A new year, a new project

I have to admit that I feel that my body betrayed me.  With MS it just does not behave the way it did and I don’t really like it.  But somewhere along the way I betrayed my body.  I will begin the work of changing that today.

When I was diagnosed and put on such a large dose of steroids my weight went up.  My B12 levels dropped dramatically and my weight went up further.  I am now afraid to work out, so my weight went up more.

I am starting a slow carb diet.  I found it in the Four Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss who was featured on Dr. Oz.  He seems to make sense from everything that I know so here it goes.

Four meals a day, 6 days a week.  Each meal to consist of a protein, a legume, and a vegetable.  No bread, fruit, potatoes (or other white starches).  On day 7, as he puts it, Dieters Gone Wild.

Lets see where this goes!

Where to begin… again… ???

It has been so long since I have been blogging.  Since being hospitalized and then diagnosed with MS my world has been a little different.  My main reason for silence here is that I have not had the mental or physical strength to handle my day-to-day life and to share my thoughts with anyone.

Being diagnosed with something that the doctors and scientists don’t fully understand the cause of and have no cure for is a bit odd.  Not only that but this is a disease that is different for everyone.  How exactly this disease will affect me in the future is not known.  I could live a very long and mostly healthy life.  I could have symptoms from this disease that affect me and the life I lead in a very negative way.  There is just no way to really predict the future.

I have often thought of the song by Tim McGraw “Live like you were dying” over these past many months.  There are places I would love to visit and since I don’t know what my future will look like I visited Chichen Itza in November.  My travels have taken me to Cancun and the surrounding areas several times but I have never visited any of the Mayan ruins.  So I went.  And I was blessed to have my dear friend and her husband join me for the trip.

Before that I went to Breckenridge Colorado in October and was blessed to take my parents with me.  It was pure joy to watch my parents as the amazing views of the Rockies showed themselves to us as we drove along.  It is truly an awe inspiring and jaw dropping place.

I will continue to move on with my life and do what I can while I can not knowing what will come in the future.  In other words I will live for today.

I feel like I have been a horrible friend to my dear friends over the last couple of years, and it only got worse (I think) this past year.  I have been all about me.  It is not that I have not wanted to be there for my friends, or to socialize, or to talk about someone elses life other than my own.  It is that I have not been able to.  All of my energy has gone into holding my own life together.  I deeply apologize to all of my friends and am very thankful for everyone that has been there for me.

Stress

How did I end up with so much stress in my life?  How do I reduce it?  It is affecting my health.  I lost a lot of weight under severe stress when my ex walked out.  I gained back a fair amount of it going into the holidays last year under a bunch of stress.  I now have several lesions in my brain that is affecting my ability to see and think straight.

Over 2 years of dealing with ‘our’ bills all by myself.  I have lost so much and I am only starting to rebuild my life.

I have come to the conclusion that I will move back to the DC area as soon as my house sells, but how long will that take?  It has been on the market since January of last year.  I have 4 written offers and the bank is ‘thinking’ about them.  If they take much longer I am afraid that another contract will fall apart, and then they will go back to thinking about the next best offer… and so on.

I also still have so many bills to pay off.

There is also the issue of my Ex not taking any responsibility and not giving me any money, and I mean none, to help pay off ‘our’ bills.

To stop stressing about all of this would help me.   To le go of the worry would help me.   It is so very hard for me to do that though.  Exercise helps so much, but I am not supposed to ‘overheat’ myself.  I am not even sure yet what all that means for me.

Oh my…

P90X Day 30

Uggghhh My weight is not dropping.  My strength is dramatically improving.  I can do more push-ups or more ab work or simply just more every day, but the weight is not coming off.  I can feel my muscles growing.  I can feel my strength increasing.

My diet is great.  I eat well.  I eat good proportions.

The only thing left to change is my stress level.  That is still too high.  It has been 2 years of paying of my ex’s bills and still the creditors are calling.  I have now sent the lawyer after him.  I still don’t understand how a man walks away from the woman he says he loves and leaves her with all of the bills still baffles me.  So I think that might explain a few things.  A body’s response to stress is my real issue I think.

So I will keep showing up, I will keep pushing play on the DVDs, I will do my best and forget the rest and the weight just simply has to come off at some point.

I think now that I am in phase II I will do doubles.  Bring on the Cardio X!!!

P90X and my road to a healthy body

I have always been very athletic.  I swam competitively from 8-18 years old.  I ran track through Jr. High and High school (long jump, triple jump, shotput, discus, sprints and hurdles).  In college it was my time in uniform and that had its own special demands.  It may not sound too athletic, but I was in the marching band all of high school and 3 years of college as well.  I have ridden my bicycle from Minneapolis to Chicago and then from Fairbanks to Anchorage.  and on and on …

But I have also injured myself pretty badly over the years.  Not broken bones, but injured joints.  I have sporadic pain in my hands (college pranks and years of cutting fish), my right shoulder (shot put), my back (working in the fish market), my right hip (thrown from my thoroughbred), my knees (childhood illness), my shins (running), my heels (bone spurs), my toes (bunions).

