Sunday, March 23, 2014

Summer clothes

I really liked writing a post in the morning yesterday, and here I am today, unable to sleep, so I'm writing again. I think I may start posting in the mornings from now on, before the stress of my day starts. But I'll see how it goes.

I really need to write about something other than Mark today. I don't have anything in mind, but Mark has been consuming my thoughts every hour of the day, and it's weighing heavily on me. But first, let me share a brief update: My parents went to the group home before Mark left yesterday. I was torn about whether to go or not; I felt really good about the last conversation I had with Mark, and didn't want to mess with that. I ended up not going, but my mom told me how things went.

My dad with Mark, just before Mark left

I didn't write my feelings about Mark's nephew ("D") before, because I really wanted to keep everything about Mark (and I still do). But I was bitter--it bothered me that he never visited Mark, and then wanted to take Mark home all of a sudden. He hasn't been the most likable person over the last few months. Anyway, my mom said after seeing D when he went to pick up Mark, she felt very good about Mark going home with him.

D had been up all night getting a room ready for Mark--painting, moving furniture, etc. He is friends and neighbors with a certified hospice nurse, so she is going to be Mark's primary caregiver. My mom said that Mark was happy to see D (he hadn't seen him since December, I believe). D told my mom we can come over any time we want, even if it's every single day (the downside is that he lives an hour away).

Mark seemed happy to leave with D, who took him to his house in time for the hospice nurses to arrive and evaluate Mark and get his bed and everything set up. My mom called D last night to see how Mark was doing, and D was getting ready to give him dinner. He said Mark was awake, and let my mom talk to him. Mark spoke very clearly, and when my mom asked him how he liked his new house, he said he really liked it.

I planned to keep this very brief, and here I am rattling on :)  Anyway, I feel MUCH better about the situation after hearing the updates. My mom and I plan to go visit Mark tomorrow (Monday). I'm still hurting for the fact that Mark's time here is almost over, but the fears that I was imagining about him staying with his nephew are gone. I think that his nephew has truly decided to step up for Mark, and take good care of him.

I went for a run yesterday morning, even though it was the last thing I felt like doing. It was before Mark had left with D, so I was worrying about that all morning. I was scheduled for six miles, but I'd run six the day before (when I was only scheduled for five), so I decided to run five. I just really wanted to avoid the awful wind blowing in from the north, because it gives me a headwind the entire second half of my out-and-back route.

I decided to run around the four neighborhoods surrounding me, which is a perfect five miles. I think this winter, I've forgotten how to dress for outdoor running. I was definitely too warm yesterday in a long-sleeved tech shirt, fleece jacket, Cold Gear tights, gloves, and ear warmer headband. The "real feel" temp was 30, so I thought that would work. But after last week's horribly cold long run, I didn't want to take any chances, so I definitely dressed too warm!

I couldn't believe how difficult it felt to run yesterday. I maintained about a 9:30/mi pace, which should have felt very easy. In the fall, I was regularly running 8-10 miles at an 8:45-ish pace. But yesterday, I was huffing and puffing though the entire run, which was kind of discouraging. I'm hoping once I get back to regularly running outside, I'll get my fitness back quickly.

Last night, I decided to get out my summer clothes to try on and see what I should pack for San Diego (less than two weeks away!). I'm not kidding myself into thinking I'm the same size as I was in the summer (or even in January), but I couldn't believe at how tight my clothes had gotten! My goal weight is 133, and I maintained that pretty much all of 2013 (it started creeping up in November, but it wasn't until February that I gained quite a bit). Anyway, at 146, that means I'm 13 pounds over my goal weight. Seven of those pounds came on since February.

When I was obese, 13 pounds wouldn't have made a bit of difference in my clothing. But now, 13 pounds can equal 1-2 clothing sizes! I can barely squeeze into my size 4 shorts that were actually pretty baggy in the summer. It was depressing to try it all on, but also very motivating. I honestly didn't realize that those 13 pounds would make such a big difference. I obviously don't have enough time to lose it all before I go to San Diego, but hopefully by summertime I can.

I wanted to binge SO BADLY yesterday... it was driving me crazy all day long. My parents had the kids pretty much all day, to give me some space to grieve over Mark. It was very helpful, but being home alone, feeling sad all day made it hard for me not to dive head-first into a pint of ice cream. I thought about it constantly--curling up on the couch under a blanket, watching a Lifetime movie, and eating ice cream--the whole cliche.

