January 22, 2014

Mystery bottle

It was so nice not to have anything going on today! The photo shoot yesterday was fun, but I'm kind of relieved that it's over now. It's kind of funny... I read the book Brain Over Binge about a week before I found out about the photo shoot. I was really excited about being binge-free, I had accepted the fact that my weight is still seven pounds higher than I would like, and I was just feeling very happy with where I was at as far as eating/weight goes.

When I first heard about the photo shoot, my knee-jerk reaction was, "Oh no, I have to get back to goal immediately!" And I was dreading the thought of measuring food and counting calories/points, because I've been doing so well without measuring and counting. Then I started to think about how huge of a change my mindset went through to be HAPPY with where I was in that moment, and I really didn't want to mess with that.

I chose not to do anything differently. I didn't start counting points again or measuring food, or even being careful about what I ate. My ultimate goal has been to eat "normally", and so I continued to do that, even with the photo shoot coming up. It was SO nice not to stress about my weight! I didn't restrict, I didn't binge, my weight stayed steady, and I was very happy with how I looked for the photo shoot.

Somehow, I don't think that I would still be binge-free right now if I had played into that "getting back to goal" mindset. It was kind of a big revelation for me. I'm really glad that I continued to do what was making me happy, and I think my photos are going to turn out just fine!

After lunch, I went to visit Mark today. I stopped to get him a milkshake, and to get his mail, and he had a very unique package waiting! It was a two-liter soda bottle filled with lots of candy, a little stuffed animal, and a few other small items. The shipping address was wrapped around the middle of the bottle, and I assumed that under the shipping label was the hole/cut for someone to have put those things inside.

But when I got to the nursing home, and showed it to Mark, I took off the label to reveal a completely sealed bottle (except for the screw on cap that's about the size of a quarter). We were both completely stumped as to how everything got in there! I tried pulling out the little bags of candy hearts with my fingers, but I couldn't get ANYTHING out through the neck of the bottle.

There was a card inside, and Mark and I both wanted to know who it was from (and maybe see if it revealed the secret!) but I didn't have any way of cutting open the bottle. I told him I'd take it home and cut it open, and then bring him the goods next time I visit. I wanted to show it to my kids and Jerry, too, because it was pretty mind-blowing!

Leave it to my 8-year old to show me what the "secret" was... there actually WAS a little door cut into the side, and it was taped shut. I didn't even notice it! Very clever ;)

Mark has been in such a great mood lately. It's so nice! For a while, he was always so tired and quiet, which is completely unlike his personality. Well, we found out that they were giving him twice the amount of painkillers that he's on now (Mark never really says "no" to anything, so when the nurses asked if he needed a pain pill, he always said "yes"). Now that they've been giving him less painkillers, he's very cheery and upbeat.

He was really excited to tell me that he's been walking. He said that the physical therapist had him walk a few times back and forth in the hallway yesterday and today. He knows that if he can walk on his own again, then he can go back to his group home, so he's really determined to do it.

Today, he was talking about the things he wants to do when he gets out of the nursing home. He wants to go fishing, or just sit near the lake at my parents' house. He wants to go to the Metropark where my dad works. And he wants to go to the junkyards with my dad like they used to. My dad is an auto mechanic, and he goes to junkyards for car parts. I guess he used to take Mark with him sometimes. Mark told me that he liked to look for loose change in the cars--he said the best place to find it was underneath the mats in the car, and he could find a couple of dollars worth of change.

I don't think he'll be able to go out in the boat or to the junkyards again, but I'm hoping that he's mobile in the spring, even if it's just in the wheelchair. I'd like to take him to the zoo, and maybe for some walks in the Metropark. He's really looking forward to some fresh air outside. Hopefully soon!


  1. What a thoughtful & unique gift. I always love your posts about Mark :)

  2. What a cool gift. Glad someone thought to send that!

  3. That bottle is super cool! Is there anything that Mark needs? I have been following the progress but hadn't sent anything yet. I was wondering if you or he had requests :)

  4. Mark is so sweet and cute! I hope he gets to do some fun things when he gets out of the nursing home. You and your family are so good to him!

    Amanda H.

  5. I'm very happy for you and that you've found a way to relax and enjoy life again!

  6. Well there's motivation and there's motivation. You and I feel some motivation to get some weight off so we look as good as possible. I sent a recipe to the Today Show yesterday, for a low-cal chocolate dessert (part of their "Too Good To Be Healthy" cooking challenges) and was thinking if I get picked to go on the show, I'm definitely going to lose 15 pounds. FAST!
    Mark wants to be able to walk again so he can go "home," and spend time doing some of the things he used to love doing with your Dad. Makes me feel very guilty for my frivolous desire to lose weight to look my very best. Mark makes me realize there are things so much more important than losing a few pounds. Thanks Mark--you taught me a good lesson today!

  7. That is an awesome gift!!

  8. That really is a neat gift.

  9. Such a clever and unique idea. I don't know you other than what I read on your blog, but you really are an angel and Mark is very lucky to have met you and your family all those years ago. I can only imagine how much more you have improved his life lately just from your visits. Seriously, you are an angel. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with Mark and the photos of his sweet face smiling.

    Can you post the address for Mark prominently somewhere on the main blog page? I wanted to send something, but I can't find the original blog post where you posted the PO box and address.

  10. Glad you and Mark enjoyed the bottle. I love to send them, they make everyone smile all along the route- me, my post office, yours, the recipient....I send them to my friends kids their first year in college, it is a great ice-breaker for someone living in the dorm and away from home for the first time. You and Mark have such a wonderful new friendship, I am looking forward to seeing the posts of the pizza party when he goes home!

    1. I didn't know you could send a bottle in the mail like that . . . not in a box I mean. The post office allows that? :) So fun!


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