The pain in my back over the year of 2006 was finally at the point of unmanageable.  I was sure that I would need surgery but I found out a magical advance that occurred because we send people into space in a weightless environment.  So I was stretched.  I am an inch taller than I ever was before and my back pain is very manageable.

Now to rebuild.  I have been working over the last year to build my core muscles back up and I am starting to really feel a difference.

But the stress in my life has also taken a toll.  I was so stressed in 2007 that I lost A LOT of weight.  And very stressed in 2008 so the weight went back on.  I must admit I never really understood how stress could affect your body, but I am really starting to.

So to get myself really motivated I registered for the Red Ribbon Ride in Minneapolis this summer.  It is shorter than my other two bike rides, but I really want to be in excellent form for this one.

I have finally ramped up my training to P90X.  I tried this about a year ago and it really kicked my butt.  I dont think I even made it through the second day.  So this time I must admit I was very afraid of starting it, but start I have.

So here goes my journey for the next 90 days.  I would love to have you come along with me.

I am on Day 3, but here is what I remember of Day 1 and 2.
Day 1: Absolute fear of starting.  I have decided Sundays are my rest days as I am usually on travel on Sundays, so that means I had to start on a Monday.  I am afraid I won’t finish.  I am afraid of staying in the shape I am in currently.  I am afraid of not loosing this extra weight.  So I put the DVD in my computer and I pushed play.  I finished the work out. YEAH!

Day 2: I woke up sore.  Not too bad, but feeling the affects of Mondays workout.  And more afraid to put in the second DVD since I did not make it through this one before.  so I put the DVD in my computer and I pushed play.  It was tough.  I took a couple of extra little breaks, but I FINISHED the work out.  I even called my sister at 9:30 at night and told her how very tired I was.  Since I normally don’t make it to bed before midnight and most of this year it has been between 3-4 AM I was quite surprised.

Day 3: I woke up even more sore.  More body parts stiff and tight and complaining about my requests to move and get out of bed.  Today it was really my thighs.  Since Day 2 was Plyometrics (jump training) and Tony Horton kept calling it the mother of all workouts I was hopeful that today would be a little easier to get through.  Upper body – shoulders and arms – I like working that.  I have a lot of upper body strength!  So I am going to be sore tomorrow.  It is even a little tough to type right now.  I did good today though, I put the DVD in and pushed play.  One rep at a time and I finished the workout.

I think if I take it one rep at a time, one day at a time, one push play at a time, I will get through.  From what I have seen in 3 days – it will be worth it.

What a strange experience – Renting an apartment

I rented an apartment today.  I have not done that since 1993 or so.  I have been a happy home owner for the last 14 1/2 years and I am essentially starting over on the home front.

I am downsizing from the 3500 square foot home that my ex insisted on having and moving into an apartment with about 700 square feet.  I do believe that my new apartment would fit inside of the garage of the house I am leaving.  It is probably still more room than I really need but I have found that it is difficult to rent an apartment that is much smaller, at least here in Tampa.

I must admit though that I am really quite happy at the idea of calling the rental office when something is broken.  I dont have to fix it myself.  When I did my ‘final walkthrough’ of the apartment today before taking possession of it I discovered that the screens on the windows had little holes in them.  My first thought was that they are not too difficult to replace, and the steps necessary, then I realized…. I don’t have to fix them, they get to fix them.  What a nice change from being responsible for fixing everything.  It is also the first time in almost 15 years that I don’t have to worry about mowing the yard.  I don’t have to worry about taking care of the pool.  I don’t have to worry about the washing machine breaking.

I have so much stress in my life anyways.  It is going to be nice to take a break from worrying about fixing everything around the house.  Perhaps the next man in my life will have some home repair skills of his own.  I have not had any luck with that in the past and as a result I am Ms. Fixit. I have done everything from hanging drywall to replacing the garbage disposal or toilet.  There is a satisfaction in doing your own work and doing it well, but for not I am quite sastisfied in knowing I CAN do it myself.

Perhaps the one thing I will do this weekend is replace the lock with a much better quality.  Teaching security leaves me a bit paranoid.  Knowing it is fairly easy to pick a lock is one thing, but it is so unbelievably easy to bump a lock and even easier to purchase the tools needed to do that leaves me wanting a high end, bump resistant, lock from Schlage or Medeco.

Be Safe

And This Journey Begins

I am officially registered for the Red Ribbon Ride. I am proud of myself for stepping up and riding again. I am scared that I wont adequately train. I am honored that you would take the time to read this. I am thankful for my health when so many are battling HIV and AIDS in the US and around the world.


My last ride like this was in 2000 when I rode to raise money for a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. We chose to go to the ‘ends of the earth’ for that ride. So we rode from Fairbanks to Anchorage across two mountain ranges and 450 miles.
I am happy to know that I dont have any mountain ranges to cross on this ride, but I am also aware that riding 300+ miles is still going to be work.


