Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time To Turn A New Leaf

I'm starting to face up to some realizations. I've been fighting them ... hoping I wouldn't have to deal with them. But it doesn't look like these things will just take care of themselves.

I'm going to have to really do some hard work. Hard, physical, slow-going, time-consuming, work. I'm not happy about it. I've been having a lot of inner-tantrums lately ... the inner me has been kicking and screaming and crying and raging and I've been a little bit gloomy and depressed. Having a cold doesn't help and taking drugs that are possibly contributing to weight gain and depression certainly doesn't help either. Nonetheless, something has got to give. After all this body has been through, it isn't going to just snap back to form, which (as stupid as that might sound) is kind of what I expected to happen ... at least kind of ... eventually. The fact is I won't likely ever get back to the body that was mine before breast cancer. It's not an easy fact to face. It will take time to learn to love myself again. To love this new, changed body I have. I'm not there yet. And I don't want to yet accept that this is the body and condition I'm stuck with. I want to get at least closer to normal and that will take a lot of work. A lot of work that nobody can do for me. I'm going to have to buck up and do all that work all by myself.

I've never had to really work at maintaining a normal weight. I was always active enough without working at it. I ate reasonably to maintain a normal weight. My body worked with me that way ... functioning like a pretty good machine. But my machine is kind of broken now ... rusty, falling apart, the spark plugs are kaput. Imagine all those broken down, has-been car analogies and apply them to me. That's my situation and I'm not at all okay with that. I don't want to a "kicked to the curb" kind of car. And while I don't expect to be a racing model, I would like to at least be an average older-model sedan.

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around how I'm going to make the necessary changes in my life to help me get to a "happy place" in terms of myself. The energy I have is pretty much taken up already just fitting in full time work, the usual daily and weekly routines that one must undertake for both self and home. I have trouble enough fitting all that in. I feel like I've already had to give up a lot of my social life just because I'm still too tired a lot of the time. How can I commit to a gym routine? Especially going into winter. By the time I make the walk from the office to the parking lot at work and then get myself home, I do NOT want to leave the house to struggle with a parking challenge outside the PAC Centre on campus just so I can get in there and walk the track ... or use the machines with all those healthy, fit university students. I'm so far at the back of the pack right now that working out with "normal people" is like a kick in the stomach. I don't need that. Getting out to any kind of gym environment is just not likely in the cards for me. Not at this point.

I remember there being a class offered last year at the field house called "Bosom Buddies" and it was designed specifically for people who have been through breast cancer and are trying to get themselves back in shape. At the time I thought, "I won't need that". I was thinking my body and my life would magically return to it's former self soon after the end of treatment! HA! AS IF!! I didn't see that class listed in this year's leisure guide but I saw posters up about at the Cancer Centre last month so I called about it only to learn it's not being offered this year. Rats. That would have been perfect for me. You see? I'm trying! At this point, if I'm going to do an exercise class, I would just as soon be in one with people who truly understand what I've been through and the challenges I'm facing. I was even prepared to talk to the powers that be at work to see about making arrangement to fit such a class into my work day because mornings and evening just will not work. But since the class is no longer offered, I'm back to square one.

I'm not so good at exercising at home but I think that's my best option. I can't do it in the morning because I need as much sleep as I can get just to make it through the day. I still have trouble staying awake in the afternoon as it is and it takes me longer than it used to to even get up and get myself ready for work. There's all that extra sweatiness to deal with ... I move slower and with less ease ... with my joint issues and frozen shoulders, I have myriad little difficulties getting myself dressed. I sometimes need to sit for a while just after the struggle of getting into my bra and panties! It takes time and effort and it's kind of exhausting. By the time I get ready and then get myself in and out of the car and then walk the 3 or 4 blocks from my parking spot to my office, I'm often all sweaty again and I'm definitely a bit frazzled. I actually dread leaving the office at the end of the day because it means I have to go through it all again but in reverse.

I do need to get more than exercise, though, and I need to lose weight. What I think I need is a trainer who comes into my house one evening each week and guides me, keeps me on track, encourages me and offers hope, measures improvements, and pushes me a little. If you know anyone who offers that kind of individualized service, please let me know. I'm going to start looking for someone like that asap.

So, yes, I have to turn a new leaf. Not an easy thing to do, especially in the fall when new leaves aren't so easy to come by.
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