Raise Your Head…Face Your Day

Work-in-progress, started November 3,2011, acrylic

Work-in-progress, started November 3,2011, acrylic

These words by Nina Ellis-Hervey were important for me to hear today, especially as I have been dealing with managing my body and my illness.   Sometimes I do feel like giving up and feel like I am alone in my struggle to reclaim my life from the grips of my illness.

Although Nina’s words are geared towards those struggling with weight issues, I believe that they are powerful word useful for all people who may be struggling with any illness, physically or mentally, that may cause daily struggle with your body.


“…I am living life day by day and trying to do everything that way…I am trying to keep in touch with family, with my friends… I have a million and one stressors in my life. And in the past, those stressors made me eat, made me gain weight.

And so now you can see how all that stress could cause me want to want to relapse, to go back to not working out, to go back to not taking care of myself. But that’s not an option. It’s not an option anymore…

It doesn’t matter what excuse you have. You only have one life. You only have one body. And nobody can take care of it, but you. Nobody is going to be responsible for it, but you. And so for me, everyday is a struggle… The battle never ends. This is for the rest of my life.

For the rest of my life, I am going to have to think about where I came from and where I don’t want to go back to. For the rest of my life, I am going to have to think about the foods I put in my body…

I have to always think ahead…I have always prepare myself…and unfortunately, it is a repercussion of my past…and not wanting to go back there…not wanting to even ever let myself go like in the past. I will never do that again.

I owe this to me…You owe it to yourself… It gets to a point that you cannot even listen to outside people. What they have to say is irrelevant…

Your journey is your own…It is not just happy-go-lucky every day for me. I am not just kicking the breeze and skipping through the flowers and the grass.

Some days are hard for me. But when I get back in it, I remember what I am in it for. Adjusting to the new you, it is rough. Everybody is going to grieve the old you…

Anything you do carries. It carries some kind of baggage behind it. I can choose to look as my baggage as negative, or I can choose to let it motivate me to try and to at least do my best…”


Below is the video of Nina.  Again, it is dealing with her own struggles regarding weight.  So, watch it if you feel it is relevant to you.  In any case, the over all message is a possitive one.

Until Next Time,


Hair, weight…Results are in (Part 3 of 3)

"True Mirror Image," photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

“True Mirror Image,” photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

So what happened after March 2009?

I decided enough was enough.  I was sick, tired, self-pitying, angry at the world and at myself, and just generally feeling that I was inadequate that my existence was quite pointless.

I wasn’t able to participate fully in either my personal or professional live.  It was hard.  When I looked in the mirror, the image smiling back at me was still sad.  I decided then that neither Fibromyalgia nor my mind nor my surrounding was going to stop me from finding a way to live.

"Not the self-destruct button" found at http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/4100.  I had to include this image... It was just too funny not to do so.

“Not the self-destruct button” found at http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/4100. I had to include this image… It was just too funny not to do so.

I decided to do what I could do…take one step forward.  I joined up with two other ladies to do a walk/run for 15 minutes for most mornings.

I decided to do Weight Watchers Online for three months to learn more about nutrition and to be inspired by others who were taking positive steps to make effective changes in their lives.

I decided to become vegetarian, slowly (and I mean very slowly) removing meat products from my life.

I decided to begin learning how to love myself as I was in that moment, not lament who I had been.  I wasn’t always successful, and sometimes I still struggle with that.

I acquired the following books:

I decided to become more natural with my medication, finding ways to decrease the amount of medications that I had to take.  It took consulting with my doctors and taking time to research, but it was worth it.

I temporarily joined a Fibromyalgia Support Group (though I did not always find it supportive, especially when it came to improving my physical health).

I began to speak out more about my needs and take steps at work to make sure that others understood the nature of my illness.

Waiting, photography by April Rivers (Fall, 2010)

Waiting, photography by April Rivers (Fall, 2010)

The Result?

After almost two years of doing this work, I found myself a bit more than 70 pounds lighter.  My blood pressure which was unreasonably high was lower.  My body that I could barely move most days began to move more.  My mind was less foggy.  I began to wake up to many realities of which I was not aware.

And finally, I became aware of something that I knew to be psychologically true…but never imagine I would ever experience.  I became aware of the fact that people were angry about my changes.

I had to deal with rumours about my weight loss, i.e. how I lost weight, for whom I lost weight.

Of course, when you go from a larger size to a smaller size, you need new clothes.  I was fortunate to receive some vintage clothing from April’s grandmother, which were more fitted to my figure.  Wearing these clothing turned into gossip that I was trying to attract men…even though these people knew that I was married and highly committed to my marriage.

"The Revenge of Pride," photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

“The Revenge of Pride,” photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

There was also a humorous side to all of this (actually, I found the rumours humorous too).  I discovered that suddenly people felt more comfortable giving me compliments.  I even had someone say that they were surprised by how good I was looking lately.

Suddenly, too, many people were ready to chime in on my general appearance:  how I should look, what I should wear, what my weight should be.

I guess you could say that losing the weight brought me both joy and distress.  I was happy to be free from some of the physical difficulties posed by my weight gain…but I was equally distressed by the growing hostilities coming from various parts of my life. Still, I do not regret it.


And then…

I cut my hair and moved to Rome, which brought on a whole host of other issues, of which you can read about in earlier postings in my blog.


Until Next Time,


P.S. Check out School Psychologist and Professor Nina Ellis-Hervey regarding mind and body well-being. Link to her website here. Also visit her YouTube site “BeautifulBrownBabyDol“…You won’t regret it.