Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues. It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on. Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real. The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale. If you would like to contribute to this series, please contact Tish. I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.
The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
This week I am pleased to share the story of a friend. It is written in her own words, and she submitted it with her permission to share it as a part of the series.
Here is Trust Your Gut: Jane’s Story; Charting My Weight | Gaining Perspective
I have spent over 40 years in a love-hate relationship with my weight. As a result, I have many, many records of my weight at various times—weights were taken at the Doctor’s office, at various weight loss programs, and at home. An excellent record for purposes of analysis—after so many ups and downs over the years, I can look at my weight with some perspective.
I began my first weight loss efforts in Grade 9 (!) at the urging of a Physical Education Teacher. I weighed 118 pounds. She gave me the Mayo Clinic Diet of the day and my poor mother must have been frantic supplying me with hard-boiled eggs and grapefruit which is all I can remember eating.
The next weight loss effort was in Grade 11 with TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). My only memory from TOPS are fragmented bits of the motto: “I am an Intelligent person … every time I am tempted to overeat in private … my excess poundage is there for all the world to see … what a fool I’ve been.” In 1972, I left Grade 12 at 168 pounds.
Armed with these rather dubious wisdoms, I spent the next eight years in an upward pattern that would govern the rest of my young adult years. I joined Weight Watchers which did teach me something about eating behaviors, returned to TOPS a time or two, attended sessions with a dietician, and designed my own wellness systems many, many times.
Now, years later, I realise that my weight really started to climb when I had my own money, was preparing my own food, and was under work stresses I never encountered in school or university.
When I was married, I weighed 180 pounds.
I was fit and active. My work in those days meant hiking and climbing regularly to wilderness places throughout the province. I was fit and active, but I was fat. I could not shake the belief that I didn’t look as good as I should. And looking good was all-important.
That, I realise now, was beside the point. The challenge was to stay fit and active—to avoid high blood pressure and all its risks, stress on my knees and back, and diabetes. My goal should have been to live a long and able life.
When I was 30, I had a baby, the best thing I ever did for so many reasons! But I had a difficult pregnancy and spent most of it inactive and on my back and I gained weight. I topped the scales at 280 pounds and spent the next thirty years trying to get rid of the weight.
My Doctor tried to help me. My Mom tried harder than anyone, including me.
She copied out diets that might interest me. She sent me twenty dollars a month (I made a decent salary of my own) to buy healthy snack foods. She suggested things she thought might help me lose weight. I realise now, as a Mom, she wanted good health for me and, like me, had no magic wand to help her daughter be healthier. By the time I was forty, I had high blood pressure, and lots of medications to control it. By the time I was fifty, I had Type 2 Diabetes, and lots of meds to control it. And I had a trusty cane, the first hint of the osteoarthritis that now plagues me every day and keeps me from being fit and active.
When I retired from work in 2012 at 58, I lost a lot of the stress that ruled my life and I think I finally got a clue. I started a program of exercise, stationary cycling accompanied by seeing the world virtually (with Street View). Over the next years, I cycled through central France, southern Ireland, the Cornwall coast of England, and northern New Brunswick. This month I am ‘touring Scotland and the home of my ancestors. I got control of my diabetes with insulin and a wonderful medication called Forxiga which also results in some weight loss. And this past summer, I had a bout with salivary gland cancer.
During the process of surgery and radiation, I lost my sense of taste for a few weeks. At the end of that time, I find am no longer interested in food as a way of approaching life. I am more interested in building back the muscle mass I lost while lounging around the hospital between radiation treatments last summer.
I am now at 214 pounds, and still on the way down. The last time I weighed 214 was when I was 28 years old. I am not really aiming for any particular weight, but I’d really like to fit into my wedding dress again.
So, what is the ‘magic wand?’ Oh, how I wish I knew.
I know that human beings have one major fault: ‘the bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’ So that slice of blueberry pie will always look more delightful than the bottles and bottles of blue blood pressure pills you might never have to take (since I started taking them in 1994, I have taken 19,656 pills of Inderol to control my blood pressure). That bowl of ice cream will always taste better than days and days of blood glucose readings under 7.0. And that chocolate bar will always smell more delicious than leaving the cane or walker in the closet where it belongs.
