I am not what most people consider a typical mother my kids don’t call me mom, they call me by my first name. But I am a mother none the less. When I was very young my mother said to me, “I hope you never bring children into this world.” Confused and a bit hurt I asked her “why?” She went on to explain that the world of the future will not be like it was when she grew up. She felt it would be a hard life going forward for future generations. She apologized to me for bring me into this world, worrying I would have a hard life. She re assured me that she loved me and while I didn’t totally understand her fears, I do now. That got me to thinking.
As a young adult I made the decision to never give birth to a child, and I never have. I did, however, want a family and wanted to raise children. I always thought I would marry and we would adopt. That was my plan.
I met a wonderful man who had three children, the youngest being 4 years old, and the older two children in their early teens. Wow, that kinda sounds like the Brady Bunch song. We married 5 years after meeting. I met my husband after his wife passed way, having recently lost my own mother I could relate to some of the same feelings his children were going through. My husband and I were together for 5 years before we married. During those 5 years I was very involved with the family. I really grew to love the children and care for them as my own.
I felt very strongly that the kids remember their mother and I would sit down with them and put the VHS tapes in the player and watch family movies or look though the photo album. The youngest one loved to watch them and would ask lots of questions. The older two would watch for a while and then go off and do other things. One of the things I felt strongly about was not changing the look of the house or putting the things that belong to their mother away. I knew from personal experience how it felt when walking into to my childhood home after my father met his second wife and that she had wipe away any signs of my mother. Now I was in my 30’s at the time but still bothered me. I didn’t want these wonderful kids to feel I was replacing their mom. She would not be forgotten and locked away. Was it always easy for me? No.
When we finally got married the youngest was 8, by this time she was so used to calling me by my given name that once I was officially her step mom she just never thought of me as anything other than my name. I never expected the older two call me mom, but deep down I did for the littlest one.
As they grew up I made mistakes, but what mom doesn’t? I never forget I am the step mom, and I often wonder if the mistakes I made hurt them. I sometime wonder if I hadn’t been there would their lives have been better. Would they be happier? Mind you they had/have a good life. They were well loved even if it didn’t always seem that way.
I often wonder if they really know just how much I love them. You see I’m not sure how they really feel about me. I wonder if other mothers feel the same way? Or is it a Step-Mom thing?
Since its Mothers day and all the commercials are showing kids showering their mothers praise on such a wonderful job she did to raise them. It has me thinking do my kids feel the same way? Do they understand that I would do just about anything for them? When they are hurting, I’m hurting, when they cry I cry too? Do they know I would do it all over again?
I’m not so old that I can’t remember what it was like when I was their age. In fact I remember telling my own parents “Just let me make my own mistakes,” and did they! I can laugh about it now. I wonder if thing s would have been different if I had listened to them.
I wonder if they understand that I worry about them. I have so much life experience that I can often see the pit falls they are headed for and when I try to warn them, it’s not to be controlling, but to try and help them steer around the pit?
I hope they know how proud I am of them, they have grown into wonderful adults.
October 4th the family took a trip to New Orleans. This was the first time since my surgery that I’ve flown in a plane. My WOW moment was when I put the seat belt on, and I didn’t need the seat belt extender. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have to ask for one or bring my own. I did pack one to be on the safe side but was thrilled not to need it.
We had a wonderful time in New Orleans and I wouldn’t mind going back. I just love the French Quarter.
Today was the Lifetime Fitness 90 Day Challenge 5K. My trainer Sara Hottovy got me to do the 5k, trust me I was trying to think of ways to get out of it. Lisa joined me. I didn’t do the full 5k I did 2.5k which is about 1.5 miles. By the time I got to the starting point (it was loop we were supposed do twice) I was very tried and wondering how I was going to do a second lap. But there were several others on my team who were first timers and they had decided to stop so I didn’t feel so bad about it. I do have a new goal to finish a 5k and I know I will.
After the walk we were going back to the gym. As we were walking up the step my back seized up on me as I was moving to the next step. I couldn’t move it hurt so bad. Lance on the trainers and the one who walked with me, asked if I was ok. I told him “no” and explained what happened. He got me a chair and ice packs. I think I sat there on the steps for about 15 minutes before I move again.
