Such A Long Way To Go – Yet Have Come So Far

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Back on December 22, 2014, I managed to get another job working at a local telecommunications company and a week later, Target announced they were closing all their Canadian stores, including the one I had just left. I knew something was going down back in October of that year when they had stopped hiring for the Christmas season.

So began my journey with Bell Technical Solutions aka BTS (Bell Canada owned)

My job involves a lot of manual labor which has me building some good muscle while the early hours provide a consistently reliable perpetual state of exhaustion. I get up at 3am Saturday – Wednesday and work from 5am – 1pm. When I’m not working, I am renovating my condo. Resulting in a typical day of staying active for about 16-18 hours.

So many changes you say? Well yes, so many in fact, I would need to write a novel instead of a journal. LOL

To summarize:

Our son bought his first apartment condo in early 2014. Then married March 6, 2016 and we haven’t really seen much of  him since.

Our daughter moved to Busan, South Korea in February 2017 to teach English and is loving every minute of it.

We sold our huge house after the kids moved out in May 2014 and bought a 3 bedroom, 1200 sq ft apartment condo and started renovating it before we even moved in. 3 years later, we’re still renovating…

After starting to work at BTS, my health continued to decline to the point the husband finally convinced me to go see a Naturopath. I had gone to the pill-pushing doctor, but all he wanted to do was to give me pills for the inflammation, pills for the pain, pills for the symptoms but no answers as to WHY I was having so many health issues. So we went to the first appointment with the Naturopath with loads of hope and anticipation to find answers why I am consistently sick and in pain. After a lengthy conversation, she put me on an elimination diet for 3 weeks. What this means is that I basically only ate fresh veggies (limited types), fruit (limited types) and chicken and fish (limited types). No dairy, eggs, shellfish, anything containing gluten, nothing processed, packaged or canned. And after 3 weeks, I survived! 😀 And to make things better, the pain and inflammation was dramatically reduced!

Once the 3 weeks passed and went back to the Naturopath for the next step, I got to introduce one thing at a time back into my diet on a weekly basis. So rice was first and so on…. until I found triggers that caused my pain and symptoms to return. After a few weeks of reintroducing foods back into my diet, foods containing gluten was the last thing to try. I ate some bread and within 20 minutes I was regretting everything! My stomach was in so much pain and my body was immediately reacting to the bread with inflammation and painful joints. I knew what it was right away.

Next follow-up visit with the Naturopath, basically established that I likely have Celiac disease based on my reactions to the gluten. At some point, I will need to go to the pill-pusher doctor to get officially tested for Celiac, but in the meantime, I’m finally pain free and losing weight once again and not missing the gluten at all!

To date I have found that as long as I steer clear of anything containing gluten, I do not have any health problems and not having migraines on a daily basis anymore is definitely something I’m willing to avoid at any cost!




I Finally Have Something To Say!

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Finally, something to write about… not that I don’t have much to say but at least it’s something to write down …

1. Work – I have fallen in love with retail work and seem to “fit in” to a job for the first time in my life. I’ve always been the “odd one out” in everything I’ve ever done, but for once, I seem to be liked and accepted by the people I work with. This is a huge deal to me. I got the promotion to Merchandising Brand Assistant on February 9, 2014 and have been spending a lot of time adjusting to my new role while I learn new things. This has been a challenge since softlines is a LOT slower paced than hardlines (clothing sections as opposed to everything else in a big store like Target)

2. Home: My family is well. The son continues to work full-time and is adjusting well to his adult-like life while learning to work with his disability and working towards an independent future. The daughter has finally graduated university with a degree in English and a minor in Spanish. She will be doing TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at college in the spring for a year before she moves to Korea to teach English. In the meantime, she’s working at a video game store and has been promoted to supervisor and seems to be settling into her new role just fine. The husband continues to work for Bell and the long hours that go with it. We see very little of each other these days but we’re happy and content.

3. Health: My health is slowly improving. My back feels like it has finally healed and I’m no longer in constant pain with it. I’ve had the flu the past week or so and have been off work to get better. And while I’ve been sick, I’ve been on a mostly fluid diet which brings me to my next point….

