in your heart, and healing and finding that you are worth loving and being loved.... THAT is where things start to change.

Why did I go and give you this 600 pound mom's story? Because maybe, just maybe, if they started talking and counseling while she was eating those 700 calorie meals, MAYBE she could have made it and stayed at 500 pounds and MAYBE she'd be alive today.

Go find it and watch it online. You will see what I mean while you are watching it.

Why and I telling you about inner demons today? Because more than not, you probably have them...and MAYBE that is what is holding you back in being successful in this whole weightloss journey.

I tried to lose weight for 20 years...and then I learned/realized what my demons were when I hit 35 and had 3 beautiful kids to get healthy for. They deserved a healthy mom with less demons...and while those demons still lurk in the darkest corners, my light is stronger than their darkness.

They say that 95% of people who lose weight eventually gain it all back.

That makes only 5% successful at maintaining.

My wish for you this holiday, it to start your journey on the inside, look deep at what's there, and together, let's make that successful maintaining stat grow... and prove that it can... and WILL be done.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUOVAELLE 12/10/2012 2:22AM

    I'm going to ask a favor from you. Please, don't delete any of your blogs again! I always read your blogs, and even if they're harsh sometimes, I don't mind because an ugly truth doesn't need to be sugar-coated!
The 600-pound mom's story made me really sad but your approach on the whole story was a great lesson. Our inner demons never disappear but we have to meet them, face them and make our light strong enough to force them to lurk in their darkness.
The secret lies within.
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KANOE10 12/8/2012 8:33AM

    That was an excellent blog. That woman should have had counseling before the surgery. You are right. No one can do it for you. You have to decide yourself to stay on the road to health. I plan on being in that 5 percent who keep my weight off!

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-AMANDA79- 12/7/2012 6:39PM

    Great blog!

P.S. I get pissy too...

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PHEBESS 12/7/2012 4:54PM

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!! (sound of applause)

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OAKBORN 12/7/2012 3:55PM

    As usual, my friend, you nail it ... to the wall, on the head... the location doesn't so much matter.

I have had a weight up-creep and I think it has to do with being away from home all year and having the blues and kind of feeling "suspended in Gaffa" (on hold) for the that time... I was soothing my boredom & blues with food.

Gotta work on that, and get used to being home again... and having all these crazy people around!

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NUMD97 12/7/2012 2:18PM

    You must have been reading my mind. I just sent these very same thoughts to a Spark newbie today. This whole process is not about weight loss. It's about self-examination and WHY we got to where we are in the first place.

One Sparker, whose name I do not recall (but wish I could), noted a while back, that "with each pound lost, a new drawer needs to be examined." This is so incredibly true. In order for this "venture" to be successful, one must shed light into the deep recesses of one's psyche and explore all those dark corners. Not an easy task. But a most necessary one.

As for your 600 pound woman example, the immediacy of the situation called for drastic measures: She needed to lose enough weight fast enough to get her on an OR table to literally save her life. I totally get what you are saying, but the doctor's intervention in this instant was meant to be life-saving, and immediate. The ancillary stuff to explore her reasons for her excessive weight, could not possibly have been successful in the time frame allotted prior to her surgery. I've made my peace with people who are that morbidly obese who need a crisis intervention. First thing is to keep them alive, and literally save their lives; then afford them the therapy they need to stay at goal weight, even with surgery. It's a crisis intervention in the instance that you describe, and the immediacy of the situation was paramount.

But I wholeheartedly agree with everything that you said. And don't worry about being brutal. Many have posted similarly in the past. That's the beauty of SP. We can blog, with no holds barred, as long as it's within the guidelines of the SP moderators.

Thanks for the post, and best of luck as your journey continues,

Nu

Comment edited on: 12/7/2012 2:20:52 PM

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EFAY32 12/7/2012 2:14PM

    You completed nailed this one on the head. I really enjoyed reading that because it's so completely true. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't agree more. emoticon Oh, and I tend to write and delete posts too. Mostly because I believe they come off way too harsh.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

3 Years on Maintenance... and I forgot!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yup...I completely forgot and here I come on Spark to log-in, get some points, check in... and I have an email and goodie and a few page comments (which I will get to return visits in a wee bit to say thanks to) ... and I see that I was lovingly reminded of the fact that I hit 137 on 11/18/2009....and I am glad to say that I have only seen that number once while on maintenance since I am maintaining in the 130-135 range.

