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My Heart Exposed - Helen's Journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Follow Me On Facebook Its Easier ! [Apr. 5th, 2014 03:44 pm]
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Another Week Closer! [Apr. 5th, 2014 05:07 am]
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Where has this week gone? I was in London on Monday, the rest of the week is a complete blur of packing boxes, handspinning a yarn, work, packing boxes, cooking, work, oh and, packing boxes, work, cooking, education, packing boxes, did I mention I'd been packing boxes all week? well that's mainly what I've done when I have been home in between appointments and work, kids, cooking and cleaning. The upstairs is practically empty now thankfully.

Featured above is my Dad, brother Myron and I in 1974, yep I found the box of lost old family photographs of which I am very very relieved.

In other news ...... prayers are being said for a friend who is very ill at the moment, he's developed some sort of infection and is not in a very good way at all so all healing vibes, prayers, witchcraft, what ever it is that you do please channel it through me to him so he can be on the mend sooner rather than later, I will be forever grateful

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Shopping the Helen Way :) [Apr. 1st, 2014 01:02 am]
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[I'm Listening To - |Let's Go Crazy - Prince and The Revolution]

This is me in London busy shopping for new kitchen worktops and other bits and pieces on the last day of March 2014. Wow that cappuccino was so good and so needed today!

I'd been visiting the new house, drawing floor plans and generally catching up on progress, more boxes and things moved in and out by Mason and Brian, they really did everything so fast this time it was fab. Its all looking really good I just can't wait to get moved in and sorted once and for all, its been a riot of activity these past six weeks, now we're on the home straight it feels really good. Managed to sort out beds over the past five days, that's a huge weight off too one less thing to worry about, kitchen is causing me a bit of worry as to the cooker's large size but I know it will be sorted one way or another so am trying not to lose any sleep over it just yet.

They say that moving house is right up there with divorce as stress levels are at their worst, we are making concerted efforts to not let either of these things become too stressful for any of us, at the moment so far everything has been ok, after weeks of packing we have weeks of unpacking to look forward to together .... I can hardly wait!

I booked Ivan in on a footie training camp with Spurs today, he is mega mega excited about this opportunity and I am absolutely delighted for him too I know he'll do himself so proud.

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A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime - One of My Favourite Poems [Mar. 29th, 2014 05:21 am]
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Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown
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Moving House : Childs Play [Mar. 29th, 2014 04:25 am]
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Moving house phase two has begun with the countdown to the last full month in Kent having already begun, my days are a constant steady stream of work, kids, house cleaning, cooking, work, craft, design, work, knitting, spinning, work, kids, oh and packing boxes!

Wrapping up things in newspaper is breaking all my nails, they are now officially the shortest they have been since 1996 when I stopped biting them. Hmmm, I painted on some clear seal tonight to see if I can grow them a tiny bit over the next few days.

Child's play, when packing boxes this week I had to go through Harvey's numerous toys, he still had masses of baby or toddler things despite previous clear outs of his room so this week I made a concerted effort to cut the stuff back again for the final time here, it will probably all be scaled back further from at the new place as the house is half the size.

Anyway, going through boxes Harvey and I were chatting away together, he said it all reminds him of the Toy Story's 1, 2 and 3 films where Andy is moving house deciding what has to go and what can stay from his toy collection. We made up a small box of our Toy Story toy collection together, I say 'our' because anyone who has been close to me over the years will know that the Toy Story films are amongst firm favourites of mine and I have collected all the original toys since taking Lionel and Joseph to watch the first film at the cinema when they were little boys themselves, so we'd packed up this box, it was sealed shut with brown tape, H Junior then decides he would poke some breathing holes in the top and sides just in case, today the box along with several others was transported to the house to wait for Harvey and us there, he was beside himself with the boxes leaving, he knew they were going but to actually see them being moved and not being able to go with them caused him a great deal of anxiety. Imogen took him shopping and bought some unusual shaped bubble blowers to distract him but whilst that worked all evening, tonight at bed time he was again focused on whether he was going to see his boxes of toys, trains and special Toy Story friends again, he said good night to them all which was cute.

Being there for him tonight seeing him wound because his special things had already left really did get me thinking because I havent packed a thing in my room yet, I have various boxes all around the room with things in the bottom but I havent been able to bring myself to pack anything of any meaning just yet for fear it would be lost, buried amongst all the other stuff, damaged or broke, or given away by mistake because we keep doing that, I think I have lost a box with over 500 family photos inside it, given the house fire in the late 90s where I lost everything, I'm a little bit sad about the photographs not turning up as its all I have left from that era when the boys were babies and I was married before, lots of childhood ones too of my brothers and me, so I pray it turns up very quickly once we are unpacking at the other end.

Also today it was finals day and the uni students were to hand in their dissertations, Lionel said he had till midnight to upload his, then I called him around 1:30am as arranged to talk about it, he was most upset as the website was down and he couldnt upload his work earlier, he's taken screen shots to show what happened as he was trying to get his file to go online so hopefully he won't be marked down for this, work is capped at 25% of the full marks if you hand it in late, so I'm keeping everything crossed he can sort this, the uni is now closed for Easter break too so that doesnt help but I suspect that lots of people would have had the same issue so there will be staff on hand after the weekend to sort it.

This week has also seen a shift in attitudes at home now that things can be seen to be moving along nicely, the kids are very excited about moving house which is a giant relief, I think its just Harvey that I have to concern myself with at the moment as along with Kai our large Siberian Husky dog, he appears slightly insecure over everything changing. Work occupies a large portion of my brain at the moment, as does one or two other personal things but the house move for the most part is not a worry at all now that things have started happening.

Its past 4am already and I simply can not settle tonight for some reason, its Mother's Day weekend here, my Linda will be here within a few hours, I have bought the meat for her special meal already earlier tonight so its just the fresh spices to go really which can be picked up in the morning as its market day.

I wonder what it will be like waking up in My new house, knowing its all mine and knowing I have security for perhaps the first time in my life properly. I wonder what each new day will bring as the first month unfolds, will I be able to handle everything, not depending on a husband and being filled with disappointment each day will be so uplifting and empowering I think. The future is going to be vastly different to that of my past, I'm excited by it all and just itching to get started. First my room, I've got to make a start today and get it cleared. At least I know I have a bed, the wardrobe will fit and I can keep my dressing table. I dont particularly like the wardrobe or dressing table but they serve their purpose nicely and so to have them in my room will be better than things just dumped everywhere, it will feel like home quicker than if I didn't take them. I'm quite loathed we have to get rid of the sofas because they are too large to fit but needs must, I just need someone to buy them now so the money can go in the removals fund for the van hire soon. I've sold some excess of fibre already, I have given some wool and spare needles to go to the car boot sale next week and lots of other craft items, scaling back is what everyone has had to do because of the lack of space down at the new house, but at least there I know we'll be using every square inch of the place unlike here where we had stuff still packed from our old place from over three years ago. Definitely dont want to just be storing stuff again, what is the point of doing that, if its not seen the light of day for more than two years we dont need it unless it has sentimental value, this has helped with clearing things out. Just can't wait to get there now, I hope that we can continue to work together as a family unit to make the transition a peaceful less stressful one for us all.

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A Brilliant Week [Mar. 27th, 2014 08:33 pm]
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This week is just flying by so fast, it only feels literally like yesterday I was away last week, before you know where you are an entire week just vanishes. We're moving house in a matter of ... well its very close now so the current house contents are nearly all packed up into boxes which fill the dining room half of the main large lounge, the kitchen is emptied except for the things I use daily, everywhere is looking pretty clear I'm pleased with progress.

Sunday will be Mother's Day here in the UK, my chosen Mum Linda is coming to spend it with us and I've also invited Margaret along too if she's not doing anything. I'll cook us all a feast and we will have a lovely day together as we head into another filled week ahead.

Angelica and I looked around a couple of charity shops this morning when she met me for coffee during my break, I bought a German Studio Pottery vase which was a bargain steal at £3.50, I know this because most of my pieces became broken when we moved here in September 2011, I've been looking for pieces to replace them so something like this would easily have cost £35 on ebay, so I am really delighted with my find. Then it occurred to me, more things I have been able to do since being able to see more outside, shopping! I scooped my own bargain actually looking and finding it all by myself, lifting it down without breaking anything in its path like I might have before and falling in love then purchasing the item myself! this is mega, previously I probably wouldn't have bothered looking because it would have been my standing near the corner out of everyone's way whilst my daughter looked around, she would not have known to show me a silly rather odd shaped vase from the top shelf in the back of the charity shop so we would have left without either of us having discovered it. I will treasure this piece then, its the first I've bought myself, I bought a bed frame last night too so I could use my old victorian bed frame in my room at my new house so feel absolutely delighted with that as well because I made all the arrangements myself.

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Does My Bum Look Big In This !!! (comparison pics) [Mar. 25th, 2014 09:38 pm]
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29th March 2012, 2013 and 25th 2014
106 kilos lighter from the left photo to the right one
I've dropped from a UK size 32 clothing to a size 10
that's twelve dress sizes!
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December 19th 2013 to March 18th 2014 [Mar. 22nd, 2014 10:28 pm]
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December 19th 2013

March 18th 2014

Its been a hell of a ride so far from January 1st 2012 to March 2014, two whole years of weight loss, so much more to follow in the coming months for sure :)

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Medway Matters Article (filmed November 2013) [Mar. 11th, 2014 07:18 pm]
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On your marks: Helen shows the way to a healthier future

By Lee Winter

A woman who could not walk, was partially sighted, and over-weight has praised the A Better Medway service for helping to turn her life around.

Helen Jacobs Grant, 42, from Gillingham moved to Medway in 2011 and signed up to a number of health improvement schemes with A Better Medway, which have enabled her to quit smoking, lose a significant amount of weight and have the confidence to join a gym.

But the biggest change is Helen no longer needs to use a wheelchair. She has gone from only being able to stand unaided for around 15 seconds and using her wheelchair full time, to not being a wheelchair user at all, and being able to run 400 metres around the track at Medway Park.

Helen was born with two with rare conditions – Albinism (no pigment) and HPS (Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome), which is a rare blood disorder affecting platelet function.

She said: “My life has been dramatically transformed with several lifestyle changes thanks to A Better Medway.”

And to add to her success story, since Monday, 1 July 2013, Helen has been de-registered as blind.

The mum-of six said: “Owing to so much weight loss, the new health and fitness lifestyle, change to my metabolism, my albinism eyesight, conditions of nystagmus and astigmatism, have improved dramatically.”

