Friday, January 18, 2008

Awards & Questions Answered

First things first. MARY @ MARY'S WRITING NOOK is sponsoring a Valentine's Day Giveaway!

If you'd like to enter Mary's giveaway, just click on the adorable button to go to Mary's post. You must have a blog and leave a comment on that post to enter. She'll be choosing a winner on Tuesday, January 22 at midnight EST so that she can send out the package in plenty of time for the winner to receive it by Valentine's Day on February 14th.

Good luck!
Before I answer any of the great questions that were asked of me on my last post, I want to acknowledge a couple of awards from 2 of my blogging buddies.

First, thanks go out to MARY @ MARY'S WRITING NOOK for giving me the Young At Heart Award. I'm glad Mary thinks I'm young at heart. It's probably the only thing about me that has any youth left at all! The body certainly is aging quickly. ;o)

Thank you so much, dear Mary!

And JEN @ MY 3 BOYS & I has given me the Blog Friends Forever Award. Thank you, Jen, and I hope we continue to be Blog Friends Forever. Or for a long, long time, whichever comes first. ;o)

Both of these awards will be proudly displayed on MY AWARDS PAGE.
And now to the questions. I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for my fascinating answers. (By the way, what's the "bated" thing mean, anyway? I know it means to hold your breath, but I wonder what the origin is? Well, I'm not wondering enough to Google it, obviously.)

Moving on....I'm going to try to answer these questions in the order they came into my comments. Some of them I've blogged about in the past and I'll link to them here, but others are going to require some serious thought!

LYNNE asks: I'll start. I know you've posted about health insurance and such. How's your health?

Well, I'll warn everybody up front that this may be more than you want to know about me. Feel free to tune me out and move on to the next question and answer with no guilty feelings whatsoever. This will be kind of like when you ask somebody how they're doing and they really spill their guts and tell you all the gory details. Well, maybe not quite that bad. But above all, I really want to be honest here.

I have pictures of me on my profile and those I post with Emmy and the family all through my blog. It's no secret that I'm overweight. The medical term for it is morbidly obese. Or the common term, I'm fat. Really fat.

I weighed 329 lbs. last week when I went to the doctor. I'm about 5'3" tall. I'm about as wide as I am tall. I've always been heavy but when I was younger I balanced my weight by being really active. On the flipside of that is my high blood pressure. I inherited it from my Daddy and have been on medication for it since I was 21 years old. I probably needed medication before then but didn't know I had HBP.

When I was 21 I was in the best health of my life, very active and at a decent weight for me. On the day I got married in 1985, 2 days after I turned 22, I weighed 158 lbs. When Lamar and I got married I went on birth control pills and my weight began creeping up. By the time I got pregnant (I never missed a pill - I was one of those girls who got pregnant on my pills!) with Jessica at the end of 1986 I weighed 202 lbs.

The day I delivered Jessica I weighed 211½ lbs. I walked miles every day and ate a healthy diet while I was pregnant. I lost weight in my body but did it in a healthy way and Jessica gained weight and measured by the book for her progress during my pregnancy.

Well, it went downhill from there. The BCP I took after Jessica was born packed the weight on me. That combined with going from very active to staying at home with a baby caused my weight to steadily climb. From 1987 until the present I've lost and gained over the years, but mostly gained. Every time I'd lose some weight, it would creep back on and more with it.

In the mid-90's I began having a lot pain in my legs and back when I walked or was on my feet a lot. Since my main source of exercise was walking this discouraged me even more from getting enough exercise. I self diagnosed arthritis and it was later confirmed by my doctor. Over the years as my weight has crept up my arthritis has gone through cycles of bad to worse times.

So right now I'm stuck in a never ending cycle of needing exercise to lose weight, but gaining weight because I can't exercise. The only way for me to lose weight is to diet and I'm not very good at denying myself.

I should qualify that by saying that when I've really committed to losing weight in the past I've been able to lose quite a bit at different times. The problem is that I like food. No, I LOVE food. The good stuff, not that low fat, no added sugar stuff. With the exception of Diet Coke.