But even so, the 137 was a HUGE thing because that was 50 pounds gone.

50 pounds.

FIVE -- ZERO.

Really??? I did that? and I am keeping it off? Yes, I guess I am...and it's a habit to keep my head in the game now because it HAS been so long...who knew.

People from my past always say that it's nice to see and are somewhat surprised that I have kept it off, and sometimes, I am surprised myself....especially when I am down on myself....and clothes are a little tight and I have had a bad eating & low exercise day/week/month that I am not really 157, 167, 177 or 187 because sometimes, it feels like that. (LoL - yes Virginia, there is such a thing as bad days on maintenance).

Anyway...the big secret of this (get ready to hold on to your hats folks!) well, it is to track my food, drink my water, keep my body moving... and never give up on the bigger picture of things... and when I see that upper number on the range, reign in the bad habits and bump up the good habits... and forgive myself when I slip up.

Are there bad times and slip ups? yup, more emotional than calendar influenced (holidays are manageable now). Exercise helps out with those emotional bad times most of the time and talking helps with the rest...talking/blogging ...same difference. emoticon

Things that also help....my Maintenance Buddy OAKBORN and I are in touch every day either here or on FB (ahem, more on FB really - LOL) and she really is awesome and you should check out her page. I know she is a ready ear to listen to anything at all... and that is a big help. One day, we will meet face to face, but in the meantime...we have the internet and that is cool and good enough for now.

And the other thing that really really helps....is Sparkpeople... the site, the tools, the community, and the articles. If this wasn't here, I don't know if I would have ever achieved any of this. Why do I know that? Because I tried everything out there over the years (i.e. Slim fast, Weight Watchers, eDiets, and yes, even the drug phen-phen for a few months) and nothing seemed to stick. Spark taught me to re-learn how I ate...and that knowledge is my power now.

OK - Didn't mean to go on a side bar there...I think I wrote about it a while back in my journal and it just popped out again now! LoL But it's true.

Thanks, Sparkers, for being there (and also for reminding me that it has actually been 3 years on Maintenance on Spark!)

Love and Sparks,
Annie

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLGIRL1234 1/5/2013 10:26AM

    Congrats on your continued success! That's awesome!

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LOGOULD 1/5/2013 10:16AM

    CONGRATS! on three years of maintenance!!! Thanks so much for the honest and insightful blog and for blazing the trail head for those of us who are newer to the maintenance path.

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SIMPLYDALENA 1/1/2013 7:43PM

    Just joined SP today and this is my 1st blog to read. Congratulations! Thanks for writing and inspirational blog. emoticon

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MANILUS 12/27/2012 7:56PM

    Great job on maintaining the lifestyle, keep it up!!

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FIRECOM 12/27/2012 11:04AM

    I have been in maintenance for only 3 or 4 months now and I agree. It is TOUGH, but worth it. I just with I was able to do rigorous workouts like jogging or even aggressive walks. it would take some of the frustration out of the process.

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SWEDE_SU 12/27/2012 4:40AM

    thanks for your blog - it's maintainers like you who inspire the rest of us to stick to it!

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MAEBEAR26 12/26/2012 5:41PM

    Congrats! Keeping it off is so hard, well done.

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ADRIENALINE 12/25/2012 5:42PM

    I'm only at one year maintenance. Your progress helps me tremendously! Thanks for blogging.

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DESERTFLOWERG 12/25/2012 12:44AM

    Yessss!

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CM_GARDNER78 12/24/2012 10:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 12/24/2012 1:47AM

    Great blog.

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ANITA50 12/23/2012 11:25AM

  congratulations! that is fantastic news!

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-SHOREIDO- 12/23/2012 9:13AM

    Congratulations!!! *50* is a big accomplishment in any way shape or form or POUNDS : )

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GERMANIRISHGIRL 12/23/2012 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUECHRIS50 12/23/2012 12:15AM

    emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 12/22/2012 8:22AM

    great job

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BROWNCOFIDDLER 12/21/2012 9:30PM

    Thanks for writing this great blog and a big emoticon for 3 years in maintenance. I recently entered maintenance and lost the big FIVE OHHHH too - so can really identify with what you're saying. It's great to read the experiences in maintenance that other SP have had. It's awesome you've done so well!!!