Before 2011, Helen had never set foot inside a gym but with the help of A Better Medway’s physical disability instructor Mikey Reynolds, she conquered her fears.

She explains: “Mikey set me realistic goals, and supported me long the way. He helped me understand the importance of exercise especially when I could barely move my legs and the correct foods to be eating for healthy weight loss.”

Helen continued: “I have lived all over the UK, but it is only here in Medway that I have found the support I needed to succeed in changing my life for the better. Medway is leading the way for public health schemes that really do deliver results.

“I cannot praise enough the Smoke Free, Tipping the Balance and the Exercise Referral scheme. Without the support of the professionals in these areas I wouldn’t have been able to make the changes I needed to and continue with them.”

Helen has used A Better Medway’s smoking cessation service, Tipping the Balance weight loss scheme and Exercise Referral.

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, which includes Public Health, said: “Helen is a real example of how A Better Medway schemes can change people’s lives for the better. It is always good to receive feedback from people who use our services, and in this case the lifestyle changes Helen has been able to make are amazing.

“Other people thinking of joining a health improvement scheme should be inspired by Helen’s story. Joining a scheme or asking for professional help can be daunting but we’re here to help.”

Helen is now focussing on volunteering with A Better Medway to inspire others to make the same lifestyle changes she has.

For more details about A Better Medway health improvement schemes visit www.abettermedway.co.uk

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Massively Long Overdue Update (picture heavy) [Mar. 9th, 2014 10:51 am]
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I dont really know where the time goes any more, I seem to blink and entire months just get swallowed up in a frenzy of work, kids, busy household, running my own business as a sideline to all of these things and new connections being formed which has all contributed to my being unable to update this webspace on a daily basis as I once did. Since joining the publicity world on top of everything else, I have had to use social websites for their connectivity where I post to one place and the others are updated as if by magic, otherwise the old way I'd have been stuck typing on my laptop for several hours of the day and life is way too short for that these days. So a big catch up from me then, for those of you not able to follow on Twitter, Facebook and other sites where you will find me :

my episode of Fat Surgeons which aired on Wednesday 24th July 2013 on UKTV's Really Channel

I felt very proud to have made this program with my family, however, a couple of things I want to get out there now so you've heard it from me and not read it in a newspaper or magazine article, I'm not actually married any more, my husband / partner and I had been trying to make a go of things but sadly in October 2012 we decided to separate partially when things just were not working out for either of us. We are still living in the same house and took part in the program together as a family because we are and always will be a family together just not a couple in the conventional sense of the word. However, I can never be accused of being "conventional" so I hope that we can continue to work together to be the excellent parents that we are remaining on the same team until such time as our youngest child Harvey now six nearly seven, turns into an adult. Please, its been a long journey trying to work out which way we should handle things, living together so that we can both be there for our children whilst I work seems to so far be the thing that is working for us as a family, so we do not need input, we've lived with this and made our decisions together based on what will work best for our family.

I've celebrated not being a wheelchair user for a whole year on February 13th, that is also the date I left my first husband back in the late 90s for domestic violence so a very poignant day for me all round that one, I celebrated it with a close personal friend someone who reminds me who I am and inspires me to be the person I am today.

Weight loss I am up to having lost a grand total of 16.5 stone in weight over 26 months, I weigh now 62.7kg and had my gallbladder out six weeks ago tomorrow along with a massive repair to my metal mesh abdominal walls again. I'm left with one piece of muscle tissue poking out from the bottom edge of the metal down on the right side which needs sorting in April, can not wait to just get on with things once this last piece of surgery is over with.

Plans for the future will see me moving, publishing my low carbs, low fat high in protein Fusion Asian style cook book with Random House hopefully if we can continue to negotiate on the rights and book deal, otherwise I'll self publish as I feel there is a real demand for people to learn exactly the way I did it when I was losing the bulk of my own weight, I've started needle knitting again now that the nerve damage to my central nervous system has been reversed and I can hold needles comfortably again, its been October 2006 since I could do that so I was highly emotional the day I realised I could knit with needles again, I remain highly passionate and committed to producing designs for knitting without needles however, I think I really did find my niche as it were when I discovered I had an understanding in how to manipulate the pegs to form stitches that look like you've spent hours using needles instead.

What else? on the exercise front I could not exercise from end of October 2013 to March 2014 which has felt like an absolute age, I had the advanced stages of gallbladder disease and every time I moved about the hernia bulge would pull causing the pain from the attached metal abdominal walls so I had no choice but to start slowing down until finally I was confined to bed totally having to submit to the pain and taking hefty pain relief again. I am so glad that is over with, this week I went for a short swim, walking out in the sunshine daily and now today I am doing both swimming later and taking my sons out on their bikes its such a beautiful day. It won't be long before I can get back into running and the gym again.

On the running front I took in The Medway Mile 2013 with my beautiful daughter Angelica, a very proud moment finishing the race, after being a wheelchair user I was blown away to be able to take part like that alongside so many other runners.

Publicity links are : Medway Messenger - Weight Loss

Medway Messenger - Medway Mile

My brothers and I have reconnected, I'm so pleased its been far too long!

I also have back my mother figure Linda, I spent my birthday with her in August and we've been fairly inseparable ever since she comes to stay regularly and is still the same beautiful bubbly warm wonderful lady she's always been, I've missed her incredibly much over the years.

Here are some photographs, I can not think of what else to update with right now, so more to follow this week as I think of it. Its good to be back on livejournal though, I've not forgotten about this blog I kept it renewed with the fees I just havent had a chance to really devote much time to using my laptop these days that's all. I will attempt to keep this updated maybe once a week and see how we go, I have some serious life changing stuff ahead of me within the next six weeks so you might get more than one post a week for sure!

Loads of Photos click here :Collapse )

Me going out to meet my new friend Thursday 13th February 2014

Desmond and I in recovery after my long operation on Monday 27th January 2014, knocked out 8:30am awake only after 6pm.

Angelica and I promoting Medway Sport for a New Year New You Campaign in November 2013

from left to right: Guy, Me, Dad and Myron, my real biological family reunited and photographed all together at last! January 13th 2014

My Family 29th December 2013 a very proud day indeed shame Guy couldnt make it as his children had chickenpox this weekend

My Family!

from left to right: meet Claire my beautiful step daughter, Imogen, Angelica and Me, I love this photo me with my daughters aww

Dad and Me reunited and burying the hatchet someplace safe once and for all, a very healing day all round

Mum Linda and little H on Christmas Morning, these two were the biggest kids that day by miles with excitement to match, it was a smashing Christmas 2013, very very special indeed.

these are Linda's children so my little sister Emma and brother David, love you guys so much, we'd not seen each other since 1999 so happy to be together again

just about to run the Medway Mile 29th July 2013

needle knitting again Thursday 26th February 2014

handspun, hand dyed, natural madder roots mainly, MHE Shropsland cross between Shetland and Shropshire fibres made into this beautiful anniversary scarf for my friend

Celebrating two years of shrinking Jan 2014

A normal healthy BMI (body mass index) of 24.1 for the first time in my entire adult life, deserving of some bling dont you agree :)

I have tons more pictures but will do random updates with them through out the week.

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My Daily Mail Article Online Today :) [Jul. 12th, 2013 07:00 pm]
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So today my story has been published in the Daily Mail Online

I feel exceptionally proud of having done this today.

Fat Surgeons saved my life: Dramatic new TV show helps wheelchair bound mother-of-six lose 11 stone... and now she plans to run a marathon

Helen Jacobs-Grant, 42, from Kent, weighed 23st and needed a wheelchair
She was a hermit and felt life wasn't worth living
She's now 11st lighter after having gastric bypass
Now she regularly goes to the gym and has never felt better

PUBLISHED: 14:57, 12 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:45, 12 July 2013

A once wheelchair bound mother-of-six says she has been given a whole new life after gastric bypass surgery has transformed both her health and fitness.
Helen Jacobs-Grant, 42, from Medway, Kent, weighed 23 stone before going under the knife and felt life wasn't worth living at her heaviest.
She told the MailOnline: 'When I was overweight I just wanted to die, I was in pain all the time. However, I would never have commit suicide as I have to be a mother to my children. I just used to wish that I would go to sleep and never wake up.'

Transformed: Helen was unhappy and unhealthy at 23st, left, but has never felt better after shedding 11st, right

Helen, whose weightloss journey is featured in the first episode of the new Really TV show, Fat Surgeons, said she became a 'complete hermit' because of the pain and immobility her size caused.
'I didn't want to go anywhere so I became a complete hermit. When people came to the house I would hide as I didn't want to be seen. I felt like a complete and utter freak,' she said.

When she did go out, pain from a hernia she had and the fact she was visually impaired meant she had to used a wheelchair to get around. She said it was 'soul destroying' not being able to go out with her older children or run around after her youngest, Harvey, six.
Helen was born with albinism to Anglo-Indian parents and she said this always made her feel different and low in confidence.

New lease of life: The mother-of-six used to live like a hermit but now goes running and to the gym regularly

She was often bullied and then became unhappily married age 20. She had three children, Joseph, 24, Lionel, 22 and Angelica, 16, with her first husband and her size gradually crept up.
When her marriage broke down she turned to comfort eating and then met her second husband, Mason, with whom she had another three children, Imogen, 13, Ivan, 12 and Harvey.
She suffered an abdominal injury when Harvey was born and a resulting hernia left her unable to even climb the stairs so she became 'trapped' in the living room of their family home - rarely able to even move off the sofa.

'If you'd have told me a year a go that I would be running and doing Kung Fu I would have laughed my head off. I've completely transformed in every way'
She said she knew she had to 'tackle my demons' and do something to change her health before it was too late.
She said: 'I've either been having children or going thorough emotional trauma and turned to eating for security. I've been like this my adult life and I want a new life.'
She began by eating a low fat, low carb diet and swimming twice a week. As a result she lost 7st but she still needed a wheelchair to get around and felt she couldn't lose anymore without help.
She said: 'I couldn't do any cardio exercise because the hernia was giving me so much pain and I had pelvic complications. A gastric bypass was my only hope and thankfully I was suitable for the treatment and booked into have surgery on New Year's Eve 2012.'
Surgeon Dr Shaw Somers carried out the procedure, fixing Helen's hernia before performing the gastric bypass.
Since then she has lost another 4st - taking her to an 11st weight drop in total - and is now a dress size 12-14.