4. Weightloss: Well this is and always has been a struggle for me. But I think I’ve finally discovered what works for me with Hashimoto’s. The STARVATION Diet!!! Yes! I said it… the starvation diet. Literally meaning, TO EAT NOTHING substantial and the result is weightloss! I had a doctor tell me one time; when I continued to go to him for the same issue of gaining weight despite my best efforts to keep it off; (this included, lots of exercise and limiting calories etc) that no one ever starved to death! LOL Yes, he told me that basically telling me not to eat and I’ll lose weight! But you know, 20 years later, I think he was right! It’s kind of ironic but since I’ve had the flu, I’ve managed to finally lose 4 pounds by only taking in fluids…. yes, fluids consisting of soda, water and soup. Mind you, I’ve also actually eaten about 400 calories a day once or twice in the past week. But something I can’t figure out is that when I weighed myself this morning and was 231.5 pounds, I weighed myself three hours later and weighed 235.8 pounds! Figure that one out if you can!?!?!?! And the ONLY thing I’ve had today was 2 cups of coffee and 3 cups of water with ice! I wonder if the ice has calories since it’s a solid!?!?!? LOL

I’ve got lamb in the oven and will try my best not to touch it tonight! Food is the enemy right now. I MUST LOSE THIS WEIGHT!!!! I’m sick and tired of carrying around this weight!!! Drastic times calls for drastic measures… I MUST resist the evil that surrounds me every single day!

WoW is all I can Say

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It’s been a while since I journaled my thoughts and think it’s high time I entered an update.

I ended up quitting the Holiday Inn because my boss “threw me under the bus” and did not help me in any way to regain the ability to do housekeeping after WSIB stopped being involved. So when they changed my schedule to only 4 hours a week, I quit.

Meanwhile, working at Target has turned out to be a good career move for me. At first, I absolutely HATED retail as I’ve never done it before but after a few weeks of working there I got moved around to different areas of the store while it was being set up before store opening, and I got a chance to see another side of the operations. Turns out, they love me, and moved me into a group called “instocks” to track store inventory. I enjoy it a lot and get decent hours too. Management recommended me to be promoted to yet another department. I’ve submitted interest in the softlines and pricing areas and have an internal interview on Wednesday next.

In other news, I’ve had some other health issues. Breast cancer has been a huge scare in my life but after mammograms and ultra sounds, they came back negative. I still have to go for the gene testing and some answers as to what the lumps are since they seem to think it’s not cancer but otherwise, am somewhat relieved it’s not as urgent as previously thought. I’m still worried it might be cancer since my mother already had a mastectomy because of cancer and it runs in our family. Making sure I am thoroughly tested will confirm or deny any suspicion of cancer. And thankfully, I’ve got my faith keeping me strong through this as well. I would have given up a long time ago if it wasn’t for that!

Weightloss has been the least of my concerns since I hurt my back last year and once I get solid answers on my breast issue, I plan on starting another exercise and weightloss regime. I’m hoping for the spring once the nice weather comes so I can start by walking again.

I am currently weighing in at 235lbs…. That’s all I have to say about that…..

From the Pot into the Fire

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A lot has happened in the past month or so. I got hired for a part-time position at a huge retail store set to open in a couple of months and have found I am unable to do the walking and standing required to do my job there. I still have the housekeeping job but at this point I’m very confused on how to go about scheduling two part-time jobs and still get a day or two off to regain sanity.

In all of this, I’m in pain. Always in pain. I’m still going to physiotherapy twice a week but pain is a constant reminder of my limitations. It seems that since my injury at work, my fibromyalgia has flared up with a vengeance and there is no relief most days anymore. Before the accident, I had been relatively pain-free (minimal flare-ups) for more than three years. Now there isn’t a day that goes by without being in pain.

My son suggested I apply for ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) to help with finances so I don’t have to work full-time and then I could find just one part time job that is not physically demanding. I am seriously starting to consider this alternative since the pain is unrelenting and having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I automatically qualify for the help. I have not applied previously because I felt I could “deal” with the pain and work but now it appears the pain is worse than it was before. Much worse.

Today I weigh 231lbs which is good since I’ve managed to drop 5lbs since last week.