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MARCOSMASTER 12/21/2012 7:59PM

    Congrats, It is truly a process and a jouney, thanks for the wit and wisdom. Just getting to the spot where I shall stay long term, its good to know that maintance isn't the bad word that I had previously thought it was!! I am still pondering the value of a checkin buddy or mentor, that may help. Thanks!! emoticon

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PCASEY7 12/21/2012 4:26PM

    Congrats on achieving 3 years of maintenance! I'm getting closer to a full year but not there yet. Like you, I need to maintain my food & exercise tracking, drink my water and get my exercise in. I think it puts me in a good routine and helps me to maintain. I do slip up particularly at this time of year but know that I can refocus as necessary and drop any extra weight gained. Keep up the great work and keep blogging!

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SLENDERELLA61 12/21/2012 10:08AM

    Great blog!! I'm so glad you got a popular blog award for this effort. What you say is 100% in keeping with my experience. So glad to have you and other maintainers here on SparkPeople. No one else in my life understands that there can be bad days on maintenance and that it take effort -- everyday commitment and effort -- to maintain!!

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ANNIEONLI 12/21/2012 8:22AM

    Hey everyone!!!

Thanks so much for visiting and reading and the continued support!!

I'm hoping to visit everyone too, once things calm down a bit here..but in the meantime: Happy Holidays!!!!! Be well! and Spark on!!!!

Big Smiles emoticon and tons of emoticon
Annie

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ROXYZMOM 12/21/2012 7:28AM

    Congratulations! You are a great inspiration!

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NELLJONES 12/21/2012 7:20AM

    Great job and it IS easy to forget as time goes by. It means that what used to be your obsession has left you. Congrats!!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 12/20/2012 11:29PM

    Great job! Your success is inspiring!

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WOLFKITTY 12/20/2012 10:57PM

    Congrats! I especially love to see success stories from people that I remember starting on spark. You are one of the memorable ones, for sure!!

Take care,
Jocelyn

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SCOUTMOM715 12/20/2012 10:32PM

    emoticon on 3 yrs of maintaining!! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/20/2012 5:53PM

    Way to go! Thank you for sharing about the realities of maintenance. I know I used to have the idea that if I could ever reach my goal weight, I'd be able to keep it off no problem. The reality is most people don't, however, because they fail to make the permanent changes needed to keep it off. Truth is, we have to continue to pay attention to things like getting enough water, watching what we eat, and moving enough to keep weight off for the long haul.

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KARRENLYNN 12/20/2012 5:37PM

    Congratulations on your success! I'm still working on getting there but as long as I see this as a lifestyle choice and not a temp project, I'll see the speedbumps as temporary and stay on track.

Have a great holiday,

Karen emoticon

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OOLALA53 12/20/2012 5:00PM

    The gold standard on maintenance is five years, but you have definitely made it into the big leagues with three. I haven't been at goal for three but I am coming up on three years of using the guidelines that have made me feel more sane. I find it is getting easier as time goes on. May sanity reign!

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THOMS1 12/20/2012 3:44PM

    emoticon on your maintenance. You are doing a great job. emoticon

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DOUBLEMME 12/20/2012 2:58PM

    Excellent!
My spark congratulations.

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SUSIEMT 12/20/2012 2:45PM

    Well said! Keep up the good maintenance!

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ROMEOSMOM27 12/20/2012 2:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JSTETSER 12/20/2012 1:57PM

    Beautiful!
Congratulations

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XENATHOMAS 12/20/2012 1:06PM

    emoticon

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PRESBESS 12/20/2012 12:38PM

    You are proof that it can be done, through the ups and downs, maintaining for years is very achievable. Thanks for sharing!

You Rock!
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LOISDESK 12/20/2012 12:26PM

    Congrats big time on your 3 years of maintenance!!! You are an inspiration to all of us still on the journey! Happy Holidays!!

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HANSBRINK 12/20/2012 12:05PM

  Thank you! Glad to hear a very down to earth comment:
"Are there bad times and slip ups? yup," Along with the idea of getting back into the groove of things and do what's necessary (track, eat right, exercise).

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MIDROAD 12/20/2012 8:57AM

    I still have 30 pounds to go, but I joined this team to be ready for the time I transition to maintenance. Blogs like your and others here give me hope that I too could be a successful maintainer. Thank you so much for sharing!

Happy Holidays
Jeannie

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SANDICANE 12/20/2012 7:10AM

    You are a wonderful inspiration!@ 3 years at maintenance!!! Fabulous! I've been 3 weeks at maintenance and am looking forward to walking right behind you!

Cheers to you!

