Today begins week 3 of the Body for Life challenge for my first time. I knew coming into it that this was something I truly needed and felt as though I was led to this program for a purpose. I am now realizing how true that is.
The workouts have been going well, it took a little planning and experimenting with the weights, but am feeling good about the workout programs. So far so good!
What I am beginning to notice is a true need for support on an emotional level. As I've had time, I've read around some of the other threads and posts and notice there are other people who are facing challenges as well - be it low self esteem, depression, the loss of a loved one, etc.
I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread where we can come and reflect on how we are feeling, what we are doing to cope - to connect and offer each other support. I would love it if we could join together on this journey -
So a little about me....
The past 3 years have been some of the roughest of my life. 17 years ago my dad suffered a massive stroke leaving him paralyzed, unable to speak - unable to write a note. Amazingly, he came home from the hospital after 8 weeks - in a wheelchair but with a sound mind. He could read but not write and communication extremely difficult. His attitude was amazing - he always had a cheerful countenance, we carted him around to various events and vacations. My mom was his primary caregiver. A woman I greatly admire.
About 5 years ago we could tell her memory was not what it used to be - so I began going over more and more to help. 3 years ago it got really bad and we hired in home help - eventually moving them into my home. My dad passed away this past December after being diagnosed "failure to thrive" and a possible heart attack. The high cholesterol that caused the stroke to begin with had also taken it's toll on his cardiovascular system and basically nothing the doctors would be able to do because any type of procedure would be too dangerous with his arteries. I feel he was dying of a broken heart watching my mom's mental health decline. They were very much in love for 63 years. He was bedridden for the last two months of his life, but very upbeat and good natured throughout it all. He as at peace, ready to go and died where he wanted to, with family at home.
The hardest part since then is watching my mom. The dementia causes her to be confused about where he is, there are nights when she lays there and cries. Other times she is calling out for him, wondering where he is. I can tell it's taking a toll on her health. Recently she has been complaining of headaches, sometimes she is unable to get out of bed. There are days where she does not know who I am. We have good days too - days where she knows me, but we can never have meaningful conversations. I can sit by her side - we have little moments of clarity and we can laugh.
It's an emotional roller coaster, never knowing what will happen one day to the next. I question the medication choices, her treatment. Wonder if I am doing the right thing, making the right choices for her health.
As stated above, I do feel God led me to this program as a way to cope. I've always been "an exerciser", but the past 3 years have taken a toll as I procrastinate and never remain consistent with regular workouts. I am determined to do this - I know it will lead to nothing but good. Having a program to follow, the support of good people, and new ways of dealing with stress - how could it not!
I'm looking forward to hearing from you - you who are facing your own challenges. I look forward to hearing your stories-knowing we are not alone and here to encourage one another for the other half of the challenge, the emotional side that I now realize is so key to success.
Hello Macie and welcome! What a nice idea to start this thread and introduce yourself. That's an awful lot you got going on. I saw my grandprents go through some similar circumstances 5 years ago. They lived next door to my parents my whole life, we were very close. But I can't imagine how much harder it would be to go through that with my parents. That is very brave and caring of you to take care of your mother in her state of mental health. I know how hard it is-my heart broke into a million pieces evrey time my grandma asked where my grandpa was while I stayed with her. Her cognitive capacity was compromised as well, and she needed constant care. It is telling of your strength that you look for a positive outlet during this time of your life.
But I have said before, when you do this program to the best of your ability, every day is better because of it. Even in my worst of days, I can feel comforted by the fact that I am doing this. I have talked in length about some of my issues in other posts or when it is relevant. But overall, much of my circumstancial problems have been resolved because they were directly related to my physical health and overall well being. I am lucky in that regard.
I too feel that I was led to this program for a reason. I have found purpose in my life, when before I wandered aimlessly through each day, looking at my future with despairing bewilderment. Good luck to you on your journey, and I hope to see you update your progress on the forum!
Hi LiL Caity!
I'm glad to hear from you and was hoping to see you again......
I truly appreciate the support - let's stay in touch and keep each other updated. I'm working up the nerve to post my before pictures....! Will do that soon.....
Thanks for posting. I sent you a message and friend request. Gotta run for now :)
Coming up on another free day - last week I ate some extra foods I enjoy and was fully satisfied with my meals.....HOWEVER....it was a very stressful day and at the end of it I used having a free day as my excuse to sit on the couch and eat a bunch of ice cream and chocolate covered pretzels...so being mindful of what I am doing this time. Surely the plan did not intend the free day to be used like that.
