This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Waking Up.

The last week has been like a bad dream. My mind has been filled with a fog that has kept me unfocused and unmotivated. I haven't slept much and that makes it worse. The funeral for my cousin was on Friday. It was the hardest funeral I've ever been to. I've been to a lot, unfortunately. But, saying goodbye to someone who was like a brother to me has left me confused, angry, guilty, and desperately sad.

I've spent a lot of time in quiet thought and prayer and today I woke up feeling a little better. I woke up feeling like I'd slept. I woke up without memories of terrible dreams. I woke up wishing I could sleep more since I finally had a little rest.

Last Wednesday evening after work I headed home to Oklahoma.  It was comforting to be home among family and friends. I just wanted to help. To do something, anything. I certainly couldn't focus on work. Thursday we spent the day finishing the funeral arrangements. Part of that meant that I spent hours and hours going through family photos. That was very hard. But, I knew my Aunt could not do it.  Photos like these.
My cousin and I about age 3

It's Oklahoma, what can I say.

There are so many more.  We went to the cemetery, the funeral home, ran some errands. There is a lot of paperwork and chores associated with death. Hard decisions to make. I've learned that you really need to sit down and put in writing your wishes so it's not so hard on your family. My husband and I are going to work on this very soon.

The funeral was.....a good service. There were so many people there which is good for the support, but bad because you almost feel like your grief is on public display. But, that is how it's done. And then there was the food.

I don't know about where you are from, but in the south death=food. People start bringing stuff the minute the news gets out and continues for days and days. It's wonderful and yet not. At least we didn't have to think about food and the house was full of people so we didn't have to entertain or prepare anything. It's just another way people can show you that they care. And if you read my blog you know how food=love in my family.

On the bright side, I learned that my new body really does have to move. I hadn't worked out all week and when I woke up Thursday, I had to. HAD to. I decided to go for a walk/jog. I did C25K.  I learned one thing. Running while crying is damn hard. Between the cool air, the pollen and the tears, it wasn't too easy and I didn't go very fast. I didn't realize how many angry and sad songs I have on my iphone. Gotta work on that.  Anyway, after I felt a little better. I did some TKD practice and stretches after.

I can't tell you how many people told me how different I looked. How good I looked. How they didn't even recognize me at first. I've gotten used to these sorts of comments. It was just weird when I felt so bad on the inside.

Saturday I drove my Aunt and my Great-Aunt to the beauty shop. Another southern "old lady" thing. Saturday morning you get your hair fixed for church the next day. I was surprised she wanted to go, but I guess routine is a comfort in some ways. By chance there was a park next door with a walking track. So I went out, in the cold, and by cold I mean 45ish, and walked. I did 1.5 miles.

I also woke up this morning realizing that this crap-food fest I've been on has to be over. For one thing I gained 4 pounds. I am bloated and just plain icky. My stomach was queasy and gross last night after the Arby's drive through we had on the way home. I can't even begin to tell you how many calories I've consumed. There's been cake, cookies, Cokes, alcohol, pies, fried chicken, baked beans, greek food, pizza, lasagna and so much more. The truth is I didn't enjoy it nearly as much I used to. I found myself eating out of habit. I'm a little ashamed about that.

So now I am getting back on track. With my eating, with my exercise, with my emotions, with my schedule. As hard as it is, life must go on. And I'll be damned if the hard work I've done to improve my life is undone by tragedy.  There are those in this world dealing with much worse than I. I will turn my thoughts and prayers toward gratitude. For the times and memories I have of my cousin. For the love of my family and friends. For the career and talents God has given me. For the things I've learned over the last year of healthy changes. For the things I can do now that I couldn't before. For the future whatever it may hold. I will focus on my blessings and that will get me through.

What are you grateful for today?  Have you had those difficult conversations with your family about your wishes?  How are you waking up on this Monday morning?