So long wheelchair: Helen no longer needs a mobility scooter to get around

Smiling again: Now Helen wants to help other people get healthy

She said she had never felt better. She no longer needs a wheelchair, is off disability benefits and has become a queen of fitness.
She said: 'Now I spring out of bed at 6am in the morning. I go running and to the gym. I've got my first belt in Kung Fu and do belly-dancing. I'm even planning to do the London Marathon in 2014.
'If you'd have told me a year a go that I would be running and doing Kung Fu I would have laughed my head off. I've completely transformed in every way.
'The surgeons haven't given me my life back because I never had an adult life as I've always been overweight and unable to do anything. They have given me a new beginning.'
Now Helen said she is 'truly living' for the first time in years and has never felt more confident.
She said: 'I feel adored for the first time because I finally love myself.'
Helen hopes her story can help other obese people find the drive to turn their lives around.
She said: 'If there is anyone overweight who feels trapped and like they can't go on living, they need to know there is help out there, you just have to ask. It's not easy but it is achievable. Speak to your GP and see what is available in your local community.'
Helen is now an advocate of healthy living and encourages her family to join her at the gym. She's also working as a volunteer with 'A Better Medway' - a council health initiative to support people in leading more active lifestyles - and is training to be employed in the health and fitness sector.

Fat Surgeons is new and exclusive to Really, Wednesdays at 8pm from 17 July

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77.5kg !!! Celebrating over 160 POUNDS in Weight Loss [Jul. 10th, 2013 05:35 pm]
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Moments before this photograph was taken this morning, I had just read something so amazingly beautiful via email on my iPad it took my breath away, so moved was I that I wanted to send a photo to the special person who'd sent me one to thank them showing them my face as it was when I read their magical words.

Remember the now very famous inspiring movie quote from "We Bought a Zoo" Matt Damon's character Benjamin Mee:

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."

I'm constantly reminded of the day I took 20 seconds of insane courage about two weeks ago and its changed and transformed me.

Later in the morning something magical happened again, I weigh 77.5kg today, I'd hoped to be around the 79kg today at the official weigh in with the dietician I've been working with this morning but seeing that number magically appear on the scales means I now only have 10kg to go for my target weight and have knocked a month off the goal date as well !!!!

I just feel so so so excited and overwhelmingly proud of myself. I have moved ahead of goal schedule for the first time in nineteen months!!

Weight Loss to date : so I've smashed loosing 160 pounds then, its now 160.72 pounds, 72.9 kg or 11.48 stones in nineteen and a half months that's an insane amount of body weight gone, can not even begin to put into words what this achievement actually means to me, 10kg / 22 pounds or only 1.57 stones to go, BRING IT ON !!!!

Loads and loads of hard work, sweat, tears, every possible emotion you can come up with and a few more besides have gone into this transformation, the last part having been the hardest climb of all, but finally I can see the peek, a mere 10kg away, its so close now I can almost touch it.

The new goal date of Friday 13th September has been firmly set, willing myself to smash this goal too and come up with a brand new set for afterwards.

Loads to be thankful for, Tai Chi meditations are going to feel incredibly powerful tonight I can already feel it all building inside me, will be good to get there.

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During and After Filming for the Fat Surgeons Program [Jul. 8th, 2013 11:20 am]
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Just can not believe this is the same woman (ME) in both photographs, the one on the left is the one my beautiful inspiring Claire snapped off the tv screen this morning with her iPad showing me in the program trailer, I'd already lost a load of weight by the time this one was taken at the start of December 2012 something like six to seven and a half stone so weighed 108 - 110kg I think that day, then last week Monday at 80kg on the right 30kg lighter and feeling oh so much like a different woman these days.

Me in the one on the left is me sitting in the wheelchair talking about how much I can not do whilst stuck like that, it was freezing that day with white ice all around me, please explain why anyone would want ME to stay like that? I was in fairly constant pain, dosed up on heavy tranquillisers every day, so so so deeply sad all the time, completely injured still getting by supporting my family but struggling with everything, it just sends me off into spirals of tears just remembering and thinking about that day and the preceding years.

One on the right much better, filled with happy thoughts and a future of hope that finally, finally after all these wasted years sometimes if you really wait patiently, some beautiful impossible dreams just do come true when you least expect them to, its up to you how you meet and face the new challenge you are presented with, whether it be with fear or a thrilling sense of excitement and wonder.

I'm definitely going with the latter and not ever just settling for the fear or wasting precious time ever ever again.

In the now very famous inspiring movie quote from "We Bought a Zoo" Matt Damon's character Benjamin Mee: "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."

Well you know what, I will fight anyone who disagrees with this quote because since hearing it six weeks ago having absolutely nothing to loose I've used it significantly twice and both times my life has completely, unequivocally changed in monumental ways that I can not even begin to explain or express fully here. Try it and see how it works for you. For me using this method has fantastically altered the path of my future in a mountainous and powerful inspiring way. Now when I smile its genuinely in celebration of MY FUTURE LIFE that is feeling more real and transforming before me by the day.

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An Emotional Shock To My System Today [Jul. 8th, 2013 09:56 am]
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Sitting here been in floods of tears for the past almost 30 minutes, have had to cancel a telephone appointment well put it back a bit. Messages have started flooding in just before 11pm last night where the advert for the tv program went out on the UKTV network on three different channels. My emails, phone text messages and facebook plus twitter alerts went crazy with people in floods of tears saying they'd seen it, that has continued this morning.

I hadnt seen it until this morning as I dont watch TV!

I've had the tv on in the background today within earshot but still had to pause and rewind as I thought I heard my son's voice.

This is going to be a very difficult period, seeing myself in that wheelchair I didn't realise it was going to feel so enormous, I knew it would be horrible or difficult but so powerfully emotional took me by surprise completely, I had to pull up a nice photo from my laptop taken whilst thinking very happy thoughts last week Monday to remind myself I dont look like THAT any more.

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Who Is THIS Woman ? over 157 pounds in weight loss WAHOOOOOOOOO !!!!! [Jul. 4th, 2013 10:01 am]
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Lets see if you can get your head around this because I know its true I just can't quite believe it somehow, I have now lost in weight 11.23 stone so 11 and a quarter stone, in kilos its 71.3kg or pounds 157.19 !!

I hardly recognise myself in these two pictures, they are of me in my Kung Fu Gi robes suit which was a perfect fit surprisingly last night, usually the pants have to be taken up or something but even the leg length and waist fit beautifully.

I have something very extra special going on in my life at the moment, its making me glow and I like it very much.

My inner voice is screaming at me to not question anything to just enjoy and go with it, trust in this trust in myself, its real, its happening so I must not question it or try to fight it.

So I'm listening and not holding part or nearly all of myself back like I usually do, I'm enjoying everything instead and feeling so happy its unreal.

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Before and After 155 pounds lighter (rare standing picture) [Jul. 2nd, 2013 07:21 pm]
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155 pounds lighter on the left, my two sons holding me up on the right 19 months ago

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Tour de Fleece days 1 to 3, + Other Exciting News [Jul. 1st, 2013 05:30 pm]
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Tour de Fleece days 1 to 3:
this is the fourth year in a row I have managed to take part in the TdF, a magnificent achievement, I feel quite proud and even though I've only been able to sit down with my wheel for a very small amount for this year's contest, the beautiful naturally dyed falkland fibre you see pictured above is now almost a fully spun aran weight fractal yarn which I estimate to be somewhere between 95 and 110 metres in length. Its beautifully fluffy and the softness is exquisite. I can not wait to be able to knit with it after a good soaking to get it to fluff up even more.

I have two more falkland braids to spin this week, both of them are whispers type colours soft pink with greys hints of blues hidden in amongst it. One braid is slightly darker than the other so should make for an interesting project knitting up afterwards, I'm thinking one of those Spectra curvy scarves by Stephen West like this

I have about 480m of Noro Kochoran left to go with the more subtle shades of handspun falkland so it should be beautifully feminine to wear

I also have two fluffy batts bought for my birthday last year from my good friend Chris and two braids of Shropsland MHE Creative madder root and cochineal dyed dark pinky red to spin as well, lots of choices for this TdF as I have also found a stash of undyed various beauties too. Will see what I manage to fit in to the tour, so far so good I've almost finished the first yarn so feeling quite proud and will post pictures once its spun and soaked to fluff it up a bit later in the week.

On the weaving front I finally managed to purchase and download PDF instructions to make my own 8 or 12 sided Ojo de Dios Mandalas by Jay Mohler

Jay Mohler, Ojos-de-Dios.com Facebook Page is packed with beautiful inspiring images:

"Presenting my artistic work, spinning out complex Ojos de Dios, and encouraging and sharing the work of others who also create and enjoy this art. Be sure to also see or join the facebook group, Ojos de Dios, yarn mandalas of the World

Born in Cleveland Ohio. Lived in PA, WA, CA, NM, and currently in South Carolina. I've also stayed for 6 months or more at a time in both India and Mexico. I started making Ojos de Dios after seeing startling similarities between ojos I saw made by Huicholi natives of Mexico, and those sent to the USA by the Dalai Lama of Tibet. During the 1970's, when Ojos de Dios were a popular folk art in the American Southwest, I lived near Albuquerque NM, and made and sold ojos to many gift stores in that area. Much later, in 1999, I again took up the art, and now sell and promote my ojo mainly via my website and etsy.com."

With handspun yarn the extra specialness of energy, light and love that goes into each and every metre, I can't think of a better way to celebrate being able to spin my own yarn than to make wall hangings for my meditation space at home. I'm very excited about being able to do this, the red yarn I am making will be the basis of the colours, will choose the others accordingly as they come to me but so far I have the merino in dark aubergine and grape shades I did last year plus some grey, just looking for a type of sage colour now to lift them and some undyed which I'll do this year as well, possibly in mohair or silk mohair blended by my own hands like the 'pudding' yarn I did last year.

My son's weight loss is really coming along, he's been on Orlistat now for four weeks, I can already see improvements around his face, he doesnt want pictures plastered all over the internet of himself but they are already starting to look impressive, I think he's just going to make a movie at the half way mark showing what he's done so far, good on him I say, he's been making a real effort, finding it difficult to cut down on bread through but he can have one weakness, mine was cheese not sure if you remember but I could easily give up chocolate it was english cheddar and italian cheeses I found hard to resist.

