Friday, September 12, 2014

You're Being a Jerk

Listen, I have a diagnosed metabolic disorder. The short version, as my endocrinologist explained it to me when I was first diagnosed, is that without medication I would not only have to eat a healthy diet, but also work out 8-10 hours per day, every day, in order to maintain a healthy weight. My body is trying to store (ie turn to fat) everything I eat.

For 30 years I'd go on the same diets as my friends and watch them drop 3 sizes as I stayed the same. I'd start running, to see no change. I did Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, NutriSystem, personal trainers, nutritionists - all with no results at all.

So yes, I take what many of you call "weight loss" medication. And I have news for you, it's not an "easy fix". It doesn't mean I'm lazy. It doesn't mean I haven't tried every eating plan, diet, or exercise program out there. It doesn't mean I'm not still trying. It means my body isn't working properly. It means not all bodies are the same and what works for one doesn't work for others.

Do you know what "weight loss" medication does for responsible patients with responsible doctors? It helps their bodies react to food and exercise in a normal manner so they can begin processing foods properly. That's it. So if you are one of those so-called "normal" people, it helps them be more like you, that's it. It doesn't mean they sit around on the couch eating cartons of ice cream while still dropping a hundred pounds.

My pituitary system is "completely out of whack". Besides how this affects my weight, it also means I'm severely deficient in several vitamins, despite how much I intake in my regular diet. Because when your body isn't working properly it's not 100% about intake / burn, it's about getting things to work like they're supposed to.

I'm under the care of one of the top endocrinologists - nay, one of the top DOCTORS, in the region - so I think I'll take his actual vast medical knowledge above your petty judgments, thank you very much.

So stop judging. Shut up about things you don't know anything about. I'm glad diet and exercise alone worked for you. I really am. I'm jealous of you. I'm terribly, terribly jealous of you. But have no idea the journey many of us go on and to assume every fat person is lazy or not trying, or every person who takes a pill to get their system to work properly is lazy and taking the easy way out really just shows how ignorant and judgmental you are more than anything. In short, you're being a jerk.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Today I will remember.

Today there will be times when my breath catches in my chest, when a lump forms in my throat.

Today I will worry about what my daughter will hear at school.

Today I will picture firefighters running into the Twin Towers. I will see my husband's face, and I will mourn those lost.

Today I will look for planes in the sky.

Today I will hold back the tears.

Today you will catch me staring into space.

Today I will remember.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Update on the Baby

So little Jillian is doing well. She's nearly four months old now, laughing and cooing.

We're doing well, but I have to admit there are tons of things you forget about having an infant in the house, especially with more than five years between the two. Plus each kid is different, so in some ways it's like learning all over again.

One thing is sleep. Jena used to go to sleep out in the living room, lights on, television on, sometimes even vacuum on. She didn't care. Jillian, however, needs dark quiet for her to fall into a good sleep. So much so that we transitioned her to the crib for naps much sooner than I'd intended, because she just wasn't getting good sleep being out in the main part of the house during the day.

She's taking 6 - 7 ounces of formula at a feeding, and once she gets a little more steady with holding her head up we'll start her on cereal. She sleeps anywhere from 6 - 10 hours at a stretch at night. The total is usually around 14 hours, but how it's split up varies widely.

I had starting out breastfeeding, and produced significantly more breastmilk than I did with Jena, but my supply dropped off around 7 weeks in, and I eventually stopped breastfeeding / pumping altogether. Pumping for 30 minutes on both breasts to get literally a few drops in the bottom of the bottle just wasn't cutting it.

She's an amazing little girl, and I can't believe God has blessed us again with such an angel.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Big News

So sorry it's been so long since I've been on. Life has been quite a whirlwind lately.

The biggest thing that I have to fill you in on is that I resigned from my job and am officially a full-time wife, mother, and homemaker.

It was a difficult decision, one that my husband & I discussed possibly hundreds of time.

It is definitely a leap of faith, but there have been numerous things that have occurred that make it seem as if God was laying the path out for us. Some things were giant stones along the path, others were tiny pieces of gravel filling in the cracks, but all of them seemed to be pointing the same direction: me staying home.

It's definitely been an adjustment for all of us.