The thing that stopped me was that I tried swapping out the ice cream for a mug of tea in that same scenario--it's just as comforting and relaxing, but it wouldn't leave me feeling like crap. So that's what I did. And later, when Jerry was home, I wanted to binge after dinner, but he told me he'd give me a really good back massage. It felt awesome, and definitely made the craving bearable until we watched TV with the kids before bed. I had tea instead of wine in the evening, per the challenge by my WW leader, and I found that I really didn't miss the wine as long as I had something to sip.

I think I'm just going to have to take each day, and each craving, as it comes. Having to re-lose this 13 pounds is bad enough; I don't want to add to it. And I certainly don't want to use Mark's illness as an excuse to comfort myself with food--he would feel awful if he knew I was doing that.

This morning, I have my long run--10 miles. I'm considering doing it without my Garmin, but I don't know if I'll be able to do that ;)  It would be really nice to run as slowly as I want, with nothing to tell me how slowly I'm running; but I do like looking at all the fun data when I'm done!


  1. "Will this make me feel better or worse after eating it?" That's what I've been trying to ask myself when going to grab a treat. Sometimes it works... After my friend's funeral, I stopped at the store for dog food and wanted a brownie to eat with a huge cup of coffee to sit quietly and think about things before my kids got home. I wound up with what looked like a Crumbs cupcake. It wasn't that good but I ate every crumb. It didn't help me feel any better about the situation, just more weighed down. Walking outdoors lately has been the best therapy for me. You will find what works for you...running, sewing, talking with a friend. I'm glad you are more at peace about Mark's living arrangements.

  2. A think a lot of people can take a lesson from you, Katie. You've taken the high road and kept a positive attitude.

  3. You're grieving, and it's hard to keep a clear head in that situation. Just take it a step at a time. For some reason that makes me think of recovering addicts. They always say they have to take it one day, sometimes one moment, at a time to stay clean and on track. It really is true with any bad habit. It sounds like you're making smart choices though.

    I'm glad you feel better about Mark's living arrangements. Are we still able to send him cards? I was going to pick up a post card for him.

  4. I'm so glad that Mark seems to be doing well!
    Binge eating is my struggle too. Keep strong lady!

  5. your honesty is greatly appreciated concerning the binge eating. I really had to fight it off yesterday also. The only thing that saved me was leaving my house....Robin

  6. You go! You are a champion. I can just "feel" your strength in this post.

  7. I think you should write as much as you want about Mark and your grieving and your bad feelings about anything on your mind. Your honest is so refreshing. I don't find it a downer in a bad way. I think your ability to stay present in the face of challenges is really impressive and inspiring.

    1. I totally agree with you, Abby. I think it is therapeutic to express your feelings, Katie. We love your blog because you are so forthright and tell us what is happening with you and your life. Also, as I have said before, you are a really great writer. (I'll buy your book when write it!)

      We are all on your side and sending positive thoughts to you and to Mark.

  8. What about waiting a week to look at your results? That way, you still get fun data but with none of the emotion.

    You have so much emotional stuff happening all at once. I believe in you. I am sorry with you. I am proud that strong people do exist. You are sharing your struggle and that is brave. Thank you for being brave.

  9. Katie, don't you think it might be a little bit selfish to deny Mark your company and comfort in these last difficult moments of his life, just because you don't want to spoil your memory of him? Maybe you should risk having your last memory of him being a sad one, so that for one HIS last memories altogether, ever... can be a good one?

    1. She said in the post she was going to see him on Monday Christine.

    2. Christine, don't you think you should read what she wrote before commenting something so rude? She's going to see him.

    3. I'm really appalled that you would write this when Katie is clearly going through a rough time. Clearly you have never been in a situation like this. Katie made the best decision for her, and that's her business.

      Katie, I'm so sorry you're going through this! Stay strong, there are so many people sending good thoughts to you, mark and your family!!

    4. I understand how she feels though. When my grandmother, whom I was extremely close to for the first 23 years of my life, had a massive heart attack and died in the hospital, I did not go see her on the last two days of her life. I saw her last 3 days before she died and the nurse had to pull me aside to calm me down because I was so upset. I was able to tell her everything would be okay and that I loved her very much and she was still alert enough to hear me and know I was there with her.

