Thursday, December 26, 2013

Letting it go

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! We had a pretty casual (although kind of busy) day. When we woke up, my parents came over to watch the kids open presents. The boys were thrilled with their gifts, and after they opened presents, we had homemade caramel sticky rolls. I prepped them the night before, so all I had to do was throw them in the oven. They were delicious!

After breakfast, Jerry and I wanted to go to the hospital to see Mark, so my parents watched the kids (the kids both have coughs, and I didn't want them to get Mark sick, so we didn't bring them with us). It was SO eerie to be driving on the expressway without any other cars around! We drove probably 10 miles before there was another car going north.

Mark had asked for another strawberry milkshake, so I was hoping that McDonald's would be open, but no such luck. We drove to a couple of gas stations looking for coffee, so I got him a coffee instead. We hiked up 10 flights of stairs to Mark's room, and he was really happy to see us. We gave him a couple of gifts: headphones (he was having a really hard time using earbuds, because his hands are numb, so I got him the old school headphones), some gospel music, and a tin of popcorn.

Jerry and I sat and read some cards to him. While I was reading, Mark cut me off and said that he wants Jerry to read, because Jerry has a nice voice. Hahaha! So I sat and listened. Mark was really tired, and kept falling asleep for a second or two before popping his eyes open again. I asked if he wanted to nap, but he kept saying he wasn't tired. I think he just didn't want us to leave.

His doctor came in, and I spoke with him for a few minutes. He said the numbness in Mark's hands is likely from the tumors on his brain (I was hoping it was just from the morphine). Mark gets really frustrated when he tries to pick things up, and the past couple of times I've visited, he's asked me to help feed him, because it's hard to grasp his utensils. He's been doing radiation treatments on his brain to shrink the tumors and relieve those symptoms, so I hope that it works. We know it's not a cure, but we are hoping it will preserve some quality of life.

When the food service worker came around to see what Mark wanted for lunch, she heard me tell Mark that I was sorry that I couldn't get him a strawberry shake today, and she offered to make a special one for him. That was SO kind of her! So when his lunch came, he had a strawberry shake that she'd made especially for him.

After his lunch, he was really drowsy, so I set up his CD player with his new headphones and got him settled in with those, and then Jerry and I left. We picked up the kids from my parents house, and then we decided to go out for dinner. My brother was supposed to come over, and I was going to make lasagna, but he was in Indiana later than planned, so he canceled. There is a Chinese restaurant about 30 minutes away that is pretty much the only restaurant open on Christmas, so we went there. We ordered two meals and shared it between the four of us, and it was the perfect amount of food. The kids loved it, and asked if we could go back there again soon.

After dinner, we stopped by Jerry's parents' house to exchange gifts with them. We'd been planning to do that today, but since our plans with my brother changed, it worked out that we could do it yesterday. We stayed there for a couple of hours, and by then I was really tired. I just wanted to go home and put my pajamas on. Jerry and I started to watch a show on Netflix, but I fell asleep less than 10 minutes in. It was a nice, but tiring, Christmas!

For the past week or so (ever since my first hospital visit with Mark), I've had such a different outlook on everything. It started with eating dinner at my Aunt Mickey's house, even though it wasn't "on plan". I feel really grateful to be healthy and active, and I started thinking about how I put way too much energy into worrying about a particular number on the scale. I don't want to do that anymore!

This past week, it's like my entire mindset did a 180. I haven't counted Weight Watchers PointsPlus, or eaten only specific foods. I've been eating "normally", or what I perceive "normal" to be like. I haven't binged at all, and I just keep doing what will make me happy. This is all kind of hard to explain, and I'm not sure I understand it myself, but I have just been trying to stop wasting so much energy and thought about my diet. I've been eating pretty healthy for most meals, but I've also indulged a little (like the sticky buns, and going out to dinner). The key is, I didn't OVERindulge. It's always been so hard for me to find that middle area, where I'm not overindulging, but I'm not restricting... and I think I finally found that sweet spot.

