Saturday, March 12, 2011

Losing and gaining

After seeing all of the medical issues that both my mom and my dad have gone through during my life, I made a decision about a year ago to take better care of myself. I weened myself off of my pop habit, now I enjoy the ocassional glass but no longer use it as my only beverage of the day. I slowly began to swith out all of my white carb loves for whole versions of them, whole wheat pasta is delicious. I made an effort to try a new fruit of vegetable each month and give ones I previously did not like a try. By doing this I learned that I love asparagus and was right all along in my hate of peas.

I then began to exercise more. I began walking in the warmer months with some neighbors and volunteering to take dogs for walks during the day. I got some fun "Dancing with the Stars" exercise dvds and began to dance again, something I had done all the way through childhood and throughly missed.

In the span between February 2010 and this month I have lost a grand total of 35lbs. It might not seem like a large number but the biggest accomplishment is that I have been able to keep it off. Something that has never happened before. I did not believe how much weight I had lost until a good friend came over one night this week to borrow a purse from me and commented at all the great clothes I had in my closet that she had never seen on me before. I sadly told her I had bought most of them a few years ago when I had lost some weight and had gaine it all back. She convinced me to try them on again and I was surprised to learn that most of them either fit perfectly again or were even a little to big.

This made me come to a realization that I am changing and for the better. Yesterday morning for the first time in a long time I did not dread getting dressed because I knew that things fit better. My mind finally let me start believing what I had been seeing for the past few months. While out yesterday I did not feel the need to constantly readjust my clothing and feel like people were staring at me because my clothing looked horrible.

I know I still have a long road ahead of me to get my self confidence completely back but this is encouraing to me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friends are the family that you choose

Friends are a very important to me, and mine are the greatest in the world. Most of them I have known for years, while others are more recent. I even have a great community of online friends who encourage me, whether it be losing weight or saving money. Each friend is unique in their own way and even if we do not see each other for awhile we pick right off where we were the last time.

First off there is Julie. I have known Julie since I was four years old. Her family had just moved onto our street and she was five. She was riding her bike around one summer afternoon and noticed that we had a swingset in our backyard. My mom and dad happened to be out doing yardwork and she asked if she could play on it. My mom then took her into our backyard and introduced us before we went down to Julie's house to make sure it was alright. Her mom was so happy she found someone her age to play with sent us on our merry way and we played for hours. We became fast friends. We were there for each other throughout our childhoods. She was the first person I called when something good happened, and the first when something bad happened. We got each other through the loss of grandparents and getting into college. She went away to a school three hours away but we never lost touch. E-mail and phone calls became our communication of choice and when she came home we always got together a few times.

She now lives and works in Indiana full time. We talk on the phone a ton and get together whenever possible. She could not come home, due to work obligations when my dad passed, but she was the first one to call and we talked for hours, laughing and crying. It was exactly what I needed from her.

Then there is Rachel. Rachel and I met in fourth grade after her family moved to town. Rachel is deaf and learning sign language was a challange but well worth it. She and I played softball on our church league together and when she got her cochlear implant we enjoyed the sounds of the Backstreet Boys together. We lost touch for a bit after high school.

This past summer we reconnected through facebook and now meet every month for coffee to catch up and just have fun.

Finally there is Tiffany. She and I met while working at a grocery store six years ago. Her best friend Lauren also worked with us and the two of them worked it out so we could go to lunch together one day and we became instant friends. We hung out after work, going to dinner or hitting the beach in the summer and even after we both left the store kept in touch. We have celebrated birthdays together and even worked together again at the most hellish workplace ever. If I ever need encouraging words or some to tell me to get up off my ass I call her. She calls me for the same reasons.

Lately we have not been hanging out as much because she has been working fulltime while getting her massage therapist degree. She finally finished last month and I could not be more proud of her.

There are tons more but these are the ones who I am closest with. These people are my family just like my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins are.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Real Story

Sorry I have MIA for a bit. L ife has just gotten in the way. Things are good, have had a few job interviews so hopefully something will come soon.

I wanted to write this blog today to explain somethings. A lot of people have asked what happened to me during high school. I missed a ton of school and was very withdrawn from everything. So here is the real story.