You can have good things to eat but only once in a while and in smaller portions. And you can spend as much time as possible walking and swimming and cycling. Save yourself a huge amount of misery down the road.
If you’d like to follow my progress on getting fit and active, have a look at my blog.
Thank you Jane for your honesty and for sharing your story here. I know it can be hard to put it all out there, but it is time that people like us speak out to try to help others. It is interesting to see your chart, and I love the artwork you submitted. Keep celebrating every little success, and be proud that your decision is certainly the right one for you. I am very impressed with your success and determination. Keep going, my friend, you are an inspiration!
The picture I have chosen for the title of this Guest Blog Roundup is of a teacup and saucer. It is the old china rose pattern, the same set from which I currently have a small collection of. I treasure the pieces I have now and would someday hope to be able to set a complete table. I am looking for more and also looking forward to the day when I can display them in a china cabinet. They live in a bookcase in my kitchen, currently, where I can see and use them easily.
In Cape Breton, whether you are a host or a guest, the offer is always made for tea or coffee. Your choice would then be accompanied with sandwiches or sweets, depending on the time of day it was. Therefore, it seems fitting to choose a pretty tea cup to represent the guest blogs shared here today.
Why do bloggers write guest blogs?
In early 2019, I sent out a message that I was looking to write guest blogs on other websites. As I am working on my writing continuously, I am strive towards my goals of writing full-time. Since I have now written three this year, I thought it would be nice to highlight them all together. This will allow me to showcase the new style I am learning to write in.
The new style is geared towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I have struggled to learn how to use it properly. It has had frustrating moments, however, I think I am starting to learn how to use it more effectively.
In other words, bloggers write to share what they have to say with their followers. When you reach out to ask about writing a guest blog, you are looking to have more exposure to different readers. Furthermore, the hopes of building your own readership to a larger following is also desirable. The host of the guest blog also wants to find more readers once they visit their website.
Another reason for me to do this is to add to my portfolio, and to write with a different purpose in mind. Here at my own blog, although it is not as personal as my journal, I strive to have that sense of a post for my readers. The minute I decide to write a guest blog for another website, it immediately takes on a different sense of importance. I often write very freely here, but when I write for someone else, it needs to look and feel professional.
Guest Blog Roundup #1
Guest Blog Roundup number one of 2019 can be found on the website of Pattimouse. Her website is a fun place to visit, with several guest blogs there to read along with her own musings. Her tagline, A glimpse into the mind of a half mad poet, sets the tone for all sorts of blogs. She shares poetry, and links for her poetry books, yes that is plural, and her work is exceptional. She has a gift for finding the correct photos to match her prose. My own guest blog, Conquering Your Inner Gremlins, would be my recommended place to start, of course. If you take the time to look around Pattimouse’s website, I am certain you will find something you like as well.
Under the name of Patricia Harris, she has published 3 children’s books and 16 poetry volumes. Her books are available in both paperback and ebook formats. Under the name of Serena Mossgraves, she has written a novel and a novella with dark and adult themes.
Guest Blog Roundup #2
When you enter The World of Shannon McRoberts, you will find an active website right from the home page. Shannon McRoberts has also written several books. Her characters are strong female leads which you can also see with her artistic representations of them. Her books are epic fantasy, with some falling within the realms of urban fantasy. She writes in several formats, including graphic novels, comics and poetry, along with her fantasy/science fiction novels.
For this guest blog, I wrote about Top Notch Writing Tips. I wanted readers to have an inside look into what an author may need to do to keep their writing fresh and to help avoid writer’s block. Sometimes we need to put aside the main work in progress (or WIP as you will see it noted in other places) for a short time. This allows author to be able to go back to work on it with fresh eyes. In my guest blog post, I explain some of the things I have tried when I need a change. I then go into some of the skills an author can learn when tackling a short story as a break from the WIP. If you read until the very end, you will find out about the plot twist!