A while ago I decided I needed to start exercising. So Lisa and I joined Lifetime Fitness, thinking motivation in numbers would be a good thing. Mary just loves Zumbia so we tried that. Lisa liked it, but I didn’t care for it all that much. It was to hard for me to learn all the step on the fly. I know if I kept going I would get it, but, it just didn’t really see worth it to me. I also tried Soul Grooves which is similar to Zumbia but didn’t seem as fast paced, Hip hop was interesting but I found I just really don’t care for group classes. Then Lisa and I tried using a trainer. We got Kristi. She is a petite thing and a ball of fire. Let me tell you she can put us through our paces. I look forward to going each Wednesday. Well ok, some days I don’t want to go, and even though I am tired after the working with her I do feel better. Here are a few pictures of us working out.
A year has passed and what a ride. There have been ups and downs, but it has been worth it. I was recently asked if I would recommend this surgery? The answer is yes, if you have tried everything else. No matter what anyone says this has not been and easy journey. I’ve had to look deep inside and fight the mind games I’ve had for years. Am I sailing along now? No, I have days where I struggle with my head telling me I want x or y. But now I finally have the tools I need to keep on going.
I am not at my goal weight, I have about 65 more pounds to lose. But I know I will get there. Here is a snapshot of where I started to where I am right now.
I’ve been reflecting lately on my weight loss. I remember wondering after the surgery if I would really lose the weight. All my life it has been a battle and I continually lost. But now, have lost 120 pounds and feeling great. I was talking with my boss and gave him an update on my progress, yes he could see it, but when I told him how much I had lost he was shocked. He stated he didn’t think I had that much to lose, I smiled and it hit me, that I had in fact lost a person (weight wise). I still have a hard time believing that I’ve lost this much. I have times when I still view myself before surgery. I was told that would happen and really couldn’t see how you could still feel the same as before losing so much weight. But all I need to do is look in the mirror and see the change. Yes I can see it, there was a time when I couldn’t.
About a week or so ago Mary and I went down to a function at work where they where showcasing the new breakfast menu that would be served in the hotels. We walked around and looked at things and I didn’t feel like a cow trying to wind my way through lots of people. We stopped and talked a couple of co-worker while they were eating. As I stood there, I felt almost normal. People weren’t taking a wide birth around me, yes I was watching. While I still have over 80 lbs to lose, I am proud of just how far I’ve come.
I have reclaimed the life I hadn’t realized I’d lost.
I can walk up and down stairs without becoming breathless
I can walk for more than 15 minutes without looking for a place to sit down
I can try on clothes in the store and am always thrilled when they fit
I went shopping with my daughter in Stillwater, we spent several hours going through antique malls, had lunch and spent a wonderful day together. That would not have happened before surgery. I will treasure that day.
I am now crossing my leg, and the best part is my foot doesn’t stick out so far in front of me.
I can get down on my knee’s and while it still hurts, I can stand up without feeling like I need a crane to get me back on my feet. To be honest, it’s still not super easy yet, but it’s a start and I know I can do it.
For the first time in my life, I am proud of myself. Sure I have times when old habits creep in, but I know how to stop them, and get back on the right path. I have a wonderful supportive family and without their love and support I know I wouldn’t be able to keep on going.
So if anyone is thinking of having this surgery I urge you to do it. It changed my life for the better. My one real regret is that I didn’t do this years ago.
Today was a very nice day. We celebrated my father-in-law’s 90th birthday. The party was held at Jax Restaurant in Minneapolis. We have about 45 people come to help him celebrate. My nephew Blake and his wife flew in from Atlanta which was a wonderful surprise for us all.
Tonight was a fun night, I was awarded two tickets from work to the Twins Game. It was in the company’s suite and was it ever nice. There were other 10 other employees with us. Our hosts had sheets with questions about the game to answer before it started. If you answer was correct as the game progressed you won a prize. I got a Twins Baseball hat.
They served hamburgers, hot dogs, walleye and chicken fingers. We had chips and dip, pop, wine, beer, and water. Then there was the desert cart! OMG it was fabulous, just about every kind of desert you could want. From cake, to cheesecake, to cup cakes to pastries. Tom took the OMG this good Carrot cake. Yes that is what they made him call it. I had a taste of it, and it was really good. I choose the New York style cheesecake and it was yummy. The suite had two high tables, and then one longer table that over looked the stadium. Then here were two rows of seats with an overhang to keep the weather off. It was a little chilly that night, but the heaters above the seats were most welcome. They also had two flat screen TV’s one in the suite and one above the seats. So it was nice to be able to look up and see the players. The Twins played the Kansas City Royals and won so that was a bonus.
