Monday, May 31, 2010

Countdown Continues

OK, three more days to go until the cast comes off. As of now, the leg feels pretty good. I can rotate the ankle and it feels almost ... normal. I can't even imagine what it'll feel like to walk on it again, though.

Meantime, I'm still trying to work out and move around as best I can. I started weight training with the 8-pound weights instead of the 5-pound ones and it's been going well so far. I can't do as many reps for each move, but that's to be expected. But pretty soon, I'll be able to go back to the Bowflex without having to worry about slipping off the bench or tripping over the cables. Then I'll be able to do full-body workouts. I have no idea what physical therapy will be like, but I'm guessing that they'll have me do some moves that involve light weight training on my leg. The Bowflex has a few of these moves that I can do, so I'll be able to build some strength into it at home.

I'd like to get back into walking outside again because I now have a specific event I'd like to train for (the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society's 10K, next May) and a couple of friends to do this with. Right now, I can't realistically imagine being able to walk far, though, so I've been thinking of getting a cheap recumbant bike. They have some that are less than $150 and have gotten good reviews. I always liked the recumbant bike at the gym and it would be a great way to help build up my leg, too.

This has been a little weird keeping a weight loss blog when I have no idea how much I've lost (or gained). I have a feeling that I've stayed about the same, which I can accept. I think that when I go back to work and have to squeeze in physical therapy, as well, that I won't even have TIME to eat, so I'll see a loss then!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guilt And Other Emotions

I just heard from a co-worker saying how much I'm missed and asking when I'm returning. We're friends so I know that most of the reason he sent the message is because he really does miss me as a person. However, knowing him as I do, I also know that he's sick of covering assignments for me in my absence. He and I normally work together as a team, so I realize that me not being there has been especially hard on him.

That said, I'm still a little annoyed by the message, especially since similar ones have come up before, like when I've been on vacation. But in this case, it's not my fault that I broke my leg. It's not my fault that our company wouldn't let me telecommute, even though I offered to do so. I feel badly that my co-workers are having to do extra work on my behalf, though I've been told that several of my assignments have been put on hold, which definitely lightens the load. And to be fair, my salary has been seriously slashed since I've been out so it's not like I'm being paid to be "on vacation." Quite the opposite, in fact.

I hate the fact that I feel guilty about this in the first place. I like everyone at my job, but the job itself hasn't always been good to me. I've always worked really hard and I just want to be able to recover without having to stress about work. Now that my leave of absence is almost over, I'm having to think more about juggling things in the "real world," like physical therapy, doctor's appointments and well, my job. Frankly, my recovery comes first. If I have an assignment that needs to be handed over because I have physical therapy, then tough. My health is the priority.

I've been a wimp at work in the past, but I've already decided that one of the first things I'm going to do is have a long talk with my boss about my various concerns. This way, we can openly address them and come up with a plan for dealing before things get too crazy.

My therapist ended up calling me in the middle of my writing this post and suggested that my accident and everything following it will give me the chance to finally stand up for myself at work. I suppose it will. If there's one thing that this has taught me -- and I know I've said this before -- is that I'm stronger than I thought. I've dealt with pain, having my bone popped into place and surgery, and have lived. I can't say I've been brave because I've been worrying and crying at every obstacle, but I haven't had a choice in having to deal with these things. And yet, I've come out OK, and even better in most cases, once the pain was over.

Sleeping Beauty

Now that I've been recovering from my broken leg for a few weeks, it's coming up in my dreams; I keep dreaming that I'm walking on it and that it's OK -- hopefully a good sign for those of you who believe in dreams predicting the future.

That said, I also have frequent dreams about my weight, which apparently I can't even escape in my sleep. The most common ones I have are where I'm naked and in public and everyone is mocking my weight; I'm at a clothing store and nothing fits (that one is pretty close to reality, sadly); I'm fighting with my mom over my weight (another reality-based one) or I'm reuniting with someone from high school and they're laughing at me for no longer being thin.

Well, last night I finally had a new variation on the "being fat and getting mocked" dream. In it, Jon urged me to start dating again, "just in case" something happened to him. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but agreed to go on a few blind dates just to shut him up. Unfortunately (or fortunately since I'm MARRIED, even while I'm asleep), my "dream" date (heh) turned out to be anything but and stated that he couldn't see why anyone would want to be with a fat chick like me (sidenote: El Jerko resembled George Costanza, so he was not exactly a looker himself!). I then stood up in the middle of the restaurant that we were in and loudly ordered him to "pack his penis and go." HA!

While in real-life, I don't intend to start dating anytime soon -- my actual husband and gay trophy husband are all I need right now -- I do love the line and am now going to have to find ways to use, "Pack your penis and go," in everyday conversation. I'm pleased that while my dream self may be as heavy as my real self, that at least we both can come up with a good zinger on the spot.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Week To Go...

Exactly a week from tomorrow I will be getting my hard cast off and will switch to a walking cast. Presumably, I will be able to put weight on my bad leg again and will slowly get back to normal.

This should be good news, but I'm apprehensive, to say the least. For one thing, I'm a wimp and I always seem to end up in some form of pain when I'm at the orthopedist's. Everyone who's recovered from a broken leg has told me that it feels "weird" at first, but I'm just going to go ahead and assume that "weird" is code for "painful." If I'm a little sore, I can deal with it, I think, but the last time I stood on that leg (when I accidentally put my foot down while trying to use crutches), I just about passed out from the agony. Of course, that happened two months ago, so I like to think that my leg has healed a lot since then.