Languages, oh boy, so as well as the super crash courses I've been studying to converse in Russian, Polish and German over the past year, I now have to add French to that lot as well, no one has mentioned Italian but in order to go work in Europe at some point over the next two years for a bit I apparently will get higher points on the league table for visa applications if I can speak the language fairly fluently, so into French I go. Luckily for me two things have happened by sheer random over the past two weeks, a beautiful French lady is my sensual dance partner for Belly Dance, Tribal Dance and Ballet Fusion Classes, I have sent her a text and facebook message asking her that when I take her to lunch each week for our bowls of cappuccino and nibbles, she speaks with me only in French so that I have to answer in French too. Plus that we increase our lunch time treats to twice or even three times both our work schedules allowing of course so that I can really get a crash course out of it. I say bowls of cappuccino because this little quaint bistro I take her to for lunch each Tuesday they bring us the most enormous round cups filled with freshly ground freshly made cappuccino coffee, we always laugh because it takes us both about an hour to finish one cup between us. The other extra special thing is that quite by random I've made a new connection with someone who actually lives in France, so exciting times ahead I just know it. If I do get to go over there for four weeks work at a time I will be just completely excited I will dance all the ay there. Another dream I have always had since I was about six was to swim the English Channel, suddenly over the last month more and more French things have been popping up in my life its quite bizarre, sometimes I dont question things I just let them happen ride out their natural course because why question things that are just amazing or feel amazing? just enjoy them right? so I've been very much enjoying this not questioning it at all, more and more French references have popped up so I'm thinking with all the health and fitness stuff I have been enjoying of late I wondered about speaking with one of the Coaches with regards to training to swim the channel in a year or eighteen months time.

For the first time in a long time I've had to actually buy proper clothing that wasn't to go to the gym or take part in sporting events, its quite funny but I've come to realise that a kid in a sweet shop has nothing on a woman who has lost over a 150 pounds in weight who can now go into a shop and everything laid out there will be my size included, not like before when I used to hate shopping because I was so large that the only shops I could go in that carried my size would have like one small section right at the back of the shop with little choice. Suddenly now with taking a size 12 mainly, the clothing options have completely been opened up to me and I'm in a world now of choices, I never know what to pick because I've never had these choices before, on top as my assets are a bit on the large side sometimes I have to get a medium or 14 but who's complaining, its the number one question I get asked pretty much daily, how did I keep my bust size large with loosing so much weight and giving up smoking last year. Exercise, exercise and more exercise, usually involving heavy weights, 2kg bags of rice, tins of beans or largest size cans of dog food in pillow cases, anything that will pull the ligaments upwards thus shortening the fibres in order to hold up what are essentially hollow bags containing little soft tissue. Its the supporting structure that holds and lifts them, not the cup size itself, the surrounding tissue is what you need to target. I used to embarrass the hell out of my personal trainer each week when I used to say to him dont forget I'm not loosing these, he never understood why I was so adornment at hanging on to them but now I've lost over 150 pounds and my body is a totally different shape with curves, he understands why finally. Its just something very personal to me, I've always had them on the large side and had no intention of giving them up without a fight, now I'm glad that it was one of the first things I asked about when I first stared pulling myself upright to exercise before I could even walk, then carried on doing exercises specifically for just them to keep the tissue nicely tight not sagging so they can be held up. I spoke to one lady recently who was saying that she can roll hers now they are so flat and loose, I really felt it for her because I know what that would mean to me to become flat up and down front and back, I'd hate it immensely.

My new glasses both pairs still are not back at the opticians yet. The hospital phoned me this morning to discuss de-registering me as legally blind, they've not done one before so I was happy and proud that I'd swatted up on the procedure and could tell the lady how to go about changing things for me, so as of July 1st its official I am not registered disabled anywhere in England or Wales, I've worked so hard for this, it feels enormous and should be celebrated so tonight I'm actually going to travel down to the cinema and watch a film just because I can and sit up in the high up seats not in the front row any more because a) I can now walk up to them and b) because I can finally see the screen to enjoy the movie. Out of anything I could have chosen to do tonight to celebrate this somehow seems the most fitting because when I was a wheelchair user going to see films in the Odeon was one of the things I could manage quite often and really enjoyed. So Hummingbird action movie starring Jason Statham it is and I can not wait.

Busy week ahead starting tomorrow, I am glad in a way because it will get my mind off willing the days to fly by quickly, I have so much to look forward to, the tv program comes out in just over two weeks now, its quite nerve wracking, later this week I have photos and the daily mail interview for the paper and mail online, I've been asked this morning to do a tv interview as well live, I said yes without giving it much thought at all so then started to think oh my, what on earth will I wear, no two ways about it then, I will have to go shopping, oh dear! well if I have to I guess :) I'm loving the way everything is going so far, the reason I didn't think about it before agreeing to the tv interview on the sofa is because just yesterday a good friend said he expects to see me on there and then first thing this morning I got a call! an omen or gift horse, either way I used my 20 seconds of insane courage theory and just said "YES".

I've had to have a rather difficult conversation this lunchtime with my children, now that I'm technically a professional I no longer qualify for a lot of the financial things I did before, so starting this week several changes have to be made, I am digging deep to pay for Angelica's education now I no longer qualify for the tuition fees for her course, she's been signed up and passed the interview but that was before I accepted my new job so now I have to somehow find the money for the deposit or loose the place, therefore I've reluctantly sold my treadmill today, not given it much thought I want her to have the best further and higher education she possibly can have, its either that or send her to the local college of Mid Kent where the highest grades to obtain a place there is a D E or F. Where she is going you needed 2 x As and a B or 3 B+s to get in on to the course she chose for herself. Same with Joe's uni, he needed 6 x As and an advanced BTEC Level 3 ND with distinction distinction merit as a minimum grade level to apply for the course then had to pass several stages to actually get in for what he is doing, I'm so proud of him for making it through the first year, he's finishing up some projects right now and then can relax for the summer until September. He and Lionel have taken Harvey and Ivan to the park to tire them out a bit so that when I go out later they will be able to relax as both boys should be able to watch a film and sit still long enough to not mess about as they'll be tired. I have brought the phone answering shift for the crisis center forwards today I start shortly I've swapped with a very nice lady and I'll do a late one for her another evening. Angelica will be home from Aerobics shortly and Imogen is doing her homework right now whilst the house is silent.

I am about to go do my hair ready to go out when they all get home. Things are definitely beautiful at the moment, far far different to that of this time last year, the year before and certainly all the years before these as well. I am so blessed and completely proud to have turned it all around the way I have, its just incredible.

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More on Nerve Damage plus A Few Brighter Things [Jun. 30th, 2013 04:17 am]
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[I'm Listening To - |Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas]

So much to say in this post, I'll start with the nerve damage again, so after having anaesthetic in both eyes last week, the pain from being allergic to anaesthetic moving to my spine then up to the back of my head around into my jaw on the right side, despite quite a heavy workload this week I've actually been quite dosed up on various combinations of pain killers because a wisdom tooth has decided to join in in the torture of my face and head, yesterday I think I took a few too many tablets as I needed to finish something important and to go out to deliver a folder of work in electronic format, got into the car, we drove about a mile and I had to stop as the world was just moving way too fast, I knew I'd overdone it with the tablets, everything was spinning and I felt drunk or definitely under the influence. The emotional pain was lifting so I felt lighter but put this down to the tablets anyway.

So I started drinking water, managed over two litres in a short space of time then slept it off, that worked thankfully I woke up with just a swollen face which has been aching all day but I couldnt give in to it I had too much to do, however by the evening I did fall asleep solidly which is rare for me as you know but yes, I did sleep for five hours earlier perfectly soundly. I feel a lot lighter now the terribly draining emotional pain has been eased, am starting to get an inkling of what or who it was that was causing this for me, more on that later when I am certain. Its passing now which is the main thing, I am sure it was all contributing to my being so ill and weak as now I'm starting to feel quite light filled with vitality again.

Now its the middle of the night, I've been listening to Leonard Cohen's Old Ideas album and drafting fibre ready for spinning later today during the daytime as part of the Tour de Fleece 2013

For the Tour de Fleece this year I have three Falkland braids naturally dyed by me, some Shropsland in madder red which I did a while ago but love, its over 200g so should get a nice shropshire cross shetland yarn out of that lot, some wendsleydale which I have not tried before, some mohair and tussah silk all three undyed, I also have some naturally mid grey super super soft merino which will become a present for a new friend once spun and loom knitted.

I've been really enjoying getting to know new work colleagues, looks like a real interesting bunch of characters I'll be with day to day from the end of September onwards, I will be doing three mini training courses in between to gain some more professional qualifications first as I have no experience working with NHS professionals yet so the new certificates are necessary to put me on an even footing with my colleagues. I am really looking forward to the new challenges and rewards of the new role I have been given.

Back to training next week, having my now sideways wisdom tooth out first thing on Monday morning then hopefully after the pain subsides somewhat I can get back to running, havent been inside the gym for over a week and missed it completely. Dance class this week too, Angelica had to go on her own, ballet aerobics for core stability I've missed a great deal, it works the inner thighs like nothing else can, but ultimately its the ability to run I adore and can not wait to return to. The Medway mile race is coming up at the end of July, so looking forward to it and to be able to run alongside my beautiful daughter all the better.

Now for a bit of sleep, the markets start shortly so Angelica will hopefully make some more money for her fashions, she's been doing really well at it all so far, I feel so incredibly proud of her as she's working so hard at everything, she is definitely going to go far this year as she turns 17 in October and learns to drive too.

All in all quite a good last three days, few things to feel excited over, that heart wrenching pull appears to be coming clearer to me so I am relieved about this, normal meditations can resume I was getting quite freaked for a while there :)

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Good and Not So Good Week plus TdF2013 [Jun. 27th, 2013 03:18 am]
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Its been a funny old week, last week was so good I achieved absolutely masses of things, went for two eye hospital appointments, anaesthetic and me simply do not go hand in hand and given that I had two lots in each eyeball, well its caused nerve damage again to my system so I've been waiting for seven days for it to leave my lymph glands, so far its affected my spine, in the middle of the qi gong exercises before Tai Chi I over reached to my left during a particularly deep spinal stretch, instantly felt something twinge upon straightening up, I told my instructor immediately what had happened and that I felt pain, we carried on into the tai chi but I fell extremely silent willing the last ten minutes to finish so I could get into the car and go to bed at home. I knew instantly this feeling of spiralling nerve damage from previous anaesthetic inside my system, my heart sank because each time in the past something like this has happened Ive been out of action for a week or two and I really didn't want to miss anything.