  1. A very poignant post, Dr. F. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is clear that your cousin had a very special place in your heart. The photos are precious--two beautiful, innocent, children. I'm sure your kindness toward your aunt and other family members was greatly appreciated during what must have been a very difficult time.

    As for the food intake during this time--let it go. I know from the experience of my mother's illness and death, that food becomes important during such times, for many reasons--for the people providing it, as well as the people eating it. You did what you could, and now you will get back on track and take care of yourself and your family.

    Gratitude is the key. I have spent a weekend ill with a fever and a respiratory bug. I felt sorry for myself, but thinking about it, I am so grateful that my illness is a short-term "bug." For so many people, their illnesses are for the rest of their lives. Yes, I am very, very grateful.

    Take care...and my best to you and your family.

  2. Hi there. So so so very sorry for the loss of your cousin/'brother'. I lost my only brother at the age of 22 in 1992. There's nothing just right to say when someone loses such a love and such a presence in your life. I'm just so sorry and please make yourself laugh at least once a day from just the silliest little memory or funny thing that happened with you two. Today I am grateful for the fact that my 20 year old daughter who just got her driver's license last week took my car out for her first solo yesterday and made it there and back home safe and sound. WHAT A RELIEF! We have had a few conversations but haven't taken it any further with written or legal documents. I woke up this morning more refreshed with 8 hours of sleep than the previous 3 on Saturday night. Ugh. I just cannot tell you how much I love reading your "REAL" thoughts/frustrations/dealings with your weight loss journey! THANK YOU and bless you for sharing yourself with me and all your readers. Bless you and hang in there. You are doing just great. Allyson

  3. It's always difficult to find the right things to say. I do add my condolences to all the others you have received. This is the way of this world. Somewhere there was a baby born - God's way of saying He wants the world to go on.

  4. I would also like to add my condolences to those expressed above. To answer one of your questions.

    Today I am grateful for my circles. I have been blessed to be surrounded by a network of wonderful people who enrich my life and legitimatly care for me in a way I never thought anyone but family could. They are amazing and they take my breathe away with thier kindness.

  5. Just catching up on my blog reading - so sorry for the loss of your cousin - I absolutely love that you shared the pictures - the cowboy hat one is priceless!

    Sending big hugs your way!!

  6. It must have been a very hard time for you. In a way, though, the funeral and all the things that lead up to it help you get through this difficult time. I love that you found the pictures. Treasure them. Now you can get back to things the way they should be. I'm cheering you on. Me? I'm grateful to be alive this Monday morning and looking forward to getting where I want to be.

  7. Oh Oh Oh. I know what Oklahoma is like when death comes calling. I am so sorry about all of this. I am thrilled that your body wanted to move, even in the midst of terrible sorrow. That four pounds is probably two pounds of water at least.

    Thinking of you so much my bloggish doctor/comrade.


  8. Sorry for your loss, I have lots of cousins out in Oklahoma, around Tulsa...

  9. What cute pictures - it's obvious how close you two were. I can't imagine the grief you are going through - please know that I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

  10. Those pictures are just adorable. This must be very difficult (sorry to state the obvious). I have a big birthday this week and today there were all kinds of special "treats" in the office in my honor. I forced down some Triscuits and dip and a piece of chocolate cake. I'm not saying I know what you are going through, but I do on the food=love level. My best to you...

  11. I love the pictures, the reflection, sharing your experience and your emotions. Thanks for reminding us all to plan for the future - have those difficult discussions.

    Funerals, wakes, and eating just go together. When I look back at the blur that was last summer following the death of my mother, my weight loss graph was a total stall. Some of that was intentional, just trying to maintain; some was submerging my emotions in food - especially the first few weeks. My one suggestion is stay connected with your body AND your emotions as much as possible. Make a conscious choice how you want to manage your eating right now - maintain vs. continue to lose. You choose, but I wouldn't recommend going backward since you have come so far.

  12. Sorry for your loss Ann. It is times like this that can derail us and then make us refocus and keep moving forward.

    So glad you can get back on track. Keep moving forward.


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