However, I'm also nervous about returning to "normal." Prior to breaking my leg, my being able to walk wasn't necessarily a happy thing for me. Because of my weight, I slugged around and had terrible back pain. Even going to my office -- a 10-minute walk from the bus stop -- was a drag, especially because it's up a hill. I had all of my stops planned out. I'd walk two blocks, then sit on the steps by the church; walk another two and sit on the low ledge by the library; get my breakfast at the deli and then sit on one of the big flower pots in front of our office building while I fished out my work ID from my bag. So that was several stops in the course of a very short walk and yet I still couldn't wait to sit down once I made it upstairs to my office.

Of course, it was even more difficult getting out to do things. If we went into the city, I'd try to find things to do that were right near a subway stop so that I wouldn't have to walk far. I'd planned to have my birthday at a lounge that was right off of the E train, but then they ended up rerouting it that night. We had to get off about three blocks away ... but for me, it felt like three miles. I was so sore and sweaty by the time we arrived and I know that Jon was sick of hearing me complain.

On weekends, I'd often stay in just because I didn't want to have to walk to the movies or to the park. It was more than me being lazy. I WANTED to go. I WANTED to do stuff. It was just hard to get up the motivation when I knew that I'd be hurting. Jon was always patient with me and never said anything when I wanted to take a rest -- even if it was at every block -- but walking was just plain hard for me.

That said, I have to admit that it's been a bit of a relief to be able to go places without having to experience back pain. I've managed to do a lot in the wheelchair and it's been well, nice, being able to go out and see stuff -- and actually enjoy the experience. A few weeks ago, Jon and I went to pick up my walking boot, then took in a movie and lunch at an outdoor cafe near the park. It was such a nice day, but had I walked there (it's about a mile and change from our place), I would've been hurting.

This is why I worry. Now that one of my legs isn't going to be in great shape, how much worse am I going to feel than I did before? I've been lifting weights and trying to watch what I eat, but I have no idea whether I've lost or gained weight or what. I FEEL pretty good -- I've definitely built up some upper body strength -- but I'm still obese. If it took all of my energy to walk a few blocks on two good legs, how on earth will I do it with one-and-a-half? Is it even going to be possible or am I going to have to take more time off from work, simply because I won't be able to move my huge body?

Jon keeps telling me that it'll take time and I'll slowly get my walking back. He's suggested that we keep the wheelchair for a while so that he can still take me longer distances and then I can work on walking around the house, around stores, a block at a time. As for going to work, I guess I'll just have to take it really slowly like the elderly man in our building who practically crawls to the bus stop with his walker each day. And then I'll be in physical therapy. I'm going to be honest with them about what bad shape I was in even before I broke my leg and see if they can assist me with some exercises that will strengthen my back, as well. I guess all I can do is my best and if I need to take more time off to improve, I will. They've done OK without me so far.

I want to get well and I want to get into shape again -- and I know that the only way that I'm going to do this is if I lose weight and push myself. But I'm really not looking forward to dealing with the constant pain that's going to come with it. Part of me wishes I had just one more month to be off of my feet.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Now that my broken leg journey is (presumably) coming to an end on June 3 when I get my cast off, my therapist suggested that I write down all of the things that I've experienced that people in a wheelchair have to go through. This way, I won't forget them when I'm walking again. I think that this is a great idea because I feel like I have learned a lot and have suddenly had to become aware of things I've never imagined. That said, here is my list:

1. Crutches are a bitch to use. They are dangerous and not easy to navigate AT ALL. My hat goes off to those of you who can master using crutches and even get up and down stairs. I could barely walk two steps without slipping and putting my bad leg down, hence me using the wheelchair. I guess, once a klutz, always a klutz...

2. Restaurants and other public establishments have a very loose idea of what is considered "wheelchair accessible." Some have a makeshift ramp to put over stairs. Some have last-minute ramps built in that are too narrow for a wheelchair, but count as being "wheelchair accessible" so that they're within the confines of the law. Some have a low step that you can technically get over in a wheelchair if you're picked up and pulled over, but it's a pain. This past weekend, I missed out on attending my friends' party because the only "wheelchair accessible" area available was the outside seating in the front (and yes, this apparently counts). Since they sat everyone in the back patio (that had stairs leading to it), they could not accomodate me. I've been fortunate in that I've gotten to go out and do a lot during these two months of healing, but I've learned that there are many cases where a paraylized person or someone with ALS or MS or any other condition that puts you in a wheelchair could be left out.

3. Sidewalks SUCK. Seriously. Or at least the ones in New York City do. They're crooked, busted, bumpy and often tilt on an angle. When Jon has pushed me down the sidewalk in the chair, it's a two-person effort with me pointing out all of the bumps and cracks and him trying to avoid them. It's reached a point where I've memorized the sidewalks so we know exactly how to go and where the rough spots are. I'd never really paid much attention to them before, but they've taken on a new character for me.

4. Doors suck, too. Every time I go through a door, it's a new obstacle: is the door too narrow, is there a door molding to go over, a ramp leading to the door, etc? Again, I've never noticed so much about entrances before -- for example, there is about a six-inch rise leading into our apartment's bathroom -- but now I find myself staring at random doorways and plotting how I'd get inside certain buildings.

5. Using a wheelchair takes a lot of upper body strength. Rolling those wheels is not so easy. You really get a workout doing it. And even if you're being pushed, you can't really just sit back, especially if you weigh as much as I do. I've learned to grab onto pipes, railings, anything available to help propel myself along, especially up hills.