I wouldn't call it "intuitive eating", because when I've tried that in the past, I put WAY too much thought into it. I would always wonder, "Am I hungry now? How about now? Do I feel satisfied yet?" and it would make me crazy. My ultimate goal is to not put much thought into it at all; just to eat "normally". I'm not even focused on getting back to my "goal weight". I was 140 yesterday, which means I didn't gain anything all week, even though I wasn't counting anything, and I was fine with that number.

I feel this huge sense of relief since I let go of that "must stay on track, must get back to goal" mindset. I'm not swearing off counting PointsPlus or calories forever... if I start to overindulge regularly, then that's just something I might have to do again. But for now, I think as long as my BMI is normal, I am active, healthy, and happy, then there is no reason to worry so much about the details :)


  1. Good for you for staying on track while also taking time to enjoying what you are eating. I know I've been very introspective lately as my cousin's wife just suddenly passed away at age 43, perfectly healthy in terms of her weight and had been battling an infection and they suspect it was a blood clot that may have killed her but given she was my age, it sort of hit a little too close to home and has made me stop and think about being healthy, eating, exercising, enjoying the big and little things and how I hope I'm remembered. Best wishes for your wonderful friend Mark and may you and your family have a great 2014 Katie! I really enjoy reading your blog every day - I stop what I do at 8PM (CST) every day and read your blog, even on vacation I have to read so thank you for all of the inspiration you provide us, your readers.

  2. I know exactly what you mean about "letting it go". Ever since my mom got sick 4 months ago, all I want to do is make the most of our time together and enjoy life. It's not an excuse to overindulge or drown my feelings with food, but a weight lifted off my shoulders for now. Sometimes we wait until we reach a goal and live too much in the future. It's too easy to forget that there's other more important things in life besides weight. It is nice to remember that the present is the only place where we can create lasting memories. I hope you have a wonderful New Year with your friends and family. Thanks for always inspiring me!

  3. Good for you! I have had to remind myself that I'm healthy and happy and that's more important than a number on a scale or a size on my pants. I'm not nearly as happy obsessing over everything I eat and if I am up two pounds. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

  4. Sometimes having something so serious in your life like illness really puts things in perspective.... even our own crazy thoughts about food. It's good to remember. I know how consuming thoughts of food can be, but it's nice when just living and enjoying life takes priority and puts food to where it should be. Take care!

  5. It's freeing to not let so much of your waking hours be consumed by points and calories. It's like you are living a "normal" life - what people at healthy weights do... Eat when hungry, eat what tastes good, just not too much and only eating special foods on special occasions. Sticky buns on Xmas = GOOD!

  6. You are such a great person for all that you're doing for Mark. It's good to take a break from the other stresses in your life so you can regroup and focus on what's important. {{hugs}}

  7. Sounds like a great way to live and to teach your kids a healthy relationship with food and exercise. (Not binging and not obsessing either.)

  8. Wow, you are an amazing person. I agree, this can definitely put things into perspective. Seeing the big picture can really help simplify things :)

  9. Katie

    I came to the same conclusion three years ago when my baby brother died at 41 without entire world shifted.

    I was ALWAYS "being good" or "trying to lose to my target weight" and he would tell me every time .... "but Kimberly, you're beautiful NOW"

    Now I eat pizza, have birthday cake, and enjoy chocolate chips cookies.... I try to get in some kind of workout 4-5 times a week and I still have a healthy BMI. I'm almost 47 years old .... I have accepted that my body should look like that, not a 17 year old.

    My heart is happy for you Katie. Continued love and prayers for Mark and all of those lucky enough to be near him....

  10. Good luck. I know it feels good now but everytime I do that I slowly gain all the weight back I've lost. I think that is why I still freak out a bit. I'm up ten pounds from my lowest and I'm giving myself to the 1st to be lax than I plan on kicking ass to get it off again. (sorry if I sound like a negative Nancy)

  11. You're an amazing friend, Katie. Mark is blessed to have you. I've been having priority thoughts like yours lately, too. I know to be happy and healthy I need to feel good, and that means achieving and maintaining a certain number on the scale. Beyond that though, I'm determined to live life and stop stressing the details.

  12. Im glad youre going to enjoy life alittle more. When I would read your blog about going to your Moms and not eating with everyone else I thought you were missing out on that family time and a meal cooked by someone who loves you. Let it nuture your stomach and soul, lifes too short for such restrictions.


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