Again, a long time has passed since I posted.  I’m finding it hard to get everything done while still taking a few moments for myself.  Blogging is really good for me though, so I’m going to try to include it in my long list of “self care” tasks.

So, lots of random things to share.  Yesterday I had my first session with the psychologist that works closely with Scottsdale Weight Loss Center. I reached out to her when I was looking into pursuing grief therapy.  She had several different ideas but one that I liked was seeing a grief therapist/counselor that was provided by hospice to help with the grief therapy and then, perhaps, see her to incorporate the food and behavioral side of things.  At the time, I had let my weight creep up a bit because I was eating whatever food was provided for me by my friends and not watching my calories too much.  I wasn’t on an eating free-for-all, but I also wasn’t being particularly mindful or watchful either.  Totally acceptable, in my opinion, in those weeks following my dad’s death.  But as the scale crept up a bit over goal, I panicked a bit and wanted to take some action.  As I’ve mentioned before, except for a brief time when I was dealing with the death of a friend, I’ve never really sought out therapy.  This is sort of new territory for me as an adult and, somehow, I feel like maybe I don’t belong there and I’m wasting their time since I “feel fine”.  But I’m giving it a shot…because I’m not sure if I’m really “fine” if I don’t talk about it a bit more with someone.  Anyway, our session was, again, very cathartic as I rehashed my story with the death of not just my dad, but of my mom too … and now the ensuing pain of clearing out our family home of 40+ years all by myself.  She pointed out to me that the events I went through were traumatic.  She even used the term PTSD.  She validated that I went through a very stressful event – especially with all the decision making I had to do, and still have to do.  From a diet/weight perspective, she explained that under high stress, the body produces cortisol and that makes it very difficult to lose weight – this might explain why I haven’t had much luck getting back under goal these past few weeks despite doing everything pretty “right”.

pendulumSo, the pendulum, as I titled this blog post, is sort of how I am and need to live.  I might have interpreted this analogy all wrong, but what I take from it now is that I need to spend some time every day grieving, feeling sad, etc. but it is not necessary to completely dwell in that place to heal.  I need to live in a continuum, like a pendulum swing that covers a multitude of states of being.  Included in the “sad”, I need to find some peace and, especially, fun.  Next week I have a trip planned to Disneyland with my childhood friend – a friend who has also lost both parents.  We are going with our kids, and meeting some of our kids there that will be on a school trip, but we will have some time to just have fun ourselves since the big kids can go on their own in the parks now too.  My therapist was really happy to hear about that trip because Disneyland is one of the few places on earth where you can just let it all go and live in the moment.  I couldn’t agree more.

I did learn that one of the best ways to knock that cortisol level down is through exercise – and I have kept that up pretty well.  I’m giving myself a few more rest breaks but I’m still doing the “mile” streak.  I have been to the gym already 4 times this month to try to knock down those 12 workouts per month earlier rather than later.  I am working off of a 10K training plan but I’m not letting it control my life.  Today I was supposed to do some interval training but I left the running for tonight when I knew I’d be at my son’s football practice – the perfect time to get my runs done!  But, due to a meeting he had to go to, I got a late start and only finished 2.25 miles before the lights shut completely off.  Did I do interval work?  No.  I would have been disappointed in myself in the past.  But I did run 2 pretty fast miles and my first one, without pushing too hard, was a 10:38.  So, I’m trying to remain flexible…I have to.

I’m slowly sorting through the house.  Fortunately, my parents didn’t have tons of clutter and my mom was so good about already organizing stuff for me for when she was gone.  I’m lucky.  But there is still a house that has been lived in for 40 years so I have a lot to do.  The hardest part, thus far, was taking down family pictures on the walls.  That absolutely ripped my heart out.  I went through the house, room by room, and took down pictures of me, my grandma, my family, my parents … it was awful.  I sat down and sobbed and could barely breathe.  I do think that will be one of the hardest tasks to take care of so I’m glad that is behind me.  I could ask for help, and I will, but I want to take the time to feel the emotions now, because I can.