The picture below was captured by an employee who was not with our group (Thanks Jenelle). She looked up at the jumbtron and saw us and made her husband take a picture with his cell phone. It’s a great memory and I’m so glad I got to go!
This weekend is our 12th Wedding Anniversary and I thought it would be fun to do something a little more special than our usual go out for dinner and movie. So I did a search for Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota. I found lots of lovely places to go. I thought it would be nice to get out of the twin cities and go someplace we hadn’t been before. I found The Candlelight Inn, in Red Wing Candlelight Inn . I was lucky to get a weekday rate which really helped out. We got the Queen Victoria Room and I was not disappointed. More on that later.
We left for Red Wing on Saturday 7-17-10 in the morning and took a leisurely drive stopping at a flee market where Tom got a microwave for is office, and I got a pair of earrings, we also picked up a couple of things for the kids. It was very sunny, hot, and humid, but the car’s A/C was a great relief. We pulled into Red Wing around 11:30 and set out to find a place for lunch. We decided on Maries it is in the Armory building. I had my doubts after entering the building but they were soon gone. The service was wonderful. I had the salad/soup buffet and Tom had a burger. The food was great! They were having a prime rib buffet that night so we decided that was where we would eat for dinner. After lunch we walked around downtown. Stopped in the Red Wing Shoe store, I was hoping to find some new shoes but I didn’t really like the styles and they didn’t fit well. Then we moved on to Uffda Shop, it was a very unique Scandinavian store I really enjoyed looking around. Then we moved on to some other shops, but the humidity was really getting to us so we decided to go the Red Wing Pottery store. It was a fairly large store it had not only the Red Wing Pottery but had other types of pottery as well. Attached to the store were a couple of gift stores. Just a cross the street was the factory where the pottery used to be made. Now it houses lots of little shops and antique stores. We spent quite a bit of time there.
At 4pm we headed over to the Candlelight Inn to check in. The furnishing were beautiful and as I said before we were not disappointed. Lynette the Inn Keeper was the sweetest person, we had a chance to talk at length during our stay. She is what I would have imagined an Innkeeper to be like. The bed was very comfortable and I felt like I slipped back into time.
We went back to Marie’s for dinner, however, this time we were not impressed with the food or the selection. Oh well live and learn. After dinner we went to see the Last Air Bender. It was good, but I could have waited for it come out on DVD. It moved a little slow and seem there might be 3 more movies to follow. After the movie we headed back to the Inn and to bed.
At 8:15 in the morning we were greeted to the sound of music outside our door, a basket with Coffee and delicious bran muffins were waiting for us. 9 am was breakfast, and what a feast it was, Apricot smoothie, then fresh toast made with French bread and ham, then a desert of pineapple upside down cake followed. I didn’t have the French toast, I received eggs and they were yummy. I did have a bite of Tom’s cake and it was to die for. We did meet the other guests and had a very nice conversation. After breakfast Lynette came out and told us about the history of the house. Then we were free to go.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, I don’t remember the last time I really enjoyed myself this much. I wouldn’t mind staying at more Bed and Breakfasts.
It’s been little over 6 months since my surgery. I got on the scale this morning and finally broke the 100 pound mark. I was thrilled beyond belief to see I had lost 101 pounds. Unless you’ve been through this you can’t fully understand how I feel, and to be perfect honest a part of me didn’t think it was possible. But the scale doesn’t lie. I did a happy dance after I stepped off, to my family enjoyment. I still have a long way to go, but I have come a long too.
Thoughts after the 6 month surgaversary
There are so many wonderful things and a few things that I miss.
What do I miss? Bread, sandwiches, French fries, hamburgers and hot dogs with the bun (see the bred thing)
What I’ve gained –
Enjoying walking, I can walk longer than 15 minutes with out pain in my back.
Wearing smaller clothes, I put on one of my hubbies tee-shirts and it was a little big. YAY
Having more energy, I’m actually shopping in stores now and not just online.
Fitting in theater seats and my legs not touching the arm rests.
Tying my shoes with out straining
Walking up stairs and not being out of breath
There are so many more.. but the biggest thing –
Feeling good about myself, looking in the mirror and smiling instead of cringing at that large person.
Here is a shot of me starting with the day of surgery, 3 months, 6 months..