So I know I CAN lose weight, I just have to get motivated and put my mind to it. Right now I'm not motivated, but according to what the results of the echocardiogram I had last Wednesday shows, I may have a LOT of motivation.

While I'm figuratively spilling my guts, I have another confession. Well, not really a confession, but something that I've just never really talked about on my blog. I haven't lied about it, I've just never mentioned it. And this has to do with my health as well, in a roundabout fashion.

You may have noticed that I never show my teeth when I smile in pictures. That's because my 2 top front teeth are broken off at the gums and I'm very self conscious about how I look. I'm not vain about very many things but I confess that it bothers me because I know with my missing teeth I don't look my best.

The broken teeth stay abscessed and really need to be cut out, but right now we can't afford to pay what a dental surgeon would charge to do the surgery. Hopefully when I get my disability settlement I can afford the surgery. Then I'd like to get the rest of my teeth pulled and get dentures. Being raised out in the country we had pump water and no fluoride so my teeth have never been very good.

I'm 44 years old and I have other complaints, of course, but those are my major issues, Lynne. More than you bargained for, I'm sure! But if there's something specific you'd like to know that I didn't address, just ask and I'll try to answer your question.LISA @ KENTUCKY WOMAN asks: Feel like telling us your love story? I'd love to hear how you and Lamar got together! :o)

Way back in September of '06 I participated in a meme about how I met my hubby. You can read that post HERE and also see several pictures of me when I was younger, skinnier, and had all my teeth. Back then I had a nice smile, I think.

There's a picture of me and Lamar in December of '85. We'd been married almost 2 months. I was at my lowest adult weight here and my teeth were still good.DIANE @ PARTNERS IN PRAYER FOR OUR PRODIGALS asks: What's your secret to your eternal optimism?

I'm eternally optimistic? Get out!! Boy, I've sure got y'all fooled, don't I?

Actually, I wouldn't say I'm an eternal optimist, but overall I do look at that glass of life as half full rather than half empty most of the time. I suppose there are 3 main reasons for that.

1. My faith. I make a conscious effort not to push my beliefs down any body's throat but at the same time I think everyone who reads my blog more than once or twice knows that I'm a Christian. I'm not a super Christian and I'm not the worst sinner that ever lived, although some days I know I fall far short of the mark Jesus set for me.

But hey, I've read the book and we win! How can I fail to be optimistic about all the future holds for me?

"My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness. " Can you name that hymn?

2. My family and friends. I am blessed in that many of my family are also my dearest friends, and many of my friends are like dear family. Not everyone can truthfully claim that, and I am blessed that I can. How can I not be full of hope and optimism with so many that love and support me, and I have the privilege of loving and supporting them?

3. A blessing of birth. I'm just wired to be optimistic. Like anybody else I have occasional blue and depressed times, but as a general rule I tend to see the good in life more than the bad, and more than that, to LOOK for the good in life more than the bad. Attitude means everything when it comes to your view of life, and I try to stay positive and upbeat. When I do have those blue spells they don't usually last long, thank the good Lord. Good grief, I feel like I've started the sequel to War and Peace and I've only answered 3 questions! I'm going to hang it up for the night and try to get back with more answers on Saturday evening when I do my Sunday Dinner post. At this rate I'll still be answering questions into February!

Y'all have a great Saturday.


Donna said...

Since I'm a new reader, this really helps me get to know you. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

LOVING learning more about you! We have a lot in common! :o)

boomama said...

Oh, I think we were all probably our thinnest around our weddings. I looked at my wedding pictures the other day and wondered how I could possibly get back to that size within the next, oh, immediately.

After all, I'm a huge fan of trying to figure out how to lose 40 pounds by tomorrow.


Nashe* said...

Heys D. I want you to know that I'm REALLY self-conscious about my teeth too. Freak accident in the classroom made my smile totally horrible!

Others tell me it's cute but heck I feel like I'm never smiling with my teeth showing ever again! (Not that I liked smiling with teeth before anyway, but still.) oh well.

Morning Glory said...