6. Getting out of a wheelchair is an art. I don't know how people who can't use their legs at all manage, but somehow many do. But for me, it's become a little like rock climbing, where you have to look ahead and plot out every move, "I'll grab onto this rail and then move my foot this way and then slide in." I've gotten pretty good at it, though. I can now get in and out of cars as easily as I do even without the broken leg. And I even figured out how to navigate our non-wheelchair accessible bathroom.

7. Rolling office chairs with wheels make decent wheelchair substitutes! Okay, for anyone reading this, go out and get yourself a rolling office chair. They cost maybe $50 and it's the type of thing you'll use all of the time. Plus, you just never know if you might injure yourself and if you do, they are SO handy. Because the wheelchair didn't fit through some of the doors in our 1930s apartment, I had to use the office chair. I even used it on my first night home from the hospital when the stupid hospital wouldn't let me borrow a wheelchair and sent me home with crutches (even though the doctor didn't think I should use the crutches. Idiot.) After falling and hurting myself, I had Jon take me upstairs in the office chair ... and it took a long time, but it worked. That office chair was my saving grace. I'm not kidding when I say that I wish I could buy our two office chairs some beers to thank them!

8. People tend to be nice to someone in a wheelchair. I don't know if it's pity or just that most people want to help, but I encountered so many people who held doors for me or stoppped me on the street to say that they hoped I felt better soon. Of course, others were oblivious and got in my way, but most were kind. Who says that New Yorkers are rude? We rock!

9. When in a wheelchair, your world becomes a lot smaller. Because you now have to plot how to get everywhere, simply getting across the street is an adventure. I think I will appreciate being able to go distances again, without the help of a chair or car and by simply using my feet.

10. I've often been concerned about the limitations that obese people face (not fitting in airline or movie seats or booths; having to shop in special stores), but now have a new appreciation for all that wheelchair-bound people have to deal with. Unfortunately, many folks in a wheelchair can't reverse their conditions, whereas obese people at least have that option. Yes, it's hard, but the possibility is at least there, whereas it probably isn't (at least until more research is done) for those who are paralyzed. I'm hoping to do some more to raise awareness of this, even if it's on a small scale. For starters, when I return to work, I'm going to question the fire martial about what we should do if a wheelchaired person is on our floor. In drills, they always tell us to take the stairs, but if a person can't take the stairs, there needs to be another option. I'm also going to speak up when I'm on the bus and I see people rolling their eyes at those who have to have the wheelchair pick-up lowered. Yes, it takes an extra 10 minutes, but it's necessary! Me doing these things is not much, but it's a start in making people aware that we need to make things more accessible for others.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fabulous 40

I just completed a 40-minute workout! That's about double what I've been doing for the past few weeks. It felt really good, too. I've discovered that Britney Spears, Madonna and disco songs are the best for getting in a good performance. Cheesy, yes, but the beats are quick and the time flew by.

I think at this point I'm going to switch to 8-pound weights for a few routines. I'm still doing many reps with my 5-pound hand weights at the moment, and though they're light, trust me, you feel the burn when you do 30 or 40 reps with them. But it's reaching a point where even that is getting kind of easy for me, so I'm going to try the 8-pounders and see how it goes. It's just good to get moving, though. Tonight I went out with two friends to the Spanish restaurant across the street from me and they were playing live salsa music. I so wanted to get up and dance because I love salsa, but all I could do was wiggle a big in my wheelchair. My friends did promise that we'd go dancing as soon as I can, so my workouts are a good way to get that energy out of my system.

As of today, it's exactly two more weeks until my cast comes off. Now that me actually walking again is beginning to seem like more of a reality (though I'm still nervous about the future), I've been thinking of things I'd really like to do when I have my legs back:

1. Go dancing. I haven't done this in a long time, but it's so much fun -- and a good workout. The last time I did some serious dancing, other than at a wedding, was back in 2007 when I went with friends to Disney. We stayed at the Pleasure Island clubs until 2 a.m. and danced the entire time.

2. Go on a hike. Haven't done this in a while either, mainly because I've felt out of shape. But if I keep working out, I'll be able to build up to doing this again. It would be awesome to do a short hike in the fall.

3. Train for a charity walk. Once I can walk again, I want to show my thanks by giving back. I now have new motivation because I know of someone who is ill and I'd like to do something to help. Since I can't really do anything on the medical end, raising some money for research by doing a walk is the next best thing. When I've done charity walks in the past, it's always felt good, but it's different when it becomes personal.

4. Buy some cute shoes. Shallow, yes, but all I ever really wear are sneakers. I definitely need to spice up my footwear!

5. Get a pedicure. I don't nearly pamper myself enough and the last time I got a pedi, I really enjoyed it.

I'm sure I'll think of more things as time goes on, but for now, these are helping to motivate me. I need all of the motivation I can get.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Dreams May Come

One of my friends e-mailed me this article written by creative guru, Lee Silber. I found it so inspiring that I'm reposting it here. It's very long, but well worth reading. Silber's bio and Web site URL are at the end, as well. I've posted MY thoughts on it after.

The Ten Commandments To Health & Happiness

Copyright © 2005 Lee Silber

Have you ever had an epiphany or flash of enlightenment while you slept? Well, I was awakened one hot summer night recently sweating profusely, and not because it was warm. I was frantically attempting to write down the things that had come to me in a dream. This information was either being channeled through me by a higher power or I had eaten some bad food—either way, it seemed important.

When I awoke the next morning, I had scribbled the following ten ideas on a pad of paper (and partially on the night stand, too.) In the light of day some of my midnight breakthroughs have seemed silly in the past. These Ten Commandments to Health And Happiness are in the exact order they came to me in my dream. Since the night these thoughts came to me in my slumber, I have read and reread them several times and you know what, these principles of prosperity make a lot of sense. So, welcome into my head, I hope these help you as much as they have helped me.


“Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel. Without it all we see is darkness.” —Lee Silber

In the movie Shawshank Redemption (a movie that takes place in a prison) one of the main characters "Red" says to his frield and fellow inmate Andy, “Hope is a dangerous thing.” As much as I love this movie, I have to disagree with old Red. Hope is is a POWERFUL thing. Having hope is what gets us up in the morning—whether we have all we have ever wanted and believe there is more good things on the way or, we have hit rock bottom and believe that things are going to get better. People who have lost hope are self-destructive (“What does it matter anyway, I’m doomed to fail”), self-loathing (“Nothing good ever happens to me”), selfish (“Nobody cares about me so why should I care about them”) and depressed ("I suck, life sucks, the whole world sucks"). People filled with hope are exciting to be around. They have a certain positive energy about them. They are motivated. They believe good things are around every corner and more times than not, they are.

What you can do today: Find a person who has done what you want to do or have and learn how they did it and what they had to overcome along the way.


"A life without love is no life at all." —Lee Silber

We all need it. We all want it. We all spend our lives looking for it. This isn't up for discussion, it's a fact, we want to be loved and we want to love. Now, some of us can say we love books, surfing, Kauai or our boat. That's love. Some of us are romantics and want to find the love of our life. Others love to love and are serial lovers. You can love animals. Hopefully you love yourself. Equally important is that you love what you do for a living. Love is the thing that matters most for many of us. Even looking for in all the wrong places is better than having no love in your heart. I read a study by a researcher who interviewed people who knew they were dying and the common denominator for nearly all of those on their deathbeds talked about the people, places and things they loved. Mostly the people who loved them. The highest form of love is the unconditional love you (should) get from your family. Not everyone has that kind of love. But "family" can be a group of friends that love you—no questions asked.

What you can do today: Allow yourself daydream about what you would do if everything was perfect and you knew you could not fail. Is there some way to make this your new reality? Could you scale it back and live part of the dream?


"We all feel fear. It's what we do when we feel it that makes a difference." —Lee Silber

I will never forget the first time I parachuted. It was a whole new kind of fear. As we passed the drop zone in this broken down plane the instructor held my head out the opening (there was no door) and said, "See that spot right there? That's where you land. Now, get the hell out the airplane." Every fiber of my body said, "Don't do it." But I climbed out on the wing and then hurled myself into air. You know the ending to this story because I am here to tell it. What you may not know is that nothing has come close to being as scary as that jump. Actually, the second time I parachuted was worse, but that's another story. Even though I have never been so terrified, I have also never felt such exhilaration. Facing your fears can change your life—for the better. People who have courage can become successful entrepreneurs. Courageous people can become multi-millionaires when they take (calculated) risks in real estate, the stock market or in themselves and their abilities. Fearless people live larger lives than those who lack courage and cower whenever they start to move outside their (small) comfort zone. The key is to use fear to motivate you to work harder, practice and prepare more and then to allow it to race through your veins not as a poison, but as a positive force to push you to do more, be more and have more.

What you can do today: Do one small thing that pushes you a little outside of your comfort zone and makes you feel at least a little bit of fear.


"It is my belief that having a vision for your future and a plan to achieve it is what separates the winners from the losers." —Lee Silber

I was on a path to becoming a beachbum when I was a teenager. I took life one day at a time and put no thought into what I wanted tomorrow to look like. Then I found a book called The Winner's Edge in my high school library and it changed my life. The lesson I learned is that winners set goals. I set the goal to make honor role and had a plan to achieve it—to start attending class. Once I reached that goal I was hooked. Over the years I have developed and designed an advanced goal-setting system that has proven so effective I surprise myself (and my parents) with the things I have been able to achieve. For creative people like myself, it's important to focus our energy and efforts or else we end up all over the place. It is also helpful to engage both sides of our brains in the planning process. That means you write out what you want your life to be like (left brain) and then find images that visually represent what you want (right-brain). Whatever form your goals take (a wish list, a statement of intention, a dream board or a general idea of what you want—that is written down) you have done more than most people. By fast-forwarding your life you can time travel to your future and allow what you want to guide your daily decisions. Goals keep you excited and motivated no matter what your current circumstances are and give you a general direction to point your time, talent and tenacity.

What you can do today: Grab a stack of magazines and catalogs and start ripping out anything that inspires you and create a collage full of images and words that get you excited about your future.


"Low self-esteem is the root of all evil." —Lee Silber

Many of us strive to achieve things for reasons that aren't always in our best interests. Maybe you want to impress a parent or your peers through an accomplishment. It could be that you believe making a certain amount of money or holding a certain title or degree will make you feel worthy. A great many of us have been brainwashed to believe that a big house, massive SUV and expensive clothes will make us feel good about ourselves. While these things can and do make us feel better about ourselves, there is more to self-esteem than just the things we can call our own. Again, it's good to strive to be all you can be and to be rewarded for your efforts. There is also something to be said for finding the people, places and things that we are passionate about and pursue those. That's the path to happiness and ultimately, success. Maybe the term self-esteem isn't the best word to use to describe what is essentially a feeling of contentment, of being sure of who you are and what you can do.It's a sense of purpose and a belief that you can make things happen for you and others. I do know that people who lack self-esteem struggle in all areas of their lives. A belief that you don't deserve good things to happen to you can lead to poor choices in relationships, with money and in regards to your career.