My instructor did meditation with me after the session and everyone else had gone home, this was about 9pm ish, thing is inside my heart I could feel like my actual soul was screaming in pain, it was most profound I started to feel quite ill from inside out. I knew there was little point in calling a doctor when I returned home to my bed as I've experienced this many times before, the only thing to do is ride it out peacefully. Some sort of healing song keeps cropping up for me as well, I know I've heard it before but its kind of stuck now and I cant get rid of it, every time I tried to settle it just got louder. Nerves in my ears I was thinking might be playing up now.

Sure enough, I've been in bed for a week, this has all upset me completely, the spinal neuropathy went upwards this time not downwards so didn't affect my legs, it spread across the pelvic region then up the spine into the neck eventually settling in to the jaw for two evenings and long long nights. I woke during the night last night with terrible pain nerve sensations in my teeth on the right side and my face where the cheekbone is seated was swollen. Horrid horrid horrid experience. I keep hearing that damn song too, I so hate it when this happens plus I feel like inside me is screaming in pain, its most profound.

I virtually had to tranquillise myself with the emergency supply of tablets the doctor insists I keep on hand should the need arise, I love that he made me do that along with the allergy hypo pen because on occasions like last night I'd have been rushed off to hospital or the emergency doctors surgery instead for the exact same treatment.

So I swallowed the cocktail of pain relieving drugs, rubbed some lidocane over the teeth and inside my mouth as high up as I could manage, then fell asleep for four hours solidly. When I woke up I felt sore but the physical pain had gone, the song hadnt gosh I hate it when things like this happen, main thing for me is that I didn't panic as would have been the case in the past, I've learnt to manage the nerve damage issues and inner heart type pain by now thankfully and its all been made easier now that I can walk too, in the past I would have had to lay there shouting until someone heard me and woke up to help, as a walker I could do it all myself.

My new glasses were not delivered to the opticians yesterday or the day before, I anticipate their arrival today, can't wait to get them and see more every day things, its been - well eye opening!

I have been getting to know new work colleagues during my time resting, did a fair amount of work from bed but online with my laptop which was good because I didn't miss out on anything other than exercise classes and running.

Lots of new names and faces to get to know, they are in the process of arranging a getting to know you session for me to be introduced properly next month, when asked where I wanted to go for this evening I suggested Greenwich, an idea which was snapped up so I am so looking forward to this, going to buy a new dress especially I think.

Paralympics Goalball event practice was cancelled this week, I was relieved not to have missed it because of my condition, I've honestly felt completely zapped of all energy, I've been invited to play at a big event in July, they have signed up Angelica as well as a standby in case we need another player at short notice so I'm so looking forwards to this one I had so much fun at the last one.

Seeing a new specialist physio guy Ray this afternoon to see if he can loose the last of the stuck anaesthetic from the back of my head, its been running hot and cold all night hence being awake at 3am unable to lay down properly to sleep. I just keep feeling like inside me is screaming in pain, and its making me cry on and off. Such a weird sensation, its almost as if my head is under water and I can hear bubbles, that echoing sound you get when your arm thuds against the side of the bath with both ears under the water, its a bit like that but in patches across the back of my head, liquid mercury which has separated but held by a tiny bit in between bubbles is the best way I can think of to describe the way its patched at the back of my head now. Its highly emotionally painful.

Will I ever be free from nerve damage? right now it feels like no.

Felt really angry earlier too, the organisation where I go to for kung fu and tai chi instruction the instructor told Angelica that in order for me to return to tai chi I need a doctors letter. I got mad because I dont understand why they didn't ask me for a letter seven weeks ago when I started, why they said this to my daughter and not me personally, and why they didn't ask me BEFORE taking my money. Its one thing if they are planning on asking everyone who joins the school for a letter proving they are fit to exercise, but until such time that they do that I won't be getting one for them. The first thing I always do when meeting a new instructor for the first time is arrive early so I can sit down show them my photographs explain that I was in a wheelchair, have nerve damage, how much weight I've lost and that I have metal body parts on account of having reconstructive surgery. All of them have said it was ok to take part in the session, not once have I been turned away or asked for a letter. I did not say the other day that tai chi caused my back injury I said I'd stretched in tai chi and hurt myself, but as I didn't have a conversation with anyone only in an email about fees, the next bit of communication has come via Angelica which I find inappropriate and thus it has made me feel very angry as I really loved doing the sessions especially the kung fu. I doubt I will go back now, unless I dont get a refund that is, how will I trust them now and they trust me? I take immense offence at the mere suggestion that I would put myself at risk taking part in an unsuitable exercise class, I do not ever want to become a wheelchair user again so therefore I take exceptional care of my body, know my limits etc. If only I had had the chance to speak with someone properly about my back then I could have explained it was to be expected as I had been given anaesthetic twice on the Monday and Wednesday.

Its so weird having anaesthetic in your eyes, you can't cry but they feel wet, you can't wipe them as they are not wet they just feel like they are. Really strange sensation especially as I seem to be experiencing quite a lot of emotional pain inwardly this week, not sure what is going on really as I dont think its coming from me physically but elsewhere. I'm not upset over anything that could cause this much pain, maybe someone else is screaming it, might have a quick check online to see what significant people who I used to be connected with are doing just in case something has happened and I am hearing the pain from them now as I am fairly certain its not me.

Meditation has become an ultra sensitising experience this week, keep hearing bits of that song its definitely about healing but I dont know what it is its all jumbled, the screaming of emotional pain is very real however, its reminding me of past times throughout my life when I've felt this exact same sensation so strong and powerful only to wake to something terrible having happened. Its most unsettling as this time I have no clue where its coming from, but someone is pulling on me I am certain of that.

So the new job, its brilliant like it was written for me, my main salary doesnt start until end of September so I'm in the process of trying to sort something out with council tax who keep writing to say I havent paid it yet, would much prefer to purchase a smaller house because with the low interest offered to me it would work out cheaper than paying the bedroom tax on this place. I will sort it all out before the end of the year, its a headache but needs addressing fully. This is a massive house, might do better to split into two separate places, I think then finances and my headspace would make sense more fully. Will have to see.

Had a really good drive earlier after doing a phone answering session, the producers of the program I'm in sent me all the dates and names for each episode earlier too, I'm episode 2 so as the series starts on the 17th July mine is the following week on the 24th. I am both excited and not so looking forward to the program going out on tv, I have the daily mail interview in a couple of days, not so nervous about that as I have prepared something in advance.

The Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday, can not wait I have lots of fibre to spin up into beautiful yarn hopefully for my new jumper which as it will be at least half the size of what I would have needed before, well I'm excited about loom knitting it afterwards.

Eyes are starting to get tired now so I think I will have another go at sleeping, wish me luck that my head doesnt start throbbing again or my heart getting pulled by the emotionally drained screams. I wish I knew who needed me, this all started on the 21st in the evening several days ago whilst I was at tai chi, its been nearly a whole week already. In the past things have become clear within a couple of days but this feels quite agonising and like emotionally traumatic, I keep asking for the answer but nothing has surfaced as yet although I have had some quite odd random pairings this week so maybe its one of those. Lets hope so as I cant go on in this drained state for much longer and I wish also to know what that damn song is too now, its still jumbled and if I try and focus on it it just gets louder and more intense so I'm leaving that one alone for the time being.

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Celebrating 3 Months of Running [Jun. 18th, 2013 08:23 pm]
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[I'm Listening To - |Fairground (Live) - Simply Red]

It feels like ages but it really is only three months since I started running, three months since I braved taking that first leap to see if my body would stay relatively upright and carry me forwards at a faster pace than walking. In the photograph above, first three months of being able to run 8th April, 29th April 13th May 18th June 88 down to 80kg

I am feeling incredibly proud of this achievement, not just the weight loss but the whole big picture, being able to move, project myself, run, bend, stretch, laugh, cough, sneeze, smile, all kinds of things that I simply couldnt do before, its all coming together nicely and I love everything about the ride so much I can't stop smiling about it all.


To think this is what I looked like a year ago, it all does not seem real to me at all still, I know its all real because I'm the one doing it, putting in the hard work, counting every single calorie, carbs, protein and fat grams that goes into my body, reading upon more reading about how the body turns the food and drinks consumed each day into fuel and essential nutrients to sustain the organs etc, but in reality it truly is one hell of a ride that I've stepped on to and I have no intention of getting off, not just yet at least!

Today's video compilation is showing my first three months of running experiences, you can see from the first clip going into the second my body is quite uncoordinated, arms swinging all over the place, then in today's clip added on I'm upright and more focused, my body language running is a lot more confident. Angelica took the video when I was on the third lap early this morning, I didn't know she was filming me and we also have her to thank for putting the clips together as well. I'm so thankful for her making this video, it definitely gives me something to work on for the next three months, that mile without stopping is getting closer and closer I can feel it.

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My Eyesight Testing Afternoon [Jun. 17th, 2013 06:53 pm]
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I arrived at the hospital about 45 minutes early so went to pick up a coffee to steady my nerves this afternoon. A man started talking to me saying "hello" first then getting into a full conversation, I tried to be polite but simply didn't remember him, I hate it when that happens as it was only when he asked me about swimming club I realised who he was and I felt foolish. He couldnt believe how much weight I'd lost as he last saw me at the end of January at one of the official weigh in clinic days.

From there after a nice strong coffee and a catch up chat, I went and sat in the chapel with Father Stevens, we had another good catch up, its been a while since I've seen him as well, February we think but couldnt quite remember as we email frequently. I felt really blessed to receive a voluntarily offered blessing from him this afternoon, really special indeed before going in for my appointment.

As soon as I went into the Opthalmology Department and gave in my appointment letter, the nurse called me in for the initial eye test. I could see down to line number three for a visual level of 6/24, there was a bright florescent tube flickering light just above the mirror so I asked for it to be turned off, there were also sky lights above me letting in lots of sunlight and glare. It was very difficult for me to get the point across to the nurse that I needed to cut some glare down in order to do the test properly, we argued politely for a good five minutes then she finally conceded and turned off the light, I could get down another line with no glasses, individual eyes then both together giving a reading of 6/18 but she recorded it as 6/24 because apparently everywhere you go there are these bright florescent tube lighting which is flickering, go figure I never knew!

Had pupil dilation eye drops next, man they stung like hell, then I waited outside for the consultant to call me in. I only had to wait about five minutes to hear my name being called, it was so quick.

Inside the room I explained about the lighting then went on to ask a series of questions to determine whether or not the Consultant had seen people with albinism and or nystagmus before, this was something I was not swaying from, I wanted to know that he knew what my eyes should appear like before I showed him them, the amount of times I've gone for a routine test over the years only to be told something like I have unusual eye movements or that the optic nerve could not be seen in a straight line directly from the front, so today given how important this test is to me I wasn't taking any chances. He had rather a lot of knowledge about both nystagmus and albinism so I went ahead, I think he started to feel insulted but when I explained the reasons why I wasn't taking any chances he nodded his head in agreement.

