Angst Girl

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Here’s to Your Health

Healthy Cupcake

It’s a new year and so many people make resolutions regarding their health. I don’t really make resolutions, per se, but I definitely have goals that I work toward. This year it’s my year to work at losing weight. I need to do it because I need to get more healthy, but I also need to do it so I can have open-heart surgery. Unfortunately, telling me I have to lose weight in order to have heart surgery isn’t really going to motivate me because who wants to have heart surgery? But I do want to put the whole thing behind me and I do want to be more mobile and in shape so exercise, here I come.

In case I haven’t already mentioned it a million times, I HATE exercising. Hate. It. And now I’m a little scared of exercising very strenuously because I’m afraid I’ll have another heart attack. I’ve been going to cardiac rehab where they monitor your heart while you exercise. It’s been going fine with no heart episodes, but it’s not very strenuous exercise compared to what I used to do at Curves. But my time at cardiac rehab is coming to an end (insurance will only cover about 20 visits) so I’m being kicked out of the nest to find my own way. That’s scary. But I know I can make more progress as far as weight loss goes if I put more effort into it and exercise more than the three days a week I’m doing now. Do I really wish I could wake up in the morning and be at my goal weight and skip all the exercise? You betcha. But that hasn’t worked out so far so I doubt it’s going to come to pass.

The heart surgeon said he wanted me to lose 50 to 60 pounds before he’ll do surgery. I go to see him later this week and I think I weigh about the same as I did when I saw him two months ago. So I’m not really looking forward to his reaction to that. But I have to go face the music and let him know I’m going to be working on it harder than before. All I can do is the best I can do. So far I haven’t been doing my best and that has to change. I really need to get this extra weight off me because I don’t want the gastric bypass surgery to be for nothing.

My mantra for 2014 is HEALTHY. I’m going to try to eat healthy, exercise to get healthy, and take my medications to stay healthy. Oh! I just thought of another mantra that I totally want to focus on this year: DECORATE. I’ve lived in this house for about seven years and still haven’t really made it my own. I want to paint every room except one and I have wall hangings that need to be put up once the painting is done. I’m not planning on any big, expensive projects (like taking up the carpet and putting down a laminate wooden floor) but I think painting will be totally do-able. I’m shooting for early spring to get started on painting and I’m really hoping my bestie and her man will be willing to be hired out to do the painting for me. Not that I’m expecting to get all the rooms painted right away but it would be nice to at least get the living room and hallway painted. And maybe I can talk them into doing the small bathroom at the same time. I haven’t talked to them about it yet and don’t know what they’ll charge me for their services, but I’m hoping it will all come together. I’m also not sure where I’m going to get the money for the paint and primer but let’s not sweat the details yet, ok?

So there we go: 2014 is the year of being healthy and decorating my crib. It’s kind of all about surrounding myself with beauty; the beauty of a healthy body and the beauty of a well-decorated home. Hmm, maybe I should add a third mantra: BEAUTY. I think I deserve beauty in my life and it’s worth it to put some effort into creating that beauty.

Now that I have discovered my three mantras for the year I just have to dedicate myself to them. All of them are a little out of my comfort zone but I’m committed to making them work. I’ll check in here from time to time to let you know how they’re working out. Wish me luck!

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I watched a documentary on PBS on Monday named “Flying” and it left me feeling inadequate. In fact I almost stop watching it, even though it was interesting, because I was feeling bad about myself. It chronicled the life of a forty-something woman who is a filmmaker and travels the world. She has a ton of friends from different countries and backgrounds. She was living an exciting life and I found myself to be jealous of her. I have a very small circle of friends and am currently unemployed but have always had desk jobs. I don’t travel that much (although I’m on the final countdown to my European trip!) and would like to travel more. She was able to be very introspective and looked to her friends for context and feedback and is able to take negative feedback and make it an opportunity for personal growth.