What you can do today: Make a list of all of your past accomplishments (big and small), leave a positive message for yourself on your voice mail, write yourself a nice note and mail it off or e-mail yourself a list of things you are proud of.


"We all have talent. We all possess a skill. We all know more than we think we know. What we need to do is find a way to do, what we like to do and do well, as a way to earn our daily bread." —Lee Silber

So many of us say, "I'll be happy as soon as..." Many times we have more than we think we do. I can't tell you how many people I know who are over-educated. They felt that in order to do what they wanted to do they needed an Ph.D. Sure, practicing medicine and law without a license is criminal. However, if you want to play guitar, but haven't started because you first felt you HAD to read music, it might interest you to know that Paul McCartney doesn't read music and that Phil Collins wrote out the horn parts to his solo album using his own unique series of dots and dashes. Many best-selling authors still can't type, spell or use a computer. Many great businesses were built by college drop outs (Apple Computers, Virgin Records and Microsoft). Learn all you can, hone your craft, practice until you get it right but then DO SOMETHING. It is the people who act that succeed. Are you a scholar or are you someone who makes things happen? If I knew everything there was to know about publishing, I would have been paralyzed by fear. I believe it was my lack of knowledge that made it seem possible to get published. Have you heard the term, "She's a natural" or "Man, he makes that look easy"? There are certain skills that it seems we are pre-programmed with. If only we could figure out what they were, we wouldn't have to struggle with things that seem right for us on paper, but are wrong for us simply because we aren't using our God-given gifts.

What you can do today: What is one area you feel you need to know more about to achieve more in your life or your career? Do something about it today. Buy a book, sign up for a class or ask someone for help. Then do something with this new knowledge.


"It usually isn't the most educated, most talented or most privileged person that makes it big. It is the person with passion and purpose that rises to the top." —Lee Silber

What is it that pushes people past what others think is possible? What makes a person outwork, outhustle and oulast everyone around them? What keeps some going through failure and financial hardship when others who were only mildly interested gave up? If you said "passion" you are right. If you said a sense of purpose, you are also correct. When a person has both, watch out. In sports there are always stories of players who hung in there despite overwhelming odds, injuries and setbacks. In the movie Bull Durham the character that plays the wise, but aging catcher ("Crash") loves baseball so much he simply stays with it even though he is stuck in the minor leagues. The reason ballplayers stick with it is their passion for the game and their sense of purpose—to make it to the Major Leagues. I have also met activists that are so passionate about what they are doing they are able to open doors that were closed to others. They are even able to inspire others and "evangelize" them to their cause. I have met people who floundered through life until they figured out what their purpose was and all of a sudden they were focused, disciplined and motivated beyond belief. If only all of us were able to first know what our purpose is and then have the courage to pursue it we would be filled with the same energy, enthusiasm and enlightenment that most high achievers and happy people seem to have.

What you can do today: Just answer the following questions. What is something you could study or do all year long (and nothing else) and not get bored? Think back to a time in your life when you were perfectly happy and content. What were you doing? What are you most passionate about? If someone asked you what YOUR purpose in life was what would you say?


"Nobody achieves success alone. Nobody." —Lee Silber

When I was a young upstart I did something that changed my life forever. Even though I started my first business at age eleven and another at eighteen, it was something I did after high school that I think set me apart from my peers. I typed up a letter that asked some of San Diego's most wealthy and influential people if they would have lunch with me so we could talk about their success. I then made copies and went to Rancho Santa Fe's main street (this is is a super affluent area of San Diego) and placed my letters on the nicest cars I could find. I then went home to wait by the phone. Several people called and one invited me to his home for lunch. It turned out he was a major player in publishing. As you now know, this person has been very helpful in my career—as has several other mentors. Even though I am not a joiner, I am a founder. Over the years I have founded several clubs to bring people together to support, encourage and interact with each other. This also has been life changing. Also, through my books and radio show I have interviewed many successful people and many have helped me in a variety of ways. The bottom line is this, we all need help, support and encouragement from time to time. I would recommend finding a mentor or three, starting a mastermind group of your peers so you can exchange ideas and insights and finding a person whom you could assist in some capacity.

What you can do today: Make a date to either attend a meeting where there are people who can help you, you can help or you can help each other. Then show up and make the most of the opportunity.


"People ask me all the time, 'How did you manage to find the time to write eleven books in eleven years?' The answer is easy, I made the time by being disciplined and determined enough to put my pen to paper day after day." —Lee Silber

Picasso was known for being a great entertainer but he always painted. Sometimes leaving people alone in his home to go to his studio. Hemingway was famous (and infamous) for his drinking, but he awoke each morning and wrote BEFORE drinking himself into a stupor. Jimmy Buffett is best known for his songs "Margaritaville" and "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" but he himself is not the party animal he appears to be. He has written four best-selling books, recorded over thirty records, founded a successful chain of restaurants and his own record label. You can't do that without discipline. Discipline comes in different forms. There is the discipline to be able to focus. There is the discipline to create no matter what the distractions. Then there is the discipline to do something. Without discipline a very bad thing happens—nothing. I will say, when something you think you want to do never seems to get going you may want to ask yourself if you are one hundred percent committed. If it is something you want and should be doing then do it. It's that simple. Winners do what they say they will do and do it while losers just talk about it.

What you can do today. Find a simple step that you can take to get going on something you have wanted to work on for a long time but just can seem to find the time or the inspiration. Make this a micromovement—something so simple you can do it in under an hour.