My high school career started off on a very sad note. Three days before I was to start 9th grade my Grandfather passed away. He had suffered a stroke a few days before that, not long after I had left their house. It devestated me. He and I were super close as I never knew my dad's dad since he passed away before I was born. We shared a special bond and I could not believe he was not here any more. He had been so excited to start coming to football games to watch me in the Marching Band. He had even gone out and gotten a "Band Grandpa" sweatshirt from my school to wear.

I missed the first day of school to attend his funeral. It was fine with the school and they let all my teacher's know. Most were perfectly fine with it. One, my English teacher, thought it was a huge inconvience on her and took it out on me for many weeks. She said she simply did not have the time to explain things to me.

School went well until about November when I had a breakdown. We knew my dad would be needing heart surgery in a few years and that hit me hard. I was so afraid I was going to lose him to that I fell into a deep depression. It surprised everyone since I was always smiling and laughing. I also put on a good face, so no one around me knew what was going on. After the holidays I missed a ton of school. When I would return I would always say I was sick, strep, sinus infections and the flu became my illnesses of choice. I was so afraid that people would find out. I finshed my freshman year thanks to home tutors.

When sophmore year started, people began to talk. I had missed the last two months of school from my illness and wild rumors spread about me. I was devasted and hated going to school, a place I one loved more than anything. That sent me into a deeper depression and I suffered from horrible panic attacks. The school also became less than helpful. I had gotten a new guidance counselor who decided, on his own, that there was nothing wrong with me and that he would begin punishing me whenever I would miss school. I had multiple detentions and would be forced to sit in his office during study hall.

I hated school. My parents were so supportive and tried there hardest to get me the help I needed. I saw a therapist who was wonderful and really started to help me climb out of my hole. The school however kept knocking me back down. By spring of my sophmore year I was getting back into the swing of things and finished out the year surrounded by my friends. I was finally starting to feel normal again.

My dad had his heart surgery that summer and thanks to my therapist I was able to cope with all the ups and downs that came with it. After seven weeks in the hospital he came home the day before school started. When I arrived at school the next morning I did not see my name on any of the junior home room sheets but instead a sophmore one. Figuring it was a glitch I headed to the counselor's office. He informed me that he had decided that my credits from my home tutoring and correspondence courses did not qualify for credit. I was more than a little upset and it took until winter break to fight with the school over it. Meanwhile I was listed as a sophmore for everything and it put me further behind.

I worked very hard in the spring and summer to get to Senior status for fall. I was only one credit short, math but was okay with it because I had already earned a credit in middle school for taking pre-algebra and wasn't planning to take math senior year anyways so I had room to finish up a semester in my schedule.

Everything was going well until we got a letter from the school saying that they had filed truancy charges on me. I had not missed more than the allotted time in that semester but they had filed for the past three years. I was so embarassed that I fell back into my old ways. I hardly went to school, or got out of bed for that matter. I would have massive panic attacks whenever I would be anywhere near the building.

I eventually went to the courts and had a wonderful judge who could see that I had some emotional and mental issues. She sided with me and demanded the school do some testing. Something my mother had been pushing for. The tests proved what everyone but the school knew. I was very smart but had emotional issues. The school finally began to work with me. Because I had been to court they gave me a parole officer, only to make sure the school did what they were suppossed to. He was great and when something went wrong he got it fixed in no time. They allowed me to go half-days for a few weeks to get back into the swing of things and had a tutor work with me at a private school that they used for kids who had learning issues and health problems. My grades improved and everyone could see the real me again.

Things were great until the holidays when I was released from my parole officer. The school went back to their old ways. They pulled me out of the programs and my guidance counselor told me he was holding me back a year. So on February 11, 2003, my eighteenth birthday I withdrew from my high school and entered Ombudsman, the private school, as an independent student. I felt free and the teachers there, whom I had been working with were so happy to have me and went above and beyond to make things work.

It was the best thing for me. I felt free. I got to work at my own pace, which I found out a few years later when I went to visit that she had me doing AP work since I was working at such a fast pace. I ended up graduating only a quarter later than all of my friends and was enrolled in college the folowing semester.

It has taken me a long time to be comfortable with everything that has happened in my life. I was so embarassed for people to find out. I did not want people thinking I was stupid or lazy. Most of my family still has no clue what happened back then. Well I guess they do now.

I am better off for my experiences and have been relieved in the past few years to learn that I was not the only one this happened to at that school.