      When her organs started failing and my mom was with her, I couldn't go. I couldn't have that image of her in my mind. My mom said it was good I didn't see her like that.

      But she knew I loved her. Mark knows Katie loves him and how much she's done for him and in the end, he will go without ever doubting that love whether Katie is there with him at the end or not. If you've never lost someone you love, especially to a disease like cancer, you don't understand how hard it is. It's not selfish to not be there if you can't handle it and the person dying knows you love them. Mark won't be alone, I'm sure, whether Katie is there with him or not.

  10. Christine, don't you think you should read what she wrote before commenting something so rude? She's going to see him.

  11. Glad to hear the Mark situation is looking better! I had a laugh at your outfit for the 37 degree run... my outfit is a pair of shorts and a long sleeve tech tee. So I could see how that could be a little hot! I will be packing the night before in San Diego... never thought ahead about packing for a vacation, why start now? ;)

    1. the night BEFORE San Diego... not IN San Diego. If I am packing IN San Diego then I have done something terribly wrong!

  12. Hey Katie. Couple things...

    1. SO happy to hear that Mark's situation won't be as bad as you feared. (Maybe remember that when you are feeling depressed and binge-y! Look at the bright side.)

    2. I like your idea of tea being comforting. Unfortunately for me I have never been a tea drinker but I WANT SO BADLY to be. Problem is it just tastes like warm water. I have one of those liquid stevia things (after reading about you using them) but I haven't tried it. ANYWAY when you mentioned ice cream I wanted to let you in on an awesome product. It's called Arctic Zero. A whole pint is 150 calories, 0g fat, 20g sugar, 12g protein. It's made with whey powder. It does NOT taste or have the same texture as ice cream, but it's kind of like eating ice cream. I really like it when it starts to melt. It's like eating a protein shake. Problem is a pint can be ~$5 so kind of expensive. Wasn't sure if you have heard of it.

  13. Hi Katie, I"ve been reading your blog for years so I feel like I know Mark (and you) - it's very sad, and he truly seems like such an amazing person. He is someone we should all strive to be like.

    As far as your 13lbs go - maybe you can start posting what you are eating again? I know that I really liked seeing exactly what you were eating while in weight loss mode, and it seemed to keep you accountable as well. I have about 15lbs to lose and I desperately want them off by the summer. I can't seem to lose any weight (it's been the same 15lbs for years) despite my gym efforts and eating (kind of) properly. I horribly discouraged and annoyed about it. I would love to see what you eat when you are consciously trying to drop the weight.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Mark, D, you, and your family. Stay strong.

  14. I'm glad you and your mom are going to visit Mark this week. It's important to check up on him, just to make sure everything is good at D's house. I hope D realizes what a responsibility he has taken on, taking care of his uncle in hospice. I did it with my Dad for 8 months and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. In retrospect, however, it has prepared me for what is to come with my husband, Du, who has the same awful disease (stage 4 prostate cancer) as my dad died from. It also scares me, but at least I know what to expect and I plan to be very STRONG and CAPABLE and most of all, COMPASSIONATE, which is often very very difficult in these cases, at least for me it was. I don't have the mental capacity to be a nurse, never did and I recognize that. That is part of the reason I am always so impressed by the care of nurses when you are in the hospital. They are invariably kind, helpful, sympathetic and patient. It is my goal to be that way as I go through this journey with my husband. Maybe I can't be this way for the whole world, but I can do it for my Du!

  15. I am a frequent reader, not very frequent commenter. I don't get around to checking many blogs over the weekend so I am behind on this. I'm sorry you were feeling this way about Mark. I have high hopes that his nephew doesn't disappoint and you all get to stay in touch with Mark.

    It's amazing how much a difference a few pounds make. Hopefully you've got some spare stuff that will work for San Diego. I know you're a thrift shopper so I'm sure you can find a bunch of stuff now especially with Michigan being so cold!

  16. Hi Katie,

    I read your blog every now and then, but am a first time commenter. I just wanted to say that I am also struggling with about a 13 pound re-gain. I lost 70 pounds in 15 months and reached my goal weight in September of 2010. I kept it all off for a couple of years, but in the past year or so, I have gained 11-13 pounds that I can't shake. And yes, it's amazing how much of a difference that makes at this point as opposed to when one is overweight.

    I hope both you and I can find it within ourselves to shed those extra pounds once again. We've done it before!


I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)

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