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WATERMELLEN 12/20/2012 6:46AM

    Fantastic accomplishment -- and fantastic maintenance!!

You're so right about the effort it takes to keep on maintaining!!

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KELLIEBEAN 12/20/2012 6:28AM

    That is a huge accomplishment! Congratulations!

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WILLOWBROOK5 12/20/2012 6:19AM

    Congratulations on 3 years of maintenance! emoticon

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MAREE1953 12/20/2012 4:16AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing your inspiring thoughts!

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MOBYCARP 12/20/2012 3:49AM

    Now that's something to aspire to . . . maintenance becoming so routine that I forget the anniversary! I'm not there yet, but I've only been in maintenance a little over a year now.

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TRYINGHARD1948 12/20/2012 3:29AM

    Fantastic achievement. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 12/20/2012 2:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 12/19/2012 9:23AM

    Thanks for sharing your maintenance experience! Inspiration like yours is always welcome! Today is my 7-month maintenance anniversary, and I look forward to making it to the 1-year point.


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DIANNEMT 12/19/2012 7:26AM

    I am just starting maintenance (although I had a 8 month plateau which was almost maintenance) and I am scared/worried/what do I do. Saw this post and yeah--I keep doing what I am doing! I guess I just focus on holding where I am--not trying to lose anymore (people say I will look gaunt if I lose more....)

So--thank you. This was the right thing to see this morning!! I hope I can do it--if others can--like you--then there is hope for me, too!!

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KANOE10 12/8/2012 8:39AM

    Great job on 3 years of maintenance! I like your comment..when you are in the upper range, reign in the bad habits and focus on the positive ones. I agree that support and Spark People have made me accountable and positive about maintenance for the first time in my life.


Thanks for sharing a wonderful blog. I joined NWCR also..interesting questions.

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Post Hurricane Sandy update

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hey everyone!

If you didn't already know it from my Sparkname...I am from LI , a.k.a. Long Island. (That's the fish shaped island sticking out into the ocean that's part of New York State).

2 weeks later, I am finally finding the time to write a blog and give everyone an update on the whole thing. What the media has been showing about Long Beach and the Rockaways is all true...I can only imagine how NJ is faring.

There are other parts of LI that are pretty bad too and some are just getting power back now...12 or so days later....and some still might not get power until Thanksgiving. The other side of the devastation is on a bell curve...all resulting mental anguish: some have to rebuild their entire homes and on the flip side, anyone with even an inch of water is battling mold and replacing sheetrock and bleaching wood, and needing to replace boilers and hot water heaters because they were ruined by salt water...and then there are the people who not only have their homes flooded but have boats floating in their front yards from 2 towns over ! No joke. ALL are trying to right themselves.

I can't even write about it in detail because it would become a book instead of a blog.

My house and family, and extended family too, fared very well with only power outages that extended about 6 to 7 full days. We all helped each other out: eating chili together, sharing freezer space, keeping the elders warm by the fireplace. Ahh, family togetherness at it's best, that does start getting old after about the 4th day....mainly for the people "without", but also for the people "with" because all we want for them is for things to get back to normal and for them to not hurt. But the people "with" totally understand the predicament and let's face it, it could have been a whole lot worse for everyone, including us...and we count our blessings time and time again...and then we help out some more.

Is there "survivor's guilt" going on all over Long Island? ....you bet.

There is this fog that everyone is in here. It's like we lost a week of our lives. Halloween? yeah, we did it - for the kids. Others postponed it and did it as a trunk and treat at the school parking lot...those who had enough gas to get there.

Did I even mention the gas shortage here? It was very "Mad Max" for a while. Desperate people trying to fill cans to fill generators. Cars needing to be pushed into the gas station after the car ran out of gas while waiting on a 3 hours line. Fist fights. Good times..good times.

Thank god things like this are getting better with even and odd gas days (i.e.. you go get gas on the even day of the month if your car license plate ends in an even number) and now that power is being restored more rapidly and that the gas is actually getting delivered to stations.

Back to the mental fog I mentioned before.

I am in the grocery store today and I see a few elderly people from the neighborhood. So I asked how they fared - the usual answer is power lost and fridges and freezer contents thrown out. But the answers today were followed by that they got very depressed about everything....from the lights going out, to depending on others, to seeing the aftermath, etc. etc.

It was something I wasn't expecting to hear from these people.

So I can only IMAGINE how the people without homes, electricity, etc. in the most devastated areas are feeling.