Had a series of tests: pressure, light sensitivity, shape of the eye which was done with a blue laser taking a map of each eyeball, this test hurt quite a bit because of how bright the laser was, dye put in, bright lights shone in both eyes, more looking through stuff at the consultants head so he could see, pictures were taken, by the time he'd finished my eyes felt like they were building out of my skull.

With correction glasses and or contact lenses, my eye sight goes down to the 5th line of the above chart, that is 6/12 one line away from the UK driving standard, one line away!!

To think that prior to now, two years ago I could not even see the top letter on the chart only in the darkened room I could with all lights off only one small low level lamp on in the corner. On Wednesday I get to do the tests again with new contact lenses and dark glasses in a darkened room to see how far I can go, this is just for my own curiosity more than anything else really, I am certain I can achieve the 6/9 in the right darkened conditions, when I am in the car out and about at night I can read the registration numbers from the required distance in areas that are not lit up with masses of artificial lighting.

It makes me feel so elated that I can see things now and am now officially not a registered legally blind person, birds flying, wasps, bees, butterflies, fast moving objects, road signs, maps, bus numbers, train tv timetables, screens, clocks on clock towers, shop names, door numbers, the list just goes on and on, the most relevant to me though is not needing a guide beside me to run around the running track, that is so freeing. It definitely has not sunk in yet, I dont think this is going to properly hit me for a couple of days its so big a deal.

On the flip side though, it has all caused me to feel a little sad today because I'm only one line away from legal driving visual accuracy needed to pass the UK driving test. I'm actually a really careful driver, can handle the car really well especially at night, the only thing is in the UK its still illegal to drive if you need the level of magnification corrective lenses that I would need to take me down to that next line on the chart and be able to read the registration numbers of cars from the required distance, I'm hopeful that after Wednesday when I get to try the opaque contact lenses and glasses together, I mean wearing both at the same time it may make a bit of a difference for me but I am sad to say that until they change the law and allow some of us to wear bioptic lenses to drive, I will not be legally driving a car anytime soon. So many good things I can enjoy now do soften the blow, but its still a mini blow nonetheless.

All in all today has been really good, managed some running in the morning utterly determined to get up to that mile without pausing for a walk in between by the end of July, weights in the gym along with all the other stuff I do in there, I feel like I've achieved a great deal today, my head is numb from all the tests and being able to see as well as I could this afternoon, roll on the rest of the week now, I have studio classes every day, martial arts on two of the days plus an interview, important meeting and lots of work to keep me busy throughout as well as lesson planning and research papers to go in. I thrive on being highly charged though, just as well that is the case otherwise this week would seem mental. So looking forward to Wednesday, the reason I have to go back for further tests is because the laser tests and lighting along with dilation drops and dye really messed up my vision so I had all the distance tests done today, measurements and mapping, now need the reading and close up tests plus contact lens fitting before I can proceed on to correction.

One line away from the official DVLA UK Driving Standards ….. hmmmm!

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Another Exciting Week Finished [Jun. 17th, 2013 12:49 am]
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Meet Mikey my Personal Trainer, this photo was taken last week Friday so apologies for the lateness in publishing it here its been a mad busy week again one which has left my head spinning for all the right reasons. Mikey is the Personal Trainer part of the GP Exercise Referral Scheme in the local area where I live, we've worked together a couple of times a week for the past eight months, he showed me the way into health and fitness, increased levels of fitness and ways to enhance and reach my own personal goals. This guy is amazingly talented, really knows his stuff and regularly put his money where his mouth is to show results. I am in total awe of his skills, he is a true inspiration not only to me personally but to a great many people I've witnessed him working with who are recovering from illness or disability, I will be forever thankful for the day I was first introduced to him and for my own intuition screaming at me that I should take a leap of faith and trust him. This photo makes me smile lots because we were laughing when a series of them were being taken, its fairly typical of how things went during our training sessions it has to be said, I often wondered what others in the gym must have thought seeing us lifting weights laughing the whole time, its been an absolute riot of a ride and one which I will never ever forget that is for certain.

Ivan turned 12 on Sunday, he was so excited I'd wound him up about his present all month long but absolutely burst when I finally gave him the box to open his new rollerblades. Phil came and took him out skating which he loved and we did the cake late in the evening together as a family which was just lovely. On Monday Ivan tried out for the local cricket team and got accepted, a very special and proud moment indeed.

The rest of the week is a haze of dancing school, tai chi, meditation, more gym sessions and running with cooking in between. Lionel arrived home on Wednesday morning, Harvey has been loving having his big brother back and has barely left his side since then.

Thursday night I started at Kung Fu which I absolutely adored, I definitely think martial arts suit me, not too sure why yet but my gut instinct is to stick with this for now, apart from anything else its working everything internally so on the days themselves I dont feel like I've done much at all but later and the following day I'm completely floored as internal muscles react to being worked so hard.

Tomorrow is my big eye hospital appointment, I've waited patiently for this for quite some time now, the day is finally going to have arrived when I wake up in the morning, to be not registered legally blind or severely sight impaired for the first time in my life is going to be quite something, not too sure how I will float down from the ceiling from this one although I've known for a while my eyesight has increased by quite a bit, the last time I had a test two years ago and subsequent years I was >1/60 (20/1200) [1.8], can not wait for the official results tomorrow. Better get some sleep now before I start working myself up and can't sleep at all, I'm that excited.

It also has to be noted that over the last four weeks I've met some really incredible people, one in particular has an amazingly magical aura, good friends for a long time to come I am sure.

Now for sleep …….. will do an update with results the minute I get home tomorrow evening.

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Celebrating 150 Pounds in Weight Loss [Jun. 16th, 2013 01:24 am]
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150.81 pounds in weight loss Jan 1st 2012 to June 14th 2013 - 18 months of steady weight loss so far, gosh I feel so incredibly proud of myself right now. I never in my wildest imagination could have dreamt how well and successfully this journey would be. I've gone from being so ill I could not move to being confined to the wheelchair now a runner managing just under one mile a day soon to be over a mile a day for sure.

My immune system is growing stronger and stronger by the day, my inner strength is something that I always knew I had lots of but now I can feel it as well, I'm loving trying all the new physical actives I've recently been trying out, all the new and amazing challenges have left me so excited each week that sleeping has been difficult as the energy is just free flowing most of the time.

I love the feeling that lives with me constantly these days, that feeling of being honestly able to pat myself on the back each night before going to bed and say "yep Helen you did well today you put your heart and soul into everything you tried today therefore have achieved loads" tonight is no exception, when I was filling in my food journal and weight loss record sheets tonight and realised I'd past the 150 pound mark I wanted to leap into the air and scream YES! its a huge and massive milestone so I feel totally epic going to bed with a giant smile on my face tonight.

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Balance & Writing [Jun. 8th, 2013 12:22 pm]
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WOW! I do not know where this week went, its disappeared in a frenzy of opportunity, light and activity so fast, today I'm planting my feet firmly on the ground by resting so that my body can catch up with the beautiful experiences I've enjoyed these last seven fun filled days.

Longstanding readers of my personal blog which is now into its 11th year online, will remember following a *** profoundly humbling and humiliating experience *** back at the start of March 2011 after which I decided to write things down in some sort of charted date order as things happened so I wouldn't forget how I felt at each moment, with a view to getting my 'book' published in the future once I was out the other side of the vortex into a more health and fitness induced way of life as opposed to the hell I was in before which was dark, negative, zapped of energy or health and just plain too heavy for me to bear.

Well, I think the time has come to address the writing now, I've reached quite a good place in my life, I am filled with health and vitality, spiritually I'm stronger than ever before having found my true self, listened to, acted upon information received from within, not once swaying from the path or doubting what needed to be done knowing I could do it, I could get ME to what and where I am right now, so as I am well and truly out the other side with all of my previous health issues having been resolved except one which is in the pipeline as we speak to become resolved, I feel the time has absolutely arrived to start looking through all the notes I've been making religiously as things happened, as I felt things along this incredible shrinking journey, dealing with past demons as they surfaced which was so often it was scary, running, oh my I could write over 5000 words just on what that experience was like the first time I took the plunge and my foot stepped over the edge of the athletics track my other leg lifting and placing my other foot in front of the first then out of nowhere the power just took over and I propelled myself around that track willing my legs to carry me back to the start and not dump me on the floor half way around, that experience was so intensely mega huge I can still feel it now like it just happened earlier today!

If I sat down and kept saying I must find the time to edit, write and assemble notes already written in some sort of order, translating them from the numerous shoe boxes of scribbled notes into a beautifully presented document on my new macbook pro laptop, I'd never do it, there is no perfect space, there is no perfect time in which to be creative, I know this from being creative in other fields.

So I've decided to rope making sense of all of my material into other activities which I enjoy. Reflecting on this during meditation these past few days I have narrowed down the time and space needed and found gaps in my now ridiculously busy schedule and household, I am still a Mum of six soon to have a houseful of nine / ten family members for the summer months, I will still need to keep up with my exercise program to stay on track too as well as working.

So when I go to the gym twice a week for the full program of free weights, cardio, running, basic strength training on the machines, stretches and the body weight exercises I do on the mats, the other twice weekly shorter sessions mainly for targeted weights and strength training, I will stay behind like I normally do for a coffee but will devote the 40 minutes to my coffee and writing instead of just the coffee and chatting. On the two studio class days I will arrive early like always but take my laptop and do half an hour to 40 minutes before each of the three classes and do my run afterwards, I usually arrive early go running then go sit outside the studio cooing down a bit waiting for the instructor, this way I will have continuity because there are three classes spread over two days each working different muscle groups so I'll be able to exercise physically and reach a nice headspace on those days. On the last remaining weekday I have studio classes elsewhere not at my regular gym or sports center, I've yet to see what its like in the building but when I do in a couple of days I'm sure I can find a private space to sit for half an hour before the class to do some more editing, putting things in order, might not even need the laptop for that task as there are so many pieces of paper now with hand written notes, luckily I had the mind to put dates on them otherwise this task of putting them into order to be typed would have taken absolutely ages. The reason they are not in date order already is because I made myself like little post boxes sealed out of large shoe boxes, I would write stuff down particularly upsetting material which this method worked so well for, then fold the piece of paper and post it into the cut out slit at the top of the box, I could let it go and forget about it. The boxes became healing vessels, I could put feelings in to them and let them go knowing I would be doing all of this in the future, taking them out one by one and processing them into some sort of order and properly letting them go from my physical self as well.

