Oh man, how is it possible that a month has passed since I last posted?!?!? Oh well, I guess I have some updating to do! I am shocked that I didn’t jump on to say something about this! March 4th marked my sixth month of nonsmokerdom! I am happy to report that after six months I can definitely say that I no longer run out of breath going up and down the stairs in my house; my smoker’s cough is completely gone and has been for some time now, and everything I eat tastes better! Yes, I still crave a smoke once in a while, particularly when I am under a lot of stress, but that passes eventually and I know that will now. I feel really proud of myself for quitting and I think I have got this under control for good.
Part of the reason I have been so long in doing an update here is because I have been wrestling with personal boundaries for this blog. I want to be very open and honest about my feelings and what I am going through here because I don’t think anyone should feel ashamed about wanting to change their life. I don’t think anyone should feel shame that they struggle to quit smoking, because it is hard to do. I don’t think that people should feel shame that they have a difficult time losing weight, because it is hard to do. I think that anyone fighting the good fight to improve their health and quality of life should be fucking proud and if more people talked about this in a positive way, less people would feel ashamed about asking for the help and support that they need and deserve.
I made a decision to talk about my struggles with my mental health here as well. It is a difficult thing to talk about but because, more so than anything else I talk about here, I do not think anyone should ever feel shame about having these struggles, I want to talk openly about mine. Shame is what keeps people from the help that they need and we really do need to change the way that we deal with mental health issues as a country and as a world. I have had issues with depression and anxiety my entire adult life. It is pretty under control now but when the anxiety was at its worst in my early 20s I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am doing well now and the older I get the less I struggle but I know and recognize my issues and I know when I need help. Most importantly, I am not ashamed to ask for help. I am not ashamed that I have to ask for help. And I am no longer ashamed that I have the issues that I do.
That being said, I ran into a little road block with my last post. I have been feeling really down lately but here is the deal. The things that I am feeling down about are things that I am supposed to be feeling down about. That desire to stay chipper and look at the bright side of things? Still with me. Being so transparent here and wanting to make a difference for/encourage others/ vent about my struggles and triumphs is something I enjoy doing, but I unknowingly drew a line for myself that I desperately needed and it took me a few weeks to see that line. I tried talking about my feelings in regards to events in my life that are private and I really don’t want to share publicly. I wasn’t sure how I could accomplish being open and honest here without talking about every aspect of my life and what was upsetting me. There is a part of myself that I need to keep reserved for me and those closest to me and that is OK. I can still be open and honest about what I reopened this blog to talk about while maintaining my privacy. Unless it is an issue that specifically pertains to what I am doing here, I don’t have to talk about it here.
Now that all that is figured out, on to what I came here to talk about! So I am still having some difficulty with overeating but joining Weight Watchers has really helped me stay accountable for my actions. My mom was here for eight days at the end of February and I did HORRIBLE with my points that week! I even went over by A TON in points. BUT I did do my best to make healthier choices at restaurants when we ate out (and we ate out a lot) and I DIDN’T BEAT MYSELF UP! So I had a bad week. My mom’s visit actually straddled two Weight Watchers weeks for me because I weigh in on Thursdays. I actually gained 2 pounds while she was here, but again, I didn’t beat myself up. I got back on track after she left and you know what? I lost the two pounds I gained and two more the following week. In total, I am down 10 pounds in a month and a half! And even better than that, I can fit into my favorite skirt again! WOOT!
Oh! One other thing before I go! I finally got my CPAP machine! It is really weird and I have been doing some experimenting with masks and having some sinus issues etc BUT I think things are going well so far. I had my one week phone appointment with my respiratory therapist (who looks just like Santa Clause!!!) at the equipment supplier and the data that is coming in from my CPAP machine is really great! When I had my first test I had about 20 episodes of apnea that were 20-30 seconds long an hour. Since starting on the CPAP machine I am down to 1.8 instances of apnea an hour which is within normal range!
I did take it off in my sleep for the first few nights but I am sleeping longer and longer periods with it on and should be able to sleep all night with it by the end of the month or so. I am still feeling pretty sleepy when I wake up but the mask is waking me up a lot at night so I imagine once I am use to that I will be getting more quality sleep. One thing I have noticed after a full week on the machine is that I am not waking up with headaches anymore! The respiratory therapist tells me that it may take a few months for the swelling in my foot to be affected by the CPAP but I am in hopes that this does get rid of that too!
OK! There you have it, some good news, and a little drama… that seems like enough for tonight. I will check back much sooner next time. I promise! Until they, be kind to yourselves and remember to ask for help when you need it!