I think I can honestly say this week has probably been one of the most stressful ever.....my mom has been declining in her ability to walk, but the past few days she can hardly take 2 steps. It's as though her brain is trying to tell her feet to move but they won't. She gets upset very easily and yells - so I've been worrying about her health and getting yelled at a lot. She is very close to becoming bedridden.
This morning I was reflecting on how my cardio days have helped me so much - it clears my mind and helps put things into perspective. Even my weight training days relieve a lot of stress, so very happy I started this program. In the beginning it was all about getting fit and trying to win a contest, and I really do want to be in shape, but winning a contest is about the last thing I care about now. I'm just happy to be feeling more energetic and less stressed - and even feeling fit after only 3 weeks. I may not even enter, although I will get some pictures posted this weekend.
Sooooo.......free day tomorrow! Will keep you posted on how that goes.
Well, my weekend went sideways! Ended up at the hospital with my mom - she completely lost the ability to walk and was complaining of headaches. Thankfully nothing showed up on the tests - no stroke or bleeding or tumors. Unfortunately - this is part of the progression of the Dementia and Parkinsons. Was able to stay on track with meals as I brought along my shaker bottle and myoplex, some packages of tuna and a few apples. Being able to eat more nutritious foods and staying out of the vending machines helped me to feel more energetic and healthy through what turned out to be a very long day. The good news - she is now on Palliative care and I will have many resources to help me care for her through this final phase of her life, regular nursing visits to monitor her health and medications. All is working out and in the meanwhile I'm staying healthy with BFL - my eating and workouts may not have been perfect the past two days, but staying focused on a healthy lifestyle, making good choices and doing the best I can without the need for perfection!
Good Morning Macie. Finally found a bit of time to come and check this out. We just have no idea sometimes what people are going through do we! What a load you have on your shoulders. I will definitely be praying for you and your mom as you make these difficult decisions and go through this process with your mom - especially as you just lost your dad too. I understand what you are saying about BFL and how in the crazy times its so helpful to be eating right and exercising. I don't have time this morning, but will try to get back in here soon and tell you more about the tragedy I was dealing with when this BFL round started. Its so nice of you to start this because I think talking about these things is part of the "weight" we need to lose. Shalom!
Amen to that Sally! I had a horribly stressful 4 days and felt as if my life was caving in and I couldn't run and hide. But I made some very healthy choices regardless of the situation and was so happy about that. Now I did miss my workout yesterday and I have no desire to make it up. Today I am just staying in the bed and trying to let go of all the stress and take care of myself! I will be ok loosing 1 workout. My point being, if we hold this junk inside we can end up binging over it so in my opinion, it is better to vent and let the stress out so we can move forward :)
Thank you so much for the support....it's been a long couple of weeks, no perfection in my workouts and eating plans - but coming along nicely and actually feeling fitter than ever. I've noticed some of the twinges and aches in my joints have left with quite a bit of strength. So, truly, truly a God thing I came into this program at this time of life. Most certainly helping me through.
Sally, I have been wondering about what happened with you - but know that sometimes it takes a little "time distance" before you can be ready to talk about it. I'm so glad you are here, looking forward to hearing your story.
Kim, you are so right. You will be okay missing a workout - staying the course is the main thing. In the past I would let one little failure derail me for weeks because I demanded such perfection from myself, so glad to see you have the right perspective on it.
:) Think I'll just post my stuff on here if and when something arises. You just have to get it out!!! Thank you Martha for starting this thread! Sally, hope to see you on here again.
Have a blessed day everybody!
Hello all, new on here but felt the reflections was one thread to pick. Macie, I am amazed with you diligence and compassion for your parents. We all love our parents and are sometimes limited with what we can provide. And like Sally said, we have no idea what others are going through. The extra support on here, I think can really help us all. Life can be difficult and I find that I have to take it one day at a time esp. With BFL but also know that I need to make changes and that I am worth it! Some days Lately, I feel like my mind goes in a hundred directions as I am busy trying to do multiple thing with my family. Son graduating from high school, prepping for college life, open house celebration- assisting parents put their house on market and move them closer to where I live- Attempting to get my house in order including yard work/ gardening with cold wet weather where I live and trying to work too and have a healthy relationship with my kids and husband. Whew, it's busy.
But with that said, I am determined to challenge myself! I did a trial run last week which helped a lost and officially started on 5/20.
Hi Caity, my names Juanita, just starting challenge this week. You did some great work. I know everyone's exp is different but when did you see change? I know you said you lost 30 lbs, when did that start? Just curious, I don't expect dramatic outward signs in early weeks but look forward to losing inches, transforming Thanks.
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