So why? Why ride? My simplest answer is that I ride because I can. But the truth is that it goes so much deeper. I ride for those who cant. I ride to push myself to and through another limit that I have, for some illogical reason, placed on myself. I ride because I want to help raise money for those living with this disease, but I feel that I should work for your hard earned money that I am asking you for.


I have only been back on my bicycle a few times since I got off of it in Anchorage. I have been riding a recumbent for years since I have two degenerative discs in my lower back. My hope this year is to return to an upright bike. I love riding my ‘bent’ but at the same time I wish to strengthen my muscles to support my back. If I can ride an upright bike then I will have succeeded.


So training for the past few weeks has been intense core muscle strengthening. It is going well and I am happy to say that it looks like I will be able to choose which bike I really want to ride this summer!


So back to training for me 😉
If you wish to make a donation or wish to know more about this ride please go here
, or feel free to ask me for more info!

This ride is called The Red Ribbon Ride.  I have joined team Corn Cob with my dear friend Richard.

25 Random Things about Me

1. I feel a bit like the guy on the show The Pretender (not intelligence level though). I have sold cars, catered Cajun, worked in a fish market, rode my bicycle 1500 miles in 2 years, taught networking/security, worked in a quilt store, owned two fruit stores and yet i still don’t know what i will be when i grow up
2. I am going to ride another bike ride this year, 300 miles this time
3. I once had an airline pilot say to me “I have not seen you in a while”
4. I once had a gate agent ask me where I have been since he had not seen me in a while.
5. I am in a permanent fight against back pain
6. I love Sushi… it is perhaps my favorite food (well after chocolate)
7. I love to cut fish and I miss cutting Salmon the most (although I sure did stink after work when I did)
8. I miss catering, I actually love the long hard days of physical labor. It is a great feeling to work hard, know you worked hard, and be able to see the results of your labor.
9. I still want to fly a jet off and onto a carrier
10. One of the sweetest men I know is dying form ALS ;( (Lou Gehrig Disease)
11. I miss being loved by a good man
12. I am about to be homeless and I am not sure where I will sleep when I am not traveling
13. I have some of the most amazing friends who have helped me through the last 2 years
14. My ex-husband actually abandoned me
15. I quilt a lot, although not at much as i would like to
16. I have sold almost all of my worldly possessions. All that is left fits in a 5×10 storage unit
17. I don’t know where in the world (literally) I will move to next
18. I live a very solitary life and there are times I so miss having friends around me
19. The man who believed in me and helped me start my first business is dying from multiple myeloma ;(
20. I am thankful for my family and the love and support they provide
21. I so miss my dogs and cats (I had to give them up because I will be homeless soon)
22. I want to get back on a normal bike (I ride a recumbent) but I am so afraid of the possible back pain
23. I want to take a vacation to South Africa, Egypt or Australia this year
24. I will get my body into great physical condition this year
25. I often wonder where will my life take me next

Men… I wonder…

I am now 40 years old.  I have been married twice, and twice I have had the man who said that they loved me take so much from me.  I have lost so much in this last divorce.  I have almost nothing left, but what I do have is my health and my ability to work.  I have lost my retirement funds, I have lost my savings, I have lost almost all of my possessions, and yet still I have a pile of bills that are sky high.

I find it hard to explain how a man can walk away from the woman whom he has declared his love.  Yet that is what my husband did.  He left like a thief in the night taking everything I knew with him.  He left me with all of the bills and has yet to give me a dime to help cover them.

I have done so much in my lifetime.  So many wonderful accomplishments and yet I sit here in my very empty home wondering what day it will be that the bank or the courts will throw me out.  I have worked in a fish market, I have catered Cajun and Creole, I have taught networking and security around the world, I have ridden my bicycle from Fairbanks to Anchorage and from Minneapolis to Chicago, and yet I have no idea where I will be even next week.

I have come to the conclusion that marriage is an outdated custom that does not serve women in todays society, with few exceptions.  I will never marry again although that does not mean that I am not interested in a powerful life long commitment to a wonderful and loving partner.  Yet I have no idea where in the world I will find that man.  Is there someone out there for me?

I am strong willed, opinionated and almost never home.  Where do I find a man who can love me?  Over the last year I have found a wonderful man or two, but they are married.  Isn’t there some wonderful quote about all the good ones are taken….

Now What…

I received word from my realtor last week that it appears that the short sale on my house is going to go through.  Now what?  I am going to be homeless.  I have been working my way towards being homeless for some time now.  It sounds so bad in our culture to be ‘homeless’ but due to my lifes circumstances I have been working towards this by choice.  I have sold almost everything I can.  I have condensed my life to a 5×10 storage unit.  I am looking for a room with some friendly person/couple to stay in when I am not on travel (and I think I may have found that room).

But where will life take me next?