And as for the rest of “life”, there are all sorts of things going on.  Last weekend my daughter had a gymnastics meet.  I thought she actually looked pretty good but the judges did not, apparently.  The competition at her levels is getting tight and even after sticking two landings, she ended up in about 6 out of 8 places.  Ordinarily I would be crawling out of my skin on the car ride home but I was actually in a pretty good place.  There is no point in stressing about it.  However, on Thursday, we fly to Salt Lake City, UT for a big meet.  She doesn’t compete until Saturday so we’ll have a full day to poke around the city – maybe see a movie, go shopping, and check out a few science museums.  I did ask her to follow up with her coach to see what she could improve to get her scores up and left it at that.  That is a pretty big change for me – I really don’t need to add stupid “gymnastics mom” stress back into the equation.

I’m also completely stoked about Ragnar SoCal coming up in early April.  What started out to be a running race with some people has turned into so much more.  Our team “Strangers to Solemates” is really bonding through our private Facebook page and I feel like we are so close heading into this.  This is WAY more than about running.  This experience could probably not have come at a better time in my life.

Speaking about Ragnar, I am so excited for our 2 co-captains (Katie Foster and John Hulsey) as they were featured in April’s Runner’s World magazine.  This is a big deal.  Runner’s World is HUGE and I am so proud of them!  This month the magazine focuses on weight loss so if you are just starting to run, or are interested in running, this would be a good issue to pick up.  The stories of my teammates, as well as the others that were feature in the Fat To Finish Line group, are so inspiring!  April can’t get here fast enough!

rw_fftfl_cover   rw_fftfl_katie

rw_fftfl_katie2 rw_fftfl_john

Finally, I have entered a contest with Scottsdale Weight Loss Center.  Basically we submitted our stories, they were put on their Facebook page and for every Facebook “Like” we get on our story’s post, we are entered in a drawing for a weekend in Sedona, AZ.  So, if you have a moment and would like to check out my entry, I would be happy to have your “Like”.  Click here to find the story (you’ll probably need to scroll down a bit to find me – Martha Kaiser).  Feel free to check out the other Optifast weight loss stories while you are on the page and “Like” any of the other contestants.  As of tonight, I had a pretty big lead so I feel weird even asking for more votes…but I’d also love a weekend away!

This entry was posted in bereavement, Exercise, hospice, Optifast Maintenance, Ragnar SoCal, Scottsdale Weight Loss Center, Uncategorized, weight maintenance. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pendulum

  1. Sending you a big virtual hug, Martha! You have been in my thoughts a lot lately and I teared up reading about going through your parents home. I will be going through my dad’s apartment next week when I go back to Ohio and while it wasn’t my family home, it is still hard to go there and go through his stuff. I’m so glad that you found the therapist helpful and kudos to you for recognizing that that might be something beneficial to you. I’m trying to keep that in mind, too. I’ve been talking to the hospice bereavement counselor about my oldest son, because I’m worried about him, but I realized at some point last week that I probably needed some guidance, too. I started recognizing signs of my anxiety (no appetite, disregard for my appearance, etc.) so I am sorting through options for myself, too. Thank you for posting about the pendulum; I needed to hear that. I have had days where I feel like I’m coping fine and then something hits me and I breakdown. I think I just need to take a bit of time each day to grieve in whatever form that might be. I also appreciate the info on cortisol; the scale has been irritating me and I’m trying not to sweat it, but it’s annoying, but that explains some of it. I saw your feature on Katie’s blog today and it was fantastic! It was so nice to see your story featured (I’ve been waiting for it!:) ) and you’ve got my vote for the contest! You deserve a relaxing weekend away! If you need anything, let me know! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!


  2. Lynn Watson says:

    Thanks so much for posting your journey ….. Thinking about seeing Lisa myself …. Work stress is getting me down ….. I admire you for all you are doing and I hope you win the contest … I voted for you … Just saw the post on runs for cookies ….. Very nice …. Good luck on your run and continued journey mourning the loss of your dad …… Thanks for your inspiration …

    Make a difference today…..




  3. Kathy says:

    Always supporting you! Kudos to a great Facebook piece. I also saw you highlighted over at Runs for Cookies. Yay you 😉


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