Project is therefore split into phase 1 and 2, hopefully if plans stay on track, I'll have a pile of paper with some typed notes in date order by the beginning of August which will be the completion of phase 1, I can make a start in producing the typed neatly presented document for phase 2. Will not put a time scale on the second half of the project or put places or times on where I will do the work because I want to wait to take out all the paper notes and add them to my already typed up blog first.

I am both excited and scared to death of doing all of this, the latter because I went through such horrendous ups and downs along this journey physically and mentally, emotionally I think I was immensely strong and powerful but in body the pain and physical restrictions were very strong, I know when I read back and face the raw feelings I wrote down at the time they are going to be painfully revisited, but its something I am also aware that I need to put to bed once and for all so I can travel even further forwards in my life now. I feel quite angry about a lot of what happened I know I need to let the experiences go one by one and this will be the perfect way of doing just that. Hopefully my headspace will be freed up sufficiently for me to carry on enjoying the journey, I still have a little bit of weight to loose for a normal body mass index then there is targeting the loose skin which I'm already addressing with varying degrees of success.

I feel totally and completely proud that I did save all this material, it is my hope that all of these dark heavy clouds I went through and am very much alive and kicking having come through the other side, will give hope to others who are living in poor negative states with little or no doctor's support, that there is life after obesity, life after medical trauma, life by overcoming adversity, life in truth and lightness that comes with feeling vitality - all the things which I'm enjoying right now.

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18 months of weight loss and shrinking [Jun. 6th, 2013 04:26 am]
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What a difference in 18 months, I still can not believe how incredible this journey is and has been, there isn't a day that goes by without my inwardly celebrating in some small and unique way my new ability to move my body the way I can now, the vitality I seem to be enjoying or the way I can reach down to tie my own shoe laces.

Its the little things that stand out for me the most, being able to circle my ankle whilst placing the weight on the supporting leg was a biggie as I struggled so much to lift my foot off the floor to turn the ankle but now I can do it, a bit, its a start and an achievement I feel so proud of being able to do as it was so difficult for me wobbling all over the place, stopping myself from feeling that I'm-just-about-to-fall sensation.

Moving into June already, this months marks 18 months since I started on this path taking myself towards and more health and fitness way of life, the success is immeasurable, looking forward to another fun filled six months trying new experiences, packed with daily struggles, hard work and gritted determination to succeed ahead.

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What A Difference A Year Makes !! (pics heavy) [Jun. 1st, 2013 10:55 pm]
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Me! a year ago today, June 1st 2012

Its difficult to understand that this is how I was, and these pictures were taken after I'd already been loosing weight for six months too, my goodness!

I could not stand for longer than 10 seconds or so, could not make it to the toilet on time hardly ever, never made it into my own bathroom upstairs, in fact I was sleeping in the living room because of not being able to climb the stairs, so many things with the word "couldnt" in front of them, way too many to list I'll start getting sad thinking about it all.

My life back then was horrible and I hated it - HAD to do something about it, started six month previously with a very strict diet so was loosing weight rapidly even when these pictures were taken I had already lost 25.8 kg / 56.89 lbs / 4.06 stone, my BMI changed from 56.9 to 39.5 Jan 1st to June 1st 2012.

Fast forward a year, now I've lost a total of 70.1kg, 177.04 pounds / 11.04 stone my BMI has changed from 56.9 to 30.7

As I now weigh 12.77 stone 81.1kg, I have lost almost the same amount of weight that I am now, that feels amazing to me. I love that I can walk everywhere I need to be or just walking randomly because I can now, I love running, each time I see that athletics track I just have to do a round even if it means I have to arrive earlier than my session times to fit it in, I get in a run around the 400 metres track one way or another each time I'm passing by, tying my own shoe laces - never going to get bored of being able to do that myself, reaching for things myself, all sorts of little things like these have made me feel so alive, I'm filled with vitality and health now which I just love.

Braved going and trying out new things, I'm belly dancing !! who'd have thought it, plus nurturing the spiritual more meditative side now because obviously I used an enormous amount of inner strength and wisdom to stay on my chosen path into health not swaying despite well meaning advice along the way, I knew with every inch of me that I was doing the right thing so carried on doing it, so now I feel it important that I learn from my own strength and instead of being slightly afraid of the volume of it, I am embracing that specialness and loving it as well.

I feel incredibly proud of myself, for all sorts of reasons but mainly for not giving up especially when things were going in a direction that most would have thrown in the towel for, I kept my nerve and carried on regardless of what any one said to me, I've carried on and will keep going until I reach a recorded "normal" BMI body mass index and am nicely able to do the things I currently find a challenge like standing on one leg for example. Can not wait to do another post like this one in another six months time on December 1st to see how far I've travelled this year.

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Keeping Balance [May. 30th, 2013 08:14 am]
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"You can’t change yesterday but you can change tomorrow, everyone has their own ups and downs along the way, adapt, improvise and overcome then be amazing and inspire someone else's journey."

I wrote those words a while ago as part of a document charting the importance of regular exercise and showing up at agreed times, making the effort to form a real lifestyle change instead of sitting at home hoping things will change in your life but not actually doing much to make the changes yourself.

Its stuck with me because yes I've been through a hell of a lot of negative experiences in my adult life, most of which are pretty intensely painful, but those experiences are spent, they are gone, all I have is today and tomorrow to work towards each time I wake in the morning, knowing that and feeling it has helped a great deal with making lifestyle changes all of which started off as tiny goals to begin with but are now massive in terms of the changes and new breath they have given to me which will be life lasting not just for this week.

So balance and harmony is filtering down through everything I currently am part of, I feel comfortably centred probably for the first time in my entire life and that good connected feeling is something I'm not prepared to now loose.

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This Week (so far) [May. 30th, 2013 07:58 am]
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First thing I want to share is that the series of blood tests I had last week have all come back perfect : hormone levels, glucose, cholesterol, vitamin D, vitamin levels, so I'm functioning on all cylinders perfectly which is brilliant news. I've often had borderline results but never everything in the perfect zone all at once so I'm obviously handling my new changing health and fitness lifestyle perfectly well which makes me feel good inside and out.

Ivan has been taking part in an athletics training camp this week, its the last day today, I took him out and bought him some Nike running shoes yesterday evening, he's so excited, I feel proud of him because a few days ago when I took him to register and leave him at the center, he looked lost slightly because he didn't know any of the other kids. Now though he's completely getting stuck in, loves rugby which was a surprise, cricket he's never played that before but loves it and of course his running skills have come on in leaps and bounds within the last few days with the coaching he's had.

Angelica and I didn't want to go too far from the sports center so we booked in to a few classes to do whilst we waited for Ivan all day. So far this week we've completed hour long sessions in:

belly dancing, wow I'm actually absolutely loving this, it was our second session, the lady who teaches the class is absolutely beautiful and at 70 years she looks incredible. I took her for coffee after the class and we had a really long chat which was lovely, I now also have a beautiful jingling belt and a couple of the Egyptian music CDs that the teacher gave me. Cant wait for next week's session, both Angelica and I are getting the hang of it now.

Ballet Pump Aerobics : this was an impulsively booked class, I signed up for it literally five minutes before it started and went in expecting to have to sit out at least half of the session, I mainly booked in so that Angelica could go because she was really keen to see what it was like having done ballet training for ten years. It was brilliant, I kept up with everything, the only thing I can not manage which is an issue in everything I do at the moment, is standing on my left leg whilst manipulating the right one. It doesnt matter what the stretch is, I simply have little feeling in that side of my pelvis still. I have a hospital appointment locally next week to get it checked out, I dont like it as its slowing me down. Needless to say I had to hold on to the barre to stretch out that leg and side but that is the only thing everything else I managed perfectly well keeping up the class. I felt fantastic doing the ballet exercises made me remember being a young girl at ballet school, amazing.

Running : today marks the 3rd 30th of the month since I started running. I've made so much progress, I'm not gasping for breath now on the first 400 metres around the athletics track, my arms are not swinging all over the place and my pace is nicely even. I can get around the track for the mile when I do fast sprint for 200m, walk 100m then jog 100m to warm up for the first round then picking it up to fast speed walking for 100m, nice pace run 100m, alternating between those two styles for the following three and a bit times around for a total of four and a bit times round which is the mile. I feel so proud of these efforts, definitely improving daily, now when I go out on to the track it feels natural not daunting any more. I can run more today than I could yesterday so its all good.

Paralympics : I was invited to try out for one of the local Kent Paralympics sports teams this week, I went along arriving 20 minutes late because I couldnt find the hall, but then got stuck straight in and had an amazing time. I was the only goal scorer on the night with five goals and the coach has asked me to please keep on coming to which I said yes because its just incredible I can keep up with the fast pace, throw a rather heavy basketball with bells in across the entire court to plant it in the back of the goal all whilst blindfolded! its a blind sport so everyone has to wear blackout masks. I loved it and felt amazingly great playing. Its been a while since I've done a team sport of any kind so it was amazing to be back.

Gym : weights still feature in my daily routines, on off targeting different muscle groups so not working the same set every day but every other day. I have grown to love going in to the gym so much so that if I miss it even for one day I feel like I have forgotten something very important.

Martial Arts & Tai Chi : last night I went along to a Tai Chi session, it was very deep and very moving, the karate school we've been going to we are now at the end of the free trial so I've decided not to go back to that particular dojo and stick with the new teacher, I can understand his voice much better than the other lady, also the philosophy behind the arts has much more emphasis at the new place than the previous one, I like to know why I'm doing something not just aimlessly doing it, anyone can learn formations in moving and bitting things but to understand why each section of the move is important and relevant can be the difference in being able to defend myself and not, I'd rather go with having the mental ability as well as the physical one instead of just mainly the latter. So yes, I am jumping off the one dojo into another for a more comprehensive martial arts course which includes meditation as it absolutely feels like the right decision to do.

Today I have Yoga, really looking forward to that one, the explorers have a camp out tonight but its mega wet on account of it being raining all week solidly and still raining now, I will be worried sick about Angelica. The scouts then are doing backwards cooking at the same campsite tomorrow all day, fire lighting etc. that will be fun as its a day time thing in the forest but overnight I'm a bit concerned with.