These thoughts have been mulling around in my head the last few days and then I happened to read in the local paper that post-traumatic stress was going to be very high in the next few months here...and in varying degrees.

No kidding. I see it and hear it when talking to the most upbeat of people. Heck, I feel it in myself!

I helped a newer friend of mine clean out her lower house level yesterday...and brought my radio, some hot chocolate and a smile. She thanked me just for being there to distract and listen and for my hugs and support. Sometimes just doing a little can mean the most to someone who is hurting.

So Sparkfriends...that is my quick update from Long Island. Help out any way you can....the entire NY, NJ, CT, PA and WV region was hit pretty bad and if you can reach out and donate anything to an organization to help...please do it.

In the meantime....keep on Sparking.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMLION 11/19/2012 8:38PM

    Keeping y'all in my thoughts and prayers! I'm in SC and we get hurricanes (we've been lucky these last few years and haven't had a really bad one, thank goodness) I can't imagine having one and then having to deal with the cold weather on top of that! Our weather is a lot warmer here. I hope things are getting better for y'all. Take care!
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OAKBORN 11/19/2012 7:47AM

    Thanks for the update! I have been wondering how you have been and totally understanding why you haven't been posting every minute of every day!

Hugs, Friend!!

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JENSHAWN 11/13/2012 9:41PM

    Thank you for sharing. My prayers to all of you.

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SUZYWM 11/11/2012 10:32PM

    So glad to hear your family is OK post-Sandy. I am so sorry about what everyone has gone through. As usual, I admire your upbeat and practical nature! Lots of hugs being sent your way!

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HEALTH4LYFE 11/10/2012 8:31PM

    Annie~ thanks for letting us know how you made out. I have been thinking about you and wondering if you were okay. We are originally from SI, so we have some friends who have not fared so well, but many others who primarily lost power. Take care. You are such a breath of sunshine that I know you will get through this. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDYCRANE 11/10/2012 7:59PM

    I hope things get better soon for everyone. All I know is what I see on TV and my prayers are out to all who lost so much from Sandy. Every time I want to complain about the weather I remember the people on the East coast and how fortunate we are. Keep the Spark family updated.

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SUSANS706 11/10/2012 7:00PM

    We have family members in Broad Channel, who have lost everything. We were supposed to be coming up this week for a surprise party for my husbands cousin. We are devastated for them and everyone up there. We also have members out on LI too, who hopefully have power by now. My heart breaks for everyone, but New Yorkers are resilient, and will rebuild and be even better!! Prayers to everyone!

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PHEBESS 11/10/2012 6:59PM

    Just sending you hugs - the aftermath of storms lingers, people are shell-shocked for a while, it eventually goes back to almost normal. So hang in there, and the fog will lift.

(Been through major hurricanes in the Caribbean, so I know how you feel.)

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BEATLETOT 11/10/2012 6:52PM

    Thanks for the update...my sister is in Queens and didn't even lose power, but she has many stories about her coworkers who are really struggling. Thank goodness you have your family close...be blessed.

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JUDYAMK 11/10/2012 6:46PM

    we have been praying & giving. it is hard to seem happy when you know others are having it so bad. I cannot imagine in the cold & with out proper food . Our tenants in last years storm Lee had water past there windows, everything had to be ripped out the only thing left inside that home was the beams holding it up all walls had to be torn out.,we saw homes just float away.take care my heart aches for all of you.
Judy

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BLUENOSE63 11/10/2012 6:40PM

  Thanks for the update! Glad to know you are healthy and alive !

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LYNNA1968 11/10/2012 6:14PM

    Annie pure craziness! I don't know how some are doing it other than auto pilot. My daughter is still out! Everyone is trying to be understanding but frustration is growing, I think part of that is continuously being told about "planning ahead" lol what could we have done to "prepare" emoticon emoticon . Glad your able to blog & I'll be thinking of your friends

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KATRINAKAT23 11/10/2012 6:12PM

  I am glad you are doing ok. It must of been very scary for
people.

I am hoping everything gets back to normal as soon
as possible for people, though I realize that for some
it will be a long and hard road.

Take care and know that people are thinking of you guys
and that we care.

Kat from Canada

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MYBELLA50 11/10/2012 6:10PM

    So sorry to hear of all the destruction from Sandy. We live in Florida and always dread the Hurricane season. I can't imagine adding cold weather to everything else. Hang in there! Thoughts and prayers coming your way

Mary

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