I found myself taking stock of my life and not really liking what I saw. I’m still fat, I have few friends, I’m on disability so I have no job, I’m not spontaneous, and I’m just not comfortable in my own skin much of the time. I finished the documentary in tears. I know I shouldn’t covet someone else’s life but I just couldn’t seem to help it.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that I just couldn’t live that life even though I wanted to. I’m an introvert (see THIS LINK. It completely describes me) and I need to get comfortable with that. It’s who I am. I’m working on losing weight, I’ll eventually have a job again, and I have little need for a large circle of friends. I need to find a way to be okay with where I’m at in life but it SO wasn’t what I imagined it would be. I mourn for that loss. But I need to stop getting stuck in the mourning period and move on with life as it is or make the necessary adjustments to change it.

I also need to cut myself a break. I’ve had difficult things in life to deal with (as we all have to some extent) and I’ve been able to come out the other side still intact. Depression consumed many years of my life and being overweight has inhibited me from reaching my full potential. As a residual effect of the depression, I tend to get stuck in the past because for so many years I didn’t see a future for myself.

The facts are that I’m a very compassionate person, I’m smart, have good common sense, love deeply, I embrace the differences in people, am a good problem-solver, and I am creative. I need to embrace the good in me and live from a place of gratitude and self-love rather than jealousy or grief. I couldn’t live her life because I am me and have different strengths and struggles.

I can intellectually realize all these things but have never been able to absorb them and believe them. It’s something I’m working on and will continue to work on the rest of my life I’m sure. With what do you struggle?



I have been fat most of my life which means my body has been very challenged. I have had knee pain in both knees for a few years and I know it’s because I’ve carried so much extra weight throughout my life. But what’s done is done and I just need to find a way to improve the situation to the best of my ability. To that end, I visited with an orthopedic surgeon last week.

When I got to the doctor’s office I was almost immediately shuttled into the imaging department for x-rays of my knees. I very wisely wore a dress so I didn’t have to get into a medical gown. It went ok although it was a little bit of a challenge to stand for them, but we got it done and I went into a little room to wait for the doctor.

I didn’t have to wait too long for the doctor to show up (miracle of miracles) and let me just say, he’s a pretty good looking guy. He looks young but he can’t be as young as he looks. Anyway, he pulled up my x-rays on the computer and it took him a few seconds to tell me the verdict: several bone spurs and acute arthritis. Yay. He said I would need knee replacements but they won’t do them until I’m at least 50 (I’m almost 45) and lose more weight. I wasn’t terribly surprised by the diagnosis but it’s still disheartening to hear.

I told him I would be traveling in Europe in October and asked if there was anything I could do to improve the knee pain. I can’t take an anti-inflammatory because of the gastric bypass surgery so that was not an option. He advised that I come back to see him a week to ten days before the trip so he can give me cortisone shots in both knees. I’m certainly no expert, but that sounds painful. He said they would be more painful for a day or two following the shots, but then I should get some relief from the pain. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little freaked out by the prospect of a long needle being inserted into my knee. I don’t mind needles but it just seems wrong to mess around inside the knee; especially when it’s already sore. But I’ll do what I can to make the trip more comfortable so back to the doctor I go on September 30th.

If anyone out there has had cortisone shots in the knee please let me know what it’s like and how much it hurts.

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Let’s be clear about this: I HATE to exercise. Hate. It. I sweat a lot, I get out of breath easily, and it’s just not fun. That being said, I have a big European trip coming up in October and I’ve got to be able to fit my fat ass in the airline seats.

Before I had gastric bypass surgery, I was too heavy to move around very much so I lived a pretty sedentary life. That combined with a long recovery from surgery and it meant that my leg muscles atrophied and it is now difficult to walk or stand for very long. Even though I’ve lost about 160 pounds in the last year, I still struggle with leg weakness. I was in physical therapy for a while but insurance only covers that for a limited amount of time. So now I’m on my own to get motivated to get out there and walk to build my stamina and strengthen my leg muscles. Unfortunately, motivation is not my strong suit. And getting motivated to exercise? Forgetaboutit.