Trying Hard NOT to Give Up – But failing miserably…

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Just need to get my feelings out right now.

The past few weeks have been very hard for me. Emotionally I’m distraught and physically, I’m really FAT once again. I’ve packed on over 20 pounds since I hurt my back and I’m so discouraged. Still unable to work out and now that I’m transitioning back into work and up to 4 hours a day for 5 days a week, I am in a lot of pain once again. Spending all my free time laying down and taking a LOT of advil to help ease the pain. And the real kicker in returning to work is that I know once I’m back up to 8 hours a day, my employer will abandon me and won’t give me any shifts because they won’t be forced to keep me working once WSIB feels I’m “healthy” once again. I see the writing on the wall and there’s absolutely NOTHING I can do about it! This makes me so angry, frustrated and hurt. After all the hours spent working hard for my employer, the Holiday Inn and they will ultimately turn their backs on me in the end.

So at the end of all this, I’ll have no job and no income. I’ll still be recovering from my back injury that happened at work and I haven’t been able to find another job at all. Not that I’d be able to work somewhere else anytime soon, I’ve still been looking for another job that’s less physically demanding without any callbacks whatsoever. Feeling so hopeless right now.

And to make matters worse, I eat out of depression and then feel worse because I was too weak to resist eating. I’m eating all day right up until I go to bed at night and start all over when I wake up next morning. How depressing is that!?! I sure wish I had a friend. And this makes the depression worse… knowing I’ve got no one to talk to but this stupid journal that doesn’t help me anymore.

What I really need is a nutritionist, dietitian, personal trainer, or a bullet… one of these would fix everything in a second.

Picking A Bone

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It’s been about 5 months now since I hurt my back and I’m only now just starting to do light stretches and pelvic tilts to try and strengthen the weakened back muscles. I see the physiotherapist twice a week who continues to do the ultra sound therapy, “release” (light massage), and thinks I would benefit from acupuncture treatments. And starting next week, I’ll be going once a week until September 7th.

I have an appointment/meeting with the WSIB back to work “specialist” and my employer on Friday morning to try to get me back to work. My physiotherapist says I can do one hour, 2-3 times a week for two weeks and then increasing by one hour every two weeks after that until I’m back up to full time hours. That is, of course, barring any set backs. I feel I am able to do this at this time but know full well my employer and WSIB will try to push for more in a shorter span of time.

What they don’t know is that my husband and I are in agreement with my doctor that I’m not able to do this type of work anymore so once I’m back up to full time hours, I will consider quitting to pursue a less physically demanding job. Even though this whole time I’ve been off work, I’ve been sending out resume’s by the dozen and have had absolutely NO calls or interviews. It’s very discouraging for me and I’ve been fighting depression a lot, which of course, has me eating out of emotion.

On the bright side, I finally got approved for sick benefits from EI (government employment office) while I’m off work. Thank the Lord! These finances are very much needed!

I now weigh 231lbs…. I am getting more active but still not able to do exercise or anything too strenuous. I did a very slow and easy 10 minutes on the elliptical last week and was in major pain for three days after so I know I’m still a long way from anything more than light stretches and supported movements at this time.

Can it get anymore depressing than that? 🙁 SO not happy right now. I need a job and the ability to exercise this stress off. Until this happens, I find I’m just eating myself into oblivion…

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

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A couple of days ago, I was walking toward my front door to lock the house up and tripped over my husband’s work bag sitting on the floor in the middle of the foyer and when I braced myself for a fall and caught myself, I hurt my back in doing so. Ever since then I’ve been struggling with some serious vertigo. I’ve been unable to walk without falling over and feeling like the room is moving around all the time. I’ve been nauseous and dealing with an aching stomach as if I’d been on a massive roller coaster the past two days. I can’t focus or think and when I try to listen to a conversation, I get “lost” in the words. It’s like being in an episode of “Charlie Brown” when he’s at school and listening to the teacher go “wha-wha, wha wha”… that’s basically how it goes in my head right now. I find if I just sit very still and don’t move, the vertigo eases up. But the moment I turn my head or move my body, I’m back on that roller coaster and I feel like I’m going to fall again.