The most uncomfortable part for me was waiting to officially resign. Even though we decided partway into my leave, for policy technicality reasons I had to finish my leave, return to work, put in a full eight hours, then leave. Keeping it a secret from my co-workers friends until then was really hard. Coming back to all the choruses of "welcome back" and "we missed you" was really hard, since it wasn't announced until lunch. My management team knew first thing, but we had to wait until the official announcement at 12noon. So weird to be there, working, with everyone so glad to see me, but knowing the whole time it was my last day.

I cried. A lot. After 10 years there a lot of those people felt more like family and friends than co-workers.

And there is a huge part of me that wanted to stay. Especially with all the changes at work. My company is relocating, and my division is headed to Michigan. Not that I want to move to Michigan, but I hate not being there for this major development.

Anyway, so far staying home is amazing. I literally cry at least once a week with happiness. I'm still getting the hang of everything, but it's great.

It would help if our routine would stop changing every couple of weeks, but for right now, that's life.

Just as a quick picture, right now my routine consists of going to a fitness boot camp several times a week, taking Jena to piano lessons weekly, and... homeschooling Jena. Plus all the infant care, chores, housework, etc, etc, etc that go along with it.

I'll try to post more details on each later, but I at least wanted to give you all an update on the biggest development since having the baby.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Depression Lies

I just want to say something about the tragedy of Robin Williams passing. And the passing of so many others.

Yes, depression is a mental illness. Yes, there is a chemical, physical, physiological reason that some succumb to the illness more than others. Yes, I have suffered from depression myself, and yes once upon a time I seriously considered ending it.

I was tired of hurting. Tired of the pain. Not so much the physical, but the emotional, the heartbreak that was so bad I could feel it, the pain in my chest that just wouldn't stop hurting.

And I thought of the bottles of narcotics I had in my possession to treat my physical pain, and I thought about taking them. All of them.

Then I called my friend, and I told him. And he saved me that night, just by talking to me.

And I don't know what would have happened if he hadn't picked up the phone.

Like any illness, there is the ability to fight it. To try your hardest to claw your way out of the deep, dark pit. Like any serious illness there will be times when it feels as if we cannot overcome it. Like any hardship, there will be times when it seems as though things will not get better.

But depression lies. Satan lies. And yes, I think Satan uses depression as a tool to stamp out the light in those suffering.

Despite knowing how difficult fighting depression might be, I am wary of saying things like "Robin Williams didn't kill himself, the disease did." I am wary of saying things like "he was helpless". I am wary of saying things like "Genie, you're free."

Each of these statements, well-intentioned though they may be, take away our power and romanticize the illness. We have the power to fight.

You have the power to fight.

Yes you, who is reading this, who might be suffering from depression yourself, who might be tired of fighting, who might be thinking of ways to stop the fight...

You can do this.

You can fight it.

If you choose to end your fight, you are killing yourself. You are letting the disease win. You are giving your illness your power, you are choosing to stop fighting.

I know it's hard. I know at times it seems impossible.

I know. I've been there.

But you can do this.

You can fight it. You can call a friend. You can tell your parents. You can seek help.

You can email me.

You can call a hotline (1-800-273-8255).

You can pray.

You can choose not to believe the lies. You can stop believing the lies.

You can do this.

Don't listen to them. Don't listen to the things people are writing and posting saying that sometimes victims of depression have no choice, can't help themselves. Don't give your illness that much power.

Depression took that from you? Take it back. It's yours. It is your power, not its power. You are amazing and strong, and look how hard you've fought so far! You've already done so much. You do not have to give up now.

People are romanticizing depression and death, saying that now he's free.

There is no freedom in suicide.

There is pain, and heartache, and questions, and guilt that will torment God-knows-how-many people.

There is no healing in suicide. There is only spreading the pain.

Yes, depression is an illness. Yes, we need to reduce and remove the stigma attached to it, and to all mental illness. Yes, there are treatments available. Yes, you can fight it.

If you are in that place right now, please listen to me. I believe in you. You can do this. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But you are strong enough, you are enough.

You are worth saving. You have light to show the world. You have amazing, beautiful light that some of us have yet to see. Let us see it.

Depression lies. Satan lies.

"You'll get thru this. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But God will will use this mess for good. Don't be foolish or naive. But don't despair either, you'll get thru this."  -- Max Lucado
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