If you are looking for a website which has vibrant colours paired with digital art and poetry, this is a great one to visit. I do hope you take the time to look around when you read my guest post there. I am positive with the variety of choices available that you will find something to check out while you are there also.
Guest Blog Roundup #3
Finally, the third guest blog roundup visits Rita’s Reading Room, you will see my third guest blog post from 2019. Not only will you find the guest blog, but her website displays books of many colours above a clean, crisp display of her blog posts on the home page. I really love the picture of the books, it is very appealing to the eye. It also suits the website title so well, a reading room would have a bookshelf filled with books.
Rita Kruger writes novels of fantasy, gothic and horror genres, challenging major themes of her own life. Her novels, Angela’s Epistles, books one and two follow the story of Angela Wright as she learns about herself. Consequently, she is making choices and changes in her life.
While I was preparing to write for this particular blog post, I came up with a title late one night while I was struggling with my own blog and the Yoast SEO editing plugin. It is meant to help me to write better blogs, but I was becoming so frustrated while using it, I had a moment. From this moment came the title How to Become a Better Blogger Without Becoming a Bitter Blogger. It also caused me to do a little more research, and you can read about what I learned when you visit Rita’s Reading Room to find my guest blog there. Again, I encourage you to go a little further into the reading room, to see what you can find.
It was a good experience.
To conclude, I will continue to write guest blogs to expand my own portfolio and improve on my writing skills. I am open to writing for different blogs, with the hope that it will allow me to pursue writing full time.
Did you choose a favourite guest blog in this roundup? What about the websites, are to going to go back to visit any of them? Are you a blogger looking for new content from a guest blogger like myself, or looking to share a guest blog here, on my website? Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
This is my first Blogger Award. I am very grateful to The Ink Owl for the nomination. It really means a lot to me. I would also like to thank Okoto Enigma for creating this Award. It was designed for Bloggers to acknowledge their peers in the blogging world, and to be passed on from one to another to help grow the Blogging Community, and for people to discover new blogs to help them to grow and flourish. What a remarkable idea to spread encouragement, positivity, and to help Bloggers to earn some recognition. It is also a wonderful way for people to find new blogs to love, read, and follow.
If you would like to read the nomination post from The Ink Owl, it is in the comments on my About page. If you would like to read more about the Award and its creator, please check out the following link: Mystery Blogger Award Background and Story.
When you are nominated for an award like this, it is meant to make you share some information about yourself, and to encourage you to acknowledge some of your own favourite Bloggers with some new nominations from you. It is a pay it forward kind of idea, and I think it is wonderful. That being said, there are some rules that go with being nominated.
Mystery Blogger Award Rules:
Put the award logo/image on your blog
List the rules
Thank whoever nominated you and post a link to their blog
Mention the creator of the blog and provide a link to their blog also
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
You have to nominate 10-20 people
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one strange or funny question
Share a link to your best post(s)
I have to write this note here to tell you all that it was difficult for me to create that list. At last, I have outwitted the bullet list formatting and can continue working on the rules and acceptance.
Three things about me to tell you.
1. I try really hard to be funny. Sometimes it backfires and I have to quickly change the topic of conversation. Other times it is taken totally wrong and I have an angry person instead of a laughing person to deal with. Once in a blue moon, I get it right. I do seem to be getting better at this talent with age. Possibly because I am a huge fan of both Betty White and Weird Al Yankovich.
2. I wish I could afford a maid. I know how to clean, I just really don’t like doing it. I would rather be working on my creativity than creating a clean organized space to live in. I am working on that.
3. Blogging is my mid-life crisis self-help therapy. It is cheaper than a motorcycle, and I can take more than one person with me for the ride! Helmets are optional. There are no judgements here.
The Ink Owl Listed five questions for me to answer, as a part of the nomination and acceptance.
Where (physical locations) do you write?
Why did you start writing?
What is your favourite part about your life?
What has been the most challenging part with writing?
What gives you the inspiration to write?
Here are my answers:
1. I used to write in journals when I went to school and university. I have written on my laptop when I was in a local creative writing group. That group, which I have the honour of saying I named, Freddy Words, is currently dormant and awaiting a revival. These days, I am writing on my desktop computer. PC not MAC. I will be working towards purchasing other electronic devices to write in different locations in the future so that I am always ready to write when inspiration strikes. My desk is in my living room in the center of my mini home. I can watch TV, listen to music, and write all from my desk. It would be nice to write outside sometime.