When I was driving the husband and son to work this morning, I even blanked out when I was supposed to be making a right turn at a “roundabout” and wasn’t able to think about what I should do next. I basically “froze” at the intersection and the husband had to tell me to go ahead and do the whole roundabout to my “exit”… He’s very concerned and rightly so… I was supposed to be doing the grocery shopping today, but I feel it best if I just stay home and stay still. Husband thinks I should call my family doctor but in my opinion, my doctor is no better than a drug pusher on the streets. The only difference is, the doctor is making six figures and doing it legally…. I don’t want drugs to “fix” my problem, I want real life SOLUTIONS!

The back issue continues to be ongoing and WSIB remains distant and non-compliant. I’ve managed to stabilize my weight to 227lbs and have been staying within my calorie budget of 1979cals with the occasional splurge. However, it’s very difficult when the husband eats at 11pm and makes some for me too. He’s so proud of his guacamole and wants to share it with me to see what I think, it’s hard to resist home-made guacamole and crispy flatbreads brushed with garlic butter and heated, I have to appease. After giving the husband some grief about it last night, I managed to scarf down the little plate of goodness along with an ice cold coke before heading to bed at midnight. The funny thing is, I was still BELOW my calorie budget for the day after that. Crazy but I find if I eat after 7pm, I do gain weight no matter how good I was during the day in controlling my calories. I’ll try to do better today…

“Back” to Basics

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I had my MRI on Friday, June 14 @ 8:45pm. By Tuesday, June 18th, everyone who needed to know, had the official doctor’s report on my back injury. I found out I have 2 slipped discs instead of just one as we had originally suspected. The L4/L5 & the L5/S1 are out and pressing on nerves. Once my family doctor got his copy, his office called me in right away. I have an appointment to see him this afternoon at 2pm. This should be interesting. 🙂

Now we wait to hear from WSIB to see if they will change their minds about my back injury and if they will pay me for my troubles. This too, should be interesting…. to be continued…..

I weigh 225lbs this morning and I’m doing pretty good (I think) in the eating department. I’ve stopped eating as much and am a little more active these days. With my mother here helping around the house and the nice weather, I’ve been “Keeping Up Appearances” (Gotta love Hyacinth!) LOL

Some Answers

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I finally got my MRI done last night at the local hospital and found out I’ve definitely suffered a slipped disc at the L4/L5. Bascially in lay-man’s terms, the disc just above where the bum cheeks meet (sacrum) and it’s pressing on the spinal nerve root that affects my right leg. Since I’ve not been able to “feel” my right leg and foot, I’ve been prone to more accidents and recently broke my second last toe (next to baby toe) when trying to lift my foot/leg up to step but not being able to get it high enough before slamming my foot into the obstacle. Needless to say, the pain raged through my foot and up into my leg for a good couple of hours afterward. Now my toe is a bright purple/black with an odd angle to it. I find it fascinating (the nurse in me) but certainly didn’t need the additional pain in my body!

Weight this morning: 227.8lbs

Fighting depression and trying to keep busy but at least I’ve got an answer to my back pain now. The “official” report for the MRI will be ready in about a week or so. It will be interesting to see how WSIB reacts to this report. I’m sure they will try to minimize the injury once again but this time, the facts are INDISPUTABLE!

Hope & Prayer

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I finally have a chance to sit down at my computer this morning having had my breakfast of 2 fried eggs, over easy, 1c of grits and a few pieces of bacon with my very delicious cup of coffee (522cals). I came to a realization yesterday over my situation with my back injury and weightloss journey. So much has been going on these past couple of months since I’ve been off work, it’s hard to sum it up into words at times but I think it might be possible to at least attempt to write it honestly and then face the facts found in black and white when I’m done writing.

Back Injury: April 6, 2013 – Massive Pain after wrenching back at work. Unable to do anything at all including sleep, walk or exercise. Let alone, work!

May 23, 2013 – WSIB assessment doctor and physiotherapist agree I should only be walking in water and state my gait is very bad at this time. Summary report given to me states same.