I feel like we've sat down in the same room and chatted together. This was a wonderful post, Diane.

A Chelsea Morning said...

I never thought I'd see the day you were MORE honest than you always are, Diane. This is a wonderful post.

Funny you'd bring up that How You Met Your Honey thing I hosted in SEP '06 because I had to reference it in my questions and answers yesterday too. LOL

I LOVE that photo of you and Lamar and yes, you have a lovely smile. And I really hope you can get your front teeth fixed when you finally get that settlement. I did. I still had my front teeth intact, but they were so far apart you could have driven a train through them. We came into a little money when Rob's mom passed away and I spent a nice little chunk of it on veneers. What a difference it makes in your whole well-being when you actually enjoy opening your mouth and smiling. I'm a new woman! Kind of. :-)

I'm approaching this question and answer thing the same way you are. I've never been DIShonest on my blog but people definitely don't know me as well as they might think they do and it's all about the open disclosure, don't you think?

Fantastic post. You're off to a great start, my friend, and I loved reading this.

Tammy said...

First of all congrats on both of the awards, they are very well deserved!

Health is a thing we all take for granted. I know I should do way better than I'm doing, so don't ever feel alone!

I love you and I love your much of you shines through!

As for the hymn...all I can think of is...
"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand...all other ground is sinking sand"...but I'm not sure if that is the same hymn or not...LOL!

Oh sure and no you gonna leave us hangin'...LOL!

Andrea said...

Great answers, Diane. I am learning so much. Isn't it funny how the perception people get from piecing together information sometimes isn't how it is at all? But really, you are such a sweetie - and we all knew that! :)

Great picture of you and Lamar. I must have missed that post! And yes, you do have a beautiful smile. I bet it still is, regardless of your teeth. :)

I'm anxious for more!

Betty said...

Hi Diane,

I really enjoyed reading all about you on your post. As a new blogger, I feel I know you so much better now.

You are a wonderful person, Diane, and you have a beautiful smile. I hope to see that smile again soon.

I'm just sorry that you are having so many health problems. I pray that your overall health will improve. All things are possible with God.

Anonymous said...

Diane - Thank you for answering my question. I didn't mean to pry, but I was concerned since I knew you had had some insurance and disability issues lately. You are such a sweet person and I didn't want you to be not-healthy.

I might just get brave and open myself up for some questions too. I wonder if anyone would ask any??

Linda said...

I am finding these question and answer posts really fun. I always enjoy a chat with you Diane, and this one was no exception.
Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. I am very much like you - optimistic most of the time. And I think it's for the same reason - that's just the way God made me. It really is a blessing.
Have a great weekend Diane (and thank you for your sweet comment).

MammyT said...

It's scary to open yourself up so much, but you've been gracious to answer some personal questions. I'm sure glad to be getting to know you. I know why you have so many friends! I hope I'm one. And, Giiiirrrrl, You crack me up! Your hymn is "ON Christ the Solid Rock I Stand", AMEN. And you are staying on my prayer list. Read Psalm 20:1-5. I'm putting your name where the "thee's" are.

RennyBA said...

First: I've visited Mary and called in :-)

What a great post - thanks for taking your time - I liked both the question and the answers - a great way to know you and your family even better.

Wishing you a wonderful end to your week - hugs from Diane and me :-)

Granny said...

I think it's called The Solid Rock but I always go by first lines.

Your other commenter already said "My hope is built on nothing less", etc.

Now you'll have me humming it for the rest of the day.

I swear food is worse than any other addiction (not that I think you're an addict - I don't mean it that way).

We can stop other things like alcohol, caffeine, tobacco cold turkey.

But we have to eat and that involves choices. Given the choice I'll opt for the chicken and dumplings over the tossed green salad with sprayed on dressing every time.

Now I try for moderation. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't. Today I didn't.

Mary said...


I truly enjoyed this post and getting to know more about you. I will pray that your settlement comes through so you are able to have your dental surgery.

When I got married to my first husband who died at a young age, my waist was 19 inches. I wouldn't want to tell you what it is today, but let's just say it is large. LOL

Love and blessings,