Joseph has two more uni projects to hand in for June, he's started on a diet with orlistat last Friday to bring his weight down a bit, so far so good the only thing is he's been very tired all week so I've not seen him much with going in and out of the house myself, he and Imogen have missed out a fair bit of seeing me over the last eight days, the weekend will be nice just catching up and generally being together, Lionel will be back home for the summer next week, we get to keep him till September so a real bonus to have our family all under one roof again.

I love feeling centred and balanced nowadays, full of vitality, strength and freedom to move that I simply did not have before, even before the injury I was a large person so my movement was different to the lightness I'm experiencing now. I love how everything is turning out for me, I'm working very hard and focussed on my physical training which is all paying off in high rewards. I am so full of energy each morning I spring out of bed before 7am daily something which I have done before but never felt this great doing it so yep, feeling very proud of myself in May, its 150 days today since I had my operation, ONE OF THE BEST decisions I ever made was to go through with surgery.

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Last Two Days plus Good Catch Up [May. 23rd, 2013 10:19 pm]
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Well the last two days have gone by quite quickly, yesterday I felt rocky and screamed, so needed to do that as everyone was pulling me in several directions and all I wanted to do all afternoon was finish my work, mark all the education material and get the fuck out of the house for a couple of hours. I ended up finishing everything to a quite high standard, the educational material was passable, going running then on to Tai Chi which I really liked, filling up the limo and asking Mason to take the kids for a very long drive so that they would be quiet so I could clear my head before sleeping, still never slept though woke again just after 4am so did some weights and relaxed in the morning before leaving the house very early for the fasting blood tests.

I was at the hospital before 8am this morning mindful of getting in and out for the tests quickly before all the patients were in so that I didn't pick up any bugs. I think the fasting threw my system off balance today because I usually eat every two to three hours and yet I'd had to fast for 15 hours.

Tonight I made it to the gym was completely determined, even got in 1200m three times run around the athletics track, then went downstairs for yoga. However, Yoga turned into intermediate pilates something which I have read about before, watched videos but not actually tried beyond the basic weight bearing exercises I have been doing daily for a few months so towards the last ten minutes of the class I started to feel quite sick from the back of my neck which wasn't very nice. If I had of known the class change schedule I would not have lifted the weights for 40 minutes beforehand and perhaps only run twice round the track instead too.

My big son is now on Orlistat in an attempt to shed some weight to keep his heart from becoming weaker than it already is. He also got an exercise referral, he keeps asking me to show him stuff but I think its best to get him a professional as Ive been so busy since coming off disability benefits its unreal. What I wouldn't give for a week flat on my back doing nothing in particular, yeah right, I dont think I could do that any more even if I did want to which I dont I'm loving the way things are right at the moment.

If I could change one thing though it would be creating more quiet for myself. Remember those hundreds of posts I've written about the need for personal quietness so my eyes can settle over the past ten years? well that still has not changed in fact I think now my eye sight has improved somewhat its worse than ever before. I now value a ten minute silence more than ever to re-balance my mind and my eyes but seldom get it here at the moment.

So yes if I could change one thing it would be to have more quiet time with silence just to settle myself each evening.

For those people fairly new to my blog, this blog was started by me in October 2003, most of the posts over the past eighteen months have been public ones but there are lots which are hidden for friends only so if you feel there are gaps in the dates then that is the reason, you will need an account with livejournal and then request to read my friends only posts, if I know you personally or our lives have crossed online several times through one of the other things I am part of then I'll approve the request, please dont be offended if I dont approve a friends request though, I do like to keep some things hidden from mass view, work stuff and personal rants mainly as usually if I've poured out something its because I needed to use the space to do so and therefore dont want lots of comments to answer over it, once its out there its gone / hopefully.

I've finished the designs of the Storybook Hats now and knitted two samples, its all a bit of a blur really as I dont actually know when I've found the time to fit that in but somehow I have finished them so pattern will be published for loom-knitters over the weekend, its about time another MHE pattern was released as its been far too long.

Health wise my hair has stopped falling out in huge bunches, I need to have abdominal surgery again to stop the metal mesh from swinging about but my brilliant surgeon has assured me it will be him personally so I'm not worried in the slightest about it as its him, should the situation change and it suddenly not be him personally I am not sure I can go through with it so watch this space I'm going for a scan first to see what needs to be done, will take it from there.

Albinism, I am taking part in some medical research into Nystagmus at the moment, since loosing so much weight my eyesight has continued to improve something which has shocked me to the core. When I go outside now even in daylight I can see clocks on churches, tall buildings, bus numbers, the tv information screens at the station, signs, posters, road signs, its just so bizarre, nothing like this has ever happened to me before, I was virtually blind until I was over five years old, had pretty poor sight throughout school and college, uni went by in a blur of getting lost and then adulthood has had challenges where I've had to adapt with children in tow, wheelchair nightmare came and was seen off my me, now though I have all this clarity which is scary and exciting for me, I've not experienced anything like this before and I'm pretty sure from speaking with medical professionals that not too many people have either.

Its something to do with the changes in metabolism, the blood flow to the back of the eye and less fatty deposits in the bloodstream, will publish findings when the research is complete. Its very exciting stuff though and something which I am proud to be a part of.

In amongst all the hive of activity this past month I've actually managed to sort out Ivan's 12th birthday which is coming up in a couple of weeks. He's very excited about this as he has no clue what I have planned for him or what his surprise present is either. I love doing this, I have grown better at keeping the secret though over the past few years so far so good I have not let anything slip.

So about Tai Chi last night, very moving experience, the positive energy was definitely something I could physically feel, only thing was during the most meditative parts there was a woman in the studio next door shouting over the loud music during a Spin Cycle class, why didn't she just turn the music down to speak instead of shouting so badly? I did make suggestions after the session about moving downstairs to a more appropriate venue for something so spiritually moving. I showed the instructor the yoga hall when we'd finished which he quite liked but it appeared to have another class going on in there at that time but with music so to me its more apt for them to move and we take that space as its at the end of the building and nicely quiet, perfect for Tai Chi.

As well as that, the free trial of our karate sessions is about to come to an end next week, I really can not justify paying the money to stay with the same place and would like to change to a different venue a bit nearer to us where the money actually goes further, otherwise I will be throwing myself into a situation I detest where I will be working so many hours to pay for it I won't actually enjoy a single second as I'll be resentful instead. Existing to work or working to exist? either does not suit me at all never has.

Now that I've adopted a nice health and fitness lifestyle I feel angry when I have to use the time I could be physically moving about to sit in front of my laptop but needs must I guess and the kids like that they can do more too now, Ivan and Imogen were in the gym this evening the entire time I did my run then workout followed by the class. They are doing so well at their studies, not sure if medical school is still on the cards for Imogen as I think she's evolved from that dream but we are still going in to watch brain surgery together which now I can see, walk and stand, I am very excited about doing. The questions and answer session at the end will be awesome I can already tell. I was chatting with one of the surgical team the other day and found the whole thing completely fascinating.

I think as soon as Angelica gets home from the air scouts tonight I'll fall asleep with her. She's asked me to use her spending money this week and buy her a blog as she wants to write, fantastic news I think, so I'll sort that out then go to bed later after I've finished a few things off first.

Guitar news, before sorting out the silver sax I've decided to hunt for a white electro-acoustic guitar, maybe even a twelve string like I played previously. It must be white with black markings as the one that got away was like that and I loved it plus I just like white with black markings :) So the hunt is on, I have already found a six string jumbo electro-acoustic that is six steel string and only 10 miles away so I could go in person to try out and buy then bring home to prevent damage in the post, will give it a few more days first and see if any twelve string ones turn up first. The music people in my life who shall remain nameless in this post can't wait for me to have my own guitar, I've been using someone else's but to have my own it always injects a different element to the acoustic sound, I connect more I think when I love the instrument fully and its part of me and extension of my arms more or less.

So lots to be excited about, Gemma and I are meeting on Wednesday, she is going to sort out my overgrown fringe amongst other things then I'll arrange for the photographer to come and do the magazine photographs for the first article. Its all happening, I'll tell you more about the tv and magazines next time I manage to do a full entry, for now though I think I better crack on until Angelica gets home then fall asleep with my beautiful daughter.

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A Giant Mountainous Thank You [May. 22nd, 2013 12:14 am]
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When I made a "year of strength" life event entry at the start of 2012 I had no idea how many of you wonderful facebook family members would embark on this amazing journey with me.

To the many of YOU who've kept up with my ramblings and or posts on a daily basis, spending time with me, giving comments or feedback on facebook and or my personal blog, hitting the like button or sending messages of support and encouragement, I sincerely thank you as without YOUR heartfelt presence holding my hands tightly in yours and lifting me up every single day over the past 18 months the journey would have been very different, you have made me feel not alone, you've inspired me, lifted me up when I needed it, held my hand through some of the not so good moments of which there were plenty, sent me amazing bucket loads of super sonic strength and just been amazing, I can not thank YOU ALL enough I feel so truly blessed and proud to know YOU ALL and to have played a tiny part of your journeys too.

Here's to the next incredible chapter, remember you are not alone, if I can achieve a series of small personal goals then YOU can achieve your goals too, one by one.

The biggest challenge is digging deep and finding the strength and courage to start like I did then tackle the issues one by one in no particular order just write them down so you have a list to start crossing off things from, remember you are not alone in your journey.

The following is copied from my 2012 message :
"2012 Year of Stregth
1 January 2012
dubbing this new year as MY year of strength.

Strength to see massive improvements in my health issues, taking excellent care of and adapting a new positive attitude towards myself.

Strength to close the door once and for all on previous emotional and painful issues celebrating them through creative processes instead so they are on the outside instead of lingering within threatening to pop up at will.

Strength to make improvements where improvements can be made.

These are my promises towards myself for 2012"

I will never be able to repay the kindness, love and friendship YOU have given to me, know you are never far from my thoughts, I am rubbish and keeping up with personal messages as I do receive quite a few a day so devote a couple of days a month to answer them all personally, so if you've sent me an email or message and not heard from me for two weeks rest assured I will reply it just takes me a while to catch up at the moment as I spend every moment I can on my feet instead of seated in front of my laptop, well I was sitting down for six years already so am bored with that now.

Since March 30th 2013 I've walked most places I need to be daily, I've run a lot and now I've danced as well, I've started new challenges learning new physical skills, totally adopted a new way of life having completely turned around some serious health issues one by one. I feel incredibly different and strong now which is what the main goal I set back at the start of 2012.

So thank you for being so generous with your support, love and friendship all of which mean the absolute world to me and my family.

All my love as always
Helen x

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