Ongoing: WSIB refuse to pay medical, transportation and missed wages. Finances are hard and husband is having to work extra hours to try to make up the loss but still not enough. Son is also helping with finances, but again, still not enough. They continue to be difficult, avoiding, evading and contradictory while I suffer with back injury and constant pain. I have applied for sick benefits from unemployment but my employer is being evasive in not getting an ROE code “D” to submit with my claim. As soon as my employer gives unemployment the ROE then the sick benefits will come in and we won’t lose our house. Until then, we’re on the verge of losing everything!

MRI scheduled for June 14th (tomorrow) at 8:45PM so am hoping I’ll finally have some answers to the intense pain. Chiropractor didn’t do much for me except the traction helped spread the spine enough to take some pressure off momentarily. Physiotherapy seems to be the only thing that has helped with the ultra-sound therapy dispersing the inflammation enough so I am able to finally feel EXACTLY where the source of the pain is coming from. The physiotherapist is the FIRST and ONLY one to ever examine my back without clothing covering it up!!! Hard to believe I’ve been to my family doctor, chiropractor, so-called WSIB specialist doctor and the WSIB physiotherapist but NONE of them EVER looked at my BARE BACK! Only my physiotherapist that I started seeing June 4th after my chiropractic treatments ran out took the time and care to actually look at my back and she couldn’t believe how swollen and hard my back was. She examined my right leg which has been numb and tingly since the day I hurt my back and found it was palpably HOT to the touch!!! She feels my injury is a slipped/ruptured disc just like my chiropractor has said from the very beginning but WSIB refuses to even consider anything but a back strain. Needless to say, I plan on getting a lawyer who specializes in WSIB lawsuits and I’m going to FIGHT them for what they OWE me because of their lack of concern for my personal welfare.

Weightloss Journey: Prior to injury I was up to 7.2 miles on the elliptical every other day and had been doing circuit training. Was getting major strength in abs, obliques, calves and arms. Stamina was at an all-time high and the fibromyalgia was pretty much non-existent. Had purchased expensive, professional running shoes to begin training for marathon running and was going to start jogging.

After injury, all forms of exercise stopped. Not even able to walk 10 feet without crippling pain and having to lay down for hours before the spasms and throbbing pain would subside enough to be able to prop myself up enough to drink water.

Since April 6th, I started eating whatever I could get my hands on from the moment I got up until just before going to bed. I stopped tracking on LoseIt, stopped weighing in daily and fell into a deep depression. I didn’t want to face my feelings of complete failure and hopelessness in my situation so I ate to give myself something to do. This was at least something I have been able to do since I got hurt.

I went from a steady 214.6lbs up to my current weight of 226.8lbs and am sure I will continue to climb the longer I’m incapacitated with my back. I’m still depressed and eating enough to feed 3 of me which I KNOW is wrong and I KNOW I shouldn’t BUT I can’t seem to stop myself. On LoseIt, I made my meal tracking private so no-one else would be able to see what, and how much I’ve been eating since avoiding tracking wasn’t helping me at all, at least I could track it privately and only worry about the sheer amounts of food I’m chugging back instead of fear of being judged by strangers for my weaknesses.

June 11th, I had a day of feasting and when everything was said and done, I had consumed more than 4000 calories. YES, it’s true – OVER 4000 calories!!!! When I saw this on my LoseIt application, I have to admit, it floored me but at the same time, a light turned on in my head….

Here come the facts:

What I ate on June 11th is how I was eating before my weightloss journey really began! That is the TRUTH!

In all honesty, I was eating more than 4000 calories on a regular basis and gaining weight was the result. I may not have been eating like that EVERY day but enough times that it packed the weight on. I can pretend as much as I want that I wasn’t eating too much at the time but the only person I was hurting was myself. No one else. No amount of “hiding” binge eating was going to cover the fact that the scale does not lie!

I am a FOOD ADDICT…. I am ADDICTED to food. I NEED help! I NEED to stop or I’m going to end up right back where I was at this time last year.

The reality is: I have no one to help me and I’m not really sure where to go from here…. and feeling totally alone and lost right now. But at least I am able to admit I am an ADDICT and I NEED help… in the meantime, I suffer in silence. My family would not and cannot possibly understand what I’m going through and I literally have absolutely no friends to share my sorrows with.

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