2. I have been writing my whole life. Nothing spectacular in my school days, but I have always enjoyed writing, both creatively and emotionally. Why I started writing my blog is a more interesting answer. I watched an inspirational video one day, and it got me thinking. It made me think about how to get my lyrics for songs out of my head and to a place where other people can read them. Before I knew it, I had to research how to set up a blog, and I never expected it to just take off like it did. I write and I have a lot of fun with it. I hope it never stops being fun. I used to write as a form of not keeping things bottled up. Now I am practising to write a fantasy trilogy by writing on my blog, building the habit. Always thinking…
3. The favourite parts of my life are finding my passions. I love the beach and the ocean, especially in Cape Breton. I love my husband, and the life we have together is not always perfect, but that keeps things interesting. I love creating things, from thought to completed projects. This blog has been a wonderful rediscovery of my own passion for writing. I truly believe that writing is what I am meant to do, that it is my purpose in life. I also love it when I line up all my ducks in a row to land the unexpected joke once in a blue moon. That is something that gives me a lot of joy. This year I have grown personally. I am proud of the person I am turning out to be, flaws, bad jokes, and all!
4. The most challenging part with writing is actually three things. The first one is that I need to know when to take breaks. I do not have any problems writing, I need to remember to stop and eat, and walk around for a bit; to step away from my desk. When I decide to write I need to make sure I don’t ignore the rest of my life. The second thing is grammar and punctuation. Grammarly is helping with that. I have trouble with commas, and use a lot of exclamation points! The third thing is that you should always write down your ideas as soon as they hatch…or you will forget them like I just did for my number three.
5. Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. I get a title in my head, I start writing, and there is my story. I hear people talking and I run with an idea the conversation sparked. I am an emotional woman, and my feelings sometimes dictate the direction a story goes in. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have to get a pen and paper right away so I don’t forget what I dream up. Other times I use my highly developed pantser skills and sit down with nothing in my head for an idea or plan, and I just start typing. A short time later I have a blog post or a new song. I am certain that writing is what I am supposed to do, and with that being said, inspiration can strike at any given moment in any place I am present in. I have faith and religion in my belief system, therefore all of the inspiration I have comes from God. He made me this way. Always thinking…
As I need to post this blog to grab the link to put into my announcements for the bloggers I have chosen to nominate, please allow me a few minutes to type up my nomination memo for the nominees. I have not mastered the internet well enough to be able to do both things simultaneously. (This note is for nominees-your memo is coming if you didn’t get it yet).
I would like to nominate (in a randomly organized list) the following Bloggers for The Mystery Blogger Award:
As if it wasn’t hard enough to select a few of my favourite Bloggers to nominate for The Mystery Blogger Award, now I have to think of five clever questions to ask them all. The rebel in me has disguised a few extra sub-questions sneakily with the five I am required to ask.
How long have you been Blogging?
If you could put a face and a name to your Muse, who would it be? (My silly question)
What is your why, as in why do you write?
Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what artists and or types of music do you enjoy listening to while writing? Does it change as your story develops?
Who is your favourite published Author? Do you read their books only once, or do you read them frequently? If you can’t narrow it down to just one, two or three are also acceptable as an answer, as I have three at the moment, and that is in the top three of a long list of many.
If you check the links above, you will see there is already one link to my first ever guest post. As per the rules, I can also link to some of my favourite blog stories.
The Little Blog That Could! , I Had Sass in Zumba Class! and When the African Violet Blooms are three that stand out to me and others, based on the number of likes and comments. I am really proud of all of them. I have created two regular series within the blog as well, Trust Your Gut and Weekend Warrior. They are stories that aim to help keep me on track and inspire the readers to keep working on the things that challenge them in their lives. I have had other people submit stories for Trust Your Gut, and if you have issues with weight, and would like to submit your story, please contact me. I would love to help you tell your story by sharing it in the series.