Once I build up some more stamina, I’m planning on joining Curves gym. I like the idea of working out with only women and I also like circuit training so it seems like a good fit for me. Then all I’ll have to do is get motivated to go to the gym! I would like to lose another 150 pounds before the trip but I know that’s a lofty goal. I’m going to shoot for it but won’t beat myself up if I don’t quite make it. One thing that’s working against me is hypothyroidism (my thyroid doesn’t secrete enough thyroid hormone). Even though I’m on replacement therapy (a daily pill), it’s still an uphill battle to lose weight because the thyroid plays a key role in metabolism.

I’ve pretty much plateaued at 360 pounds and I know that it’s going to take a lot of movement to get back on the losing train. The weather has finally kind of squared away here and we’ve had some nice days so I have no excuse to not get out and walk. And my darling fur baby, Daisy, needs some exercise, too. It’s currently 1:47 AM so I’m not going to go out and walk right now, but I have my shoes by the door ready for tomorrow!


The Nameless Blog Post

When I restarted this blog, I promised myself I would post on a regular basis so here I am. I’m not feeling particularly inspired, however, so I’ll just start and see where this leads. Want to come on my journey with me? Ok, let’s go!

I’m having trouble with iTunes and it’s really pissing me off. I opened the program the other day and about 98% of my music was gone. Poof! I imported all my music again only to have it disappear again the next day. I went to Apple support and they gave me a case ID and told me to call them. I called and the guy said he couldn’t help me that I would have to contact Apple store support. I explained that it wasn’t just the purchased music that disappeared, it was also the music I imported from all my CDs. He then offered to get me to tech support but said they would charge me $19 to troubleshoot it for me. What?! Why the hell would I pay money to have them troubleshoot their own fucking program? I didn’t make any changes to my computer recently and didn’t add any software so one can assume it’s a glitch with their program. Very frustrating. I imported all my music AGAIN so let’s see what happens next.

I just found again a blog that I used to enjoy reading and I’m so glad I did. Here’s the link to Kizz and Tell. I must warn you , however, that it is mature content. Kizz also writes another blog I follow: 117 Hudson. I also found another blog from my past, The Blue Door. You see, when I stopped writing this blog I also stopped visiting the blogs I used to read. Not really sure why, I just got a little tired of blogs for a while. It had nothing to do with their content because they’re both good writers, I just pooped out on them. But I found them again and I’m so glad I did. It’s like running into old friends.

So I had gastric bypass surgery a year ago and there are certain dietary restriction: no tomatoes (really it’s the seeds I can’t eat but have you ever tried removing the seeds from a slice of tomato? Not easy), no sugar, no bread, no rice, no pasta, no cucumber seeds (luckily those are much easier to remove), no deep fried foods, and no pop. I’m pretty good about sticking to the dietary requirements but I’ve had a craving for Chinese food for a while now so last night I went to the Eggroll House and ordered Ming’s beef. It’s the only dish I really like and it’s delicious. But it’s kind of fatty and is over rice so definitely not on the old diet. But I ate it anyway and I paid for it. I had VERY uncomfortable feelings in my gut and ended up vomiting a couple times. The vomiting wasn’t so bad because that alleviated the pain in my stomach, but that pain was a doozy. Although I really like it, I won’t be eating that again. It doesn’t taste good enough to put up with the side effects.

That’s about all from me for today. I ended up having a little more to say than I thought. Yuzzah!


The Book

Welcome to my little corner of blogland! I’m very happy to announce that I’ve published a book, A Life Less Lived, and it’s available on You can purchase it in the paperback edition or the Kindle edition. The book is a personal memoir about my struggles with clinical depression, sexual abuse, weight, and gastric bypass surgery. It sounds like a heavy book but you’ll be left with feelings of hope and optimism.

This blog is a further examination of these topics as well as my feelings on life and people in general.