Week in Review: Week 59

It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.

I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.

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While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes

Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes

Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes

You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.

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A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.

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Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.

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And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.

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My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

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This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.

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So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!

And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.

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A Defining Moment

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I have been procrastinating for two weeks about writing this blog post…because I am so uncomfortable with the way I look in these pictures. I am *not* saying that to get a bunch of people saying, “no, you look great, blah blah blah,” in fact, I’d appreciate if you’d refrain from saying anything like that. It’s not about how *others* feel about how I look…it’s about how *I* feel about how I look!

I’d looked so forward to this dress from Gwynnie Bee – I’d had the same style in a different print a few months back (here) and I felt very comfortable in it. It was not so tight. But when I put this on, UGH. I don’t like the way I look in it At All.

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I’ve been wanting to talk about body positivity for awhile now. There’s so much buzz about it these days, and more recently some articles about DIETING and body positivity and how the two are mutually exclusive. I disagree. I think being body positive is a matter of feeling that your body – weight, color, size, shape, height – does not define YOU. It doesn’t define ANYONE.It doesn’t…QUANTIFY them as “good, bad, healthy, unhealthy,” whatever. I can accept that I’m fat and *also* accept that I am a good, valuable, (insert other positive terms here) person. Being fat doesn’t make me LESS or WORSE than someone who is not.

I do NOT feel that it means I can not try to change. I *can* diet and exercise WHILE being body positive (I CAN!!!).

Between seeing these pictures of me in this dress…and then standing on a friend’s scale a few weeks ago (mine broke LAST summer so I’ve been clueless about any weight fluctuation, and since I lean towards looser fitting items anyway, I wasn’t aware of any “ooh, this is getting a big tight” issues), I realize I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since last (2015) summer…and it’s not about the numbers on the scale, it’s about how I FEEL. And I am feeling UNCOMFORTABLE. Physically uncomfortable. Out of breath with the slightest exertion. Challenged to walk up a flight of stairs or even stand up from a sitting position. My hips hurt immediately when I start walking…and there’s a history of bad hips in my family, I feel I’ve been lucky in not having any trouble before now. I have a painful heel issue. Also, I’m pretty much sized up out of my long-standing size and am looking for clothing now in a 4x, and that is SO much harder. Most plus-size brands go up to a 3x. Few go beyond.

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These are all things that are making me want to Lose Some Weight. Not because of the way I LOOK. But because of the way I FEEL. Because of they way it’s hindering my comfort and my life. I am basing decisions on how uncomfortable I am at this weight. There are things I am Not Doing. Activities I’m avoiding. Invitations I’m declining. Jobs I’m declining. Because it’s Too Hard to Go Out, Walk Around, Sit for Long Periods Away from Home, etc.

I am still Body Positive. But I am going to do what I need to do to make my body work better for me and my life.

I’m easing into eating better, ha. Less fast food, more home-prepared food. And I’ve started walking 3-4 times a week. I’m not in a rush…but I want to change the upward trend and I think I’m doing that. I’m not even talking about losing half my body weight (which I easily could and STILL be “plump”). This first stage is just getting me back to where I was last summer, when I was a solid 3x. Then I’ll re-assess.

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And the number? On the scale? The highest it’s EVER been. Just a few pounds away from the big three-oh. oh. OH!

So, while I didn’t LIKE myself in the dress…I can still say, “Thanks a lot, dress!” for creating a defining moment.

What I’m Wearing:

 

I’m Not Just Fat

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This was taken in 2007. I have No Idea what was going on here.

Although just recently I’ve started feeling a little differently, for most of my life, I’ve felt like People…people who don’t know me and are just seeing or being introduced to me for the first time…see Fat. Fat is the first basis they have by which to judge me. Depending on the circumstances it may be the *only* basis they ever have by which to judge me.

And “fat” brings with it a whoooole lot of other stuff. She’s Fat? Then she’s lazy, unhealthy, ignorant, and she has no self-respect. She eats too much, doesn’t exercise and doesn’t care about her appearance.

That’s a lot of judgment on My Way of Being in the World…without knowing me At. All.

But I’m NOT Just Fat. I’m a mom who managed to produce an amazing human being. I’m a vegan and a photographer and a reader, adventurer, blogger and social media maven. I’ve been a dog trainer and a riding instructor…I create newsletters and graphics, I make jewelry, beautiful bows, decorate a mean Christmas tree and am a good cook. I’m kind to people whether they deserve it or not. I love with all my heart. I can be funny…as well as stubborn, inappropriate, generous, and bossy.

I’m a lot of things. EVERYBODY is. No one is Just One Thing. So don’t label me as FAT and just dismiss me on that basis.

I’m not just fat. Take the time to find out what *else* I am.