"By being an 'Idea Person' anything is possible. Problems aren't a problem, they are opportunities. You are able to express what you think and feel into forms that others can see and hear. By being creative you are living 'The Life' ." —Lee Silber

When I was in high school and college I often wondered what was wrong with me. I'd look at a problem on a test and see more than one right answer or I'd come up with several other options. I would have a hard time focusing in math and science but excelled in art, music and writing. It seemed I thrived when I didn't have to just memorize steps, systems or solutions but was able to come up with my own unique ideas. When I finally found myself in art school I heard a giant click. This is where I belonged. I was rewarded for being an "idea guy" and a "creative person". I think it is the ability to solve problems with innovative thinking that should be held higher than all other skills and abilities.

What you can do today: Is there a better way to do this?" for every task encounter the rest of the day.

LEE SILBER is the author of eleven books including ORGANIZING FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN. Lee is also the founder of five companies and a sought-after presenter. To learn more (and get a lot of free stuff) go to:


The reason why I enjoyed this article so much is that it not only spoke to me as a "creative person," but as someone who constantly has to push herself to actually get things done -- case in point, losing weight. I'm very good at accomplishing short-term projects: to wit, in the past few years, I've written two novels, recorded an album and completed that 20-mile charity walk, but I seem to lack the discipline to keep going with stuff. I've been especially feeling this lately (broken leg aside) as I've tried to find something to feel motivated and passionate about.

I have one friend whom I envy because he's great at getting stuff done. He's accomplished a lot and while I admire him for doing so, I admire him more for the hard work he puts in to get there. He doesn't stop, even when things get tough. He's always encouraging me to not give up on stuff, but I have a tendency to not push myself that extra bit. I definitely think this ties in with my weight loss.

Some of it has to do with the fact that I feel drained from the times I have pushed myself. After writing two novels and attempting to get them published, it never happened. I managed to land two literary agents over the course of five years and wrote dozens or rewrites, but the publishing companies just didn't like my work well enough to buy it. Meantime, I'm really proud of my CD, but it hasn't sold as well as I'd hoped. As for my weight loss, I was so proud when I lost a lot of weight and could complete that long walk, but now I have to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. It's so daunting to think I have to go all the way back to the beginning when I was getting so close to being where I want to be. It's kind of like climbing Mt. Everest and then tumbling down only a few hundred feet from the peak.

That said, this time at home has given me some opportunity to review my dreams. I think that part of the reason why I'm so frustrated about not getting my novels published is because I was holding onto a "dream" that isn't really a dream of mine. Yes, I had two good ideas and I'm glad that I put them down on paper, but since then, I just haven't had a good fiction story in mind. I've known other fiction writers who've had their work rejected, but they've written story after story until they've found "the one" that sells. I just don't feel that passion and desire. But what I DO enjoy writing is non-fiction, I've found. Though many aspects of my job at a magazine annoy me, those annoyances mainly have to do with the beauracracy and not with the writing itself. I still look forward to doing interviews and writing them up. I also really like writing in this blog and I love writing up travelogues for our trips -- which I do strictly for fun. Many friends have suggested that I write a book of my travelogues, but I don't really care whether or not I earn money from them (though it would be nice). I write them because I enjoy sharing my experiences and I know that my friends and family enjoy reading them. When I was writing my novels, it felt more like work to me. I enjoyed putting them together and felt a sense of satisfaction when I'd finished, but I wasn't writing these stories for ME -- I was writing them in the hopes of selling something.

What all of this has to do with my weight is that I think that a big part of my overeating has to do with trying to "fill myself up" with something that's missing. That said, I'm trying to refocus what I want and what I really enjoy doing. I think that the more non-food related things I find to satisfy myself with, the more success I'll have -- both with my weight and in my overall life.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This morning, I'm getting fitted for my Cam walker, which has been described to me as a "moon boot." Once I begin wearing it in June, I should presumably be able to walk again. Honestly, though, I'm a bit nervous about taking this next step; I'm a little afraid that at my weight, my bad leg will just snap and re-break as soon as I set weight on it. But then again, I've been putting all of my weight on just ONE leg for the past two months and it's held up. Anyway, the Cam walker is supposed to support it as it fully heals and I get used to walking again.

At this point, I have a lot more mobility in my bad leg. I can point and flex my foot and move it at the ankle. I've been told that when I begin physical therapy, one of the exercises they'll probably have me do will involve calf raises, so I've been trying to flex my foot as far as it will go in either direction so that I can stretch out my calf. Though I'm not getting the full impact as I would if I were to put weight on it, I'm hoping that these movements will strengthen my leg so that when the time comes, I will be in okay shape for therapy.

Meanwhile, I'm experiencing more and more benefits from my upper body training. The other day, my friend came over and took me downstairs to a nearby restaurant for dinner. I was a little apprehensive about having someone other than Jon take me out in my wheelchair because he's strong enough to push me and we have a whole system. Basically, I get into an office chair near my bed; he then wheels the chair into the hallway, where I switch into the wheelchair. We then exit through our building's basement and head up to the street via a very narrow and steep ramp. Along the way, however, are several obstacles: first, the office chair has to be pulled over two door moldings within our apartment -- through our bedroom entrance and then through the front door. We then have to contend with the elevator, which doesn't always line up. In fact, sometimes it's about six inches off the floor. And then we have to deal with the basement, which has bumpy, hilly and uneven floors. Finally, there's that ramp, which leaves Jon huffing and puffing by the time we reach the top.

Needless to say, I wasn't sure if my friend and I would be able to pull this off without Jon's help. She assured me that she's strong, though, and I do know our system inside and out. So we decided to make a go of it. To my surprise, I managed to get into the office chair and wheel myself over to the entrance of our bedroom without any help or support whatsoever. We then made a team effort in getting the chair over the door moldings, with her lifting the chair and me pushing it over with my good leg. Once in the hallway, I transfered to the wheelchair, again without assistance, and instructed her how to get me into the elevator and through the basement. And then it was time for the ramp.

My friend began pushing me and I could tell that this was going to be really tough for her. I then had an idea and grabbed the railings which are on either side of the ramp. Usually, Jon just pushes me up, but this time, I pulled myself along as my friend pushed from behind. Again, we worked really well as a team and we made it to the top. Needless to say, having the upper body strength really came in handy! My friend has some pretty incredible strength, too -- here's to girl power!

Last night, Jon and I went out and I showed him how I can now get into the office chair and wheelchair without his help. I'm getting better at negotiating cars, too. In the beginning, getting in and out of cars was a big procedure and I needed help doing it. But now, I can hop in and out of cars with the cast, no problem; I can even deal with curbs. The only time I felt a little shaky last night was when the cabby who was taking us home wanted to drop me off at the pot-holed corner where I initially fell. I refused to get out by what I call the "scene of the crime" and he understandingly took us across the street instead.

I'm glad that I'm feeling a lot more confident in moving my body and getting around, even if my mobility is still limited. It gives me some more hope that things will go well when I'm able to begin walking again three weeks from now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Friends Vs. Great Friends

I realize that writing an entry about my friendships doesn't at first seem like it has anything to do with my weight loss journey. However, since I'm attempting to improve my WHOLE self -- body, mind and soul -- I feel like it's important to evaluate my relationships and how they effect me.

In short, I've hit the jackpot when it comes to friends. Some studies were done recently where researchers concluded that on average, people have only two very close friends whom they feel that they can confide in. I'd say I have about 50 people whom I consider good friends and out of those, about 10 are extremely close friends -- the type of people whom I can tell anything to and who I think of as family. I even have one close friend whom I've literally known since birth. How many people can say that?

My luck with friendships has been reinforced for me even more as I've dealt with my broken leg. Several of my friends have gone above and beyond when it comes to doing favors for me. My best guy friend drove me to the doctor's and was with Jon and me in the examination room as I got my bone popped into place. Another good friend picked up my wheelchair for me. Another, who is a doctor, patiently took harried calls from me as I questioned her about some medical issues I was dealing with. And still another actually schlepped over an hour to the hospital so that she could comfort me as I awaited my leg surgery. Meanwhile, I'm getting to know a newish friend/neighbor, who's already offered to help me out in several ways; I forsee us becoming close, as well.

On the other hand, there have been some people who've disappointed me. I recently asked a small favor of a friend (whom I've done some big favors for) and was given the brush-off. I don't expect people to owe me for the things I've done for them -- that isn't what being a good friend is about -- but I was disappointed that this person wasn't willing to accomodate me while I'm in a wheelchair.

Still, I should make it clear that I don't think that this friend is a bad person -- it's just that some people are willing to go the extra mile and some aren't. I really hope that I'm the former. I'm sure that there's more than I can do when it comes to that department and I want to work on it.

Last night, I went to dinner with a friend and we had a long discussion about weight loss and my injury. She suggested that there's a larger purpose behind me breaking my leg and that in the end, this setback will lead to something better. She then noted that this could be a time for me to deal with my bingeing problems and get my entire body into better shape as my leg heals.

I think she's right about that, but I also think that part of that "greater purpose" also involves my friendships. Over the past few weeks I've truly been able to see what it takes to be a GREAT friend versus a good friend. A good friend is someone who you think is nice and who you enjoy spending time with. However, a GREAT friend is more than just that -- they're someone who you can count on for that extra something. Good friends are the people you invite to a party because they're fun to be around. Great friends are the people you call at 2 a.m. when you're dealing with a family crisis.

I really want to be a GREAT friend to those people I love -- the type of person who can be counted on and who makes the extra effort. I hope that no one close to me ever experiences a crisis, but I'd like to think that they can depend on me as much as I've been able to depend on them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Something Seems To Be Working

I worked out six days this past week, only taking a rest day on Saturday. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time cleaning and moving around in my wheelchair, which requires me to use my arms and good leg. I've been putting in a lot of effort in building my upper body strength. And you know what? It seems to be working.

I don't know if it's because I'm getting used to only using one leg or because I am getting stronger, but over the past few days, I've had a much easier time lifting myself into a standing position without help. In the past, it would take several tries and some support from Jon for me to be able to stand up and move into my wheelchair or from the chair into the car, but now I can do this in one, swift movement. I remember that the first time I saw my orthopedist, it took three guys to help me out of my wheelchair up onto the examination table -- and I still had trouble getting up there. But when I went today, I was able to grab the table and hoist myself out of my chair without help -- a really big change.

Jon says that he can tell that my arm muscles have become more toned, but I'm not sure if he's just being nice. I can definitely feel a difference, though, when I lift myself. I feel a lot more in control, a lot more secure and a lot more balanced.

Meanwhile, I got my final hard cast today -- a bright, neon pink one that says, "I'm injured. Move the hell out of my way, fuckers!" I like it. It did hurt a bit when my doctor had to flatten out my foot to get it in the proper position, but not as much as I'd feared. And the good news is, when it comes off in three weeks, I'll be moving on to a walking boot ... and presumably walking again.

I'll admit, I'm a little nervous about the walking part. Before I broke my leg, I was having enough problems walking because of my weight and I'm afraid that I'll end up re-breaking my fibula the moment I step down on it. Still, I have three more weeks to continue losing some weight and building up my strength. Going through all of this pain has taught me that maybe I'm tougher than I give myself credit for. But trust me, with this bright, pink cast no one will stand in my way!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On A Roll

So far, this week has been pretty good in terms of me taking care of myself. For starters, I've done 20 minutes of weight training each day for the past four days. The motions I can use are somewhat limited because I'm sitting (I can't do things like squats, obviously), but I've done as many arm movements as possible, such as bicep and tricep curls, overhead lifts and French presses. I've been using five-pound hand weights, which sound like they won't offer much of a workout since they're so light. However, I do 30-40 reps of each move and go from one move quickly to another to keep it as aerobic as possible. Let me tell you, by the end of that 20 minutes, my arms are burning and I have a nice sheen of sweat on my body!

The great thing about having my laptop with me as I work out is that you can find any piece of workout music known to man. Tonight I was in a novelty music mood, so I worked out to "Ice, Ice Baby," "Baby Got Back" and "Hangin' Tough." Cheesy, yes, but all of these songs have a great beat and are fun. I need the fun to keep my workouts from getting boring.

This weekend, I'm going to attempt to make it onto the Bowflex. I know that I can physically get onto the bench, especially with Jon's help, but I'll have to see if I can swing my bad leg around so that I can get into the proper positions for the exercises. I'd love to get on there, though, and shake up my routine a bit. I also still need to do the chair aerobics.

Meantime, I've also been making a much better effort to eat well. I started keeping a food journal again and am eating meals with vegetables as often as possible. A few times this week, I had Jon's veggie stew, which he makes with various root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips), greens and potato dumplings (kind of like matzoh ball soup). I also suggested that he add zucchini to the mix and it was very good. I love this dish because it's so healthy and filling -- and I've only had one potato ball per serving. On Tuesday, I was craving lasagna so I ordered in the vegetable lasagna from one of our favorite Italian places. They make it with very little cheese and stuff it with carrots, broccoli, green beans and peas. I got it with their homemmade marinara so I could get a little tomato goodness in, too. Then tonight I went out with a couple of my girlfriends to the nearby diner. I debated getting a broccoli and cheese omelet, but decided to skip the cheese (I had cheese and crackers with lunch) and just got a plain veggie omelet with broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus. It was good and I had a great time being out with friends.

I know I've been in a funk lately, but I have about a month now until my hard cast comes off and I want to be ready. I'm not expecting a miracle to happen -- no way will I lose 50 pounds by June. But I do think that if I continue to work out and eat well that I can lose about 12-15. Some days it's hard to get motivated when I'm stuck in bed and my leg is aching, but I have to keep reminding myself of what I'm working toward.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Looking Forward

For the past few days, I've been trying to get out of my funk and get back into shape. I've been trying to do my weight training more consistently and found an interesting workout online that I'd like to try: chair dancing! Some of the ladies on the Weight Watchers board recommended it and it sounds great for someone who's immobile. Basically, you do full-body aerobics moves, only you're sitting while you do them. I checked out a couple of routines online and they look fairly simple. The only thing is that many of the routines require a "marching" movement with your legs, which is hard to do with my bad foot. But I think if I move it and make sure I don't actually hit the floor with it, I'll be alright.

Meantime, I'm discovering that you can get a decent workout just with the wheelchair. On Sunday night, I spent about two hours cleaning the living room, so I had to spend a lot of time moving myself back and forth in the chair. You really feel it in the arms! I also like to use my leg to push it along so it moves more quickly, so I got some movement in that, too.

As for the walker, well, frankly, I'm kind of scared of the thing. Getting up onto it to a standing position is a huge undertaking. We're ordering this thing that's like a bed grip so I can grab it and hoist myself up, but meantime, the way I've been standing is by holding onto Jon, who barks at me, "Okay, stand up, stand up!" I can go a few steps with it, but I hate the feeling of standing on only one leg, even if there is a big, secure walker to prop me up. I'm so afraid that I'm going to accidentally put my leg down or trip and fall. If you think I'm being dramatic, try hopping on one leg for a while, but DO NOT put the other one down, even if you have a balance check. This is what it feels like. I mean, I'm a klutz anyway -- hell, I broke my leg by falling off of a bus -- and this is just reinforcing it for me. My original intent was to practice on the walker each night, but in all honesty, I've been avoiding it. I feel a little guilty because Jon has this idea that I'll be up and walking by myself with it in no time and it'll give me more freedom (and he'll have to take care of me less), but realistically, it ain't happening. I feel like such a loser that I'm scared to get from my bed to our bedroom entrance, which is maybe 10 feet tops, but the area by the door narrows, there are closet doors that swing open, there's the door molding ... every obstacle makes me so nervous about falling and hurting myself again.

I was speaking with my therapist today about my fear of falling and she noted that it's probably because I hurt myself by falling in the first place. I guess that's pretty obvious. But this isn't like getting back on a bicycle and trying to ride again; if I fall, I could potentially re-break my leg and need more surgery, more time off of work. I have a difficult enough time controlling my body with two legs; now I feel really, really vulnerable. I know that Jon (and my friend Scott) would advise me to just do it, don't analyze everything so much, but seriously just LOOKING at that walker makes me break into a cold sweat.

So there have been some frustrations, but I've been working overtime to make sure I have stuff to look forward to. I know it's not realistic because most of my friends are working full-time, but I wish more people were around just to talk with on the phone. It gets lonely here all day without Jon and the cat can only say so much to me. That said, I've been trying to plan as many outings as possible. We're meeting friends for dinner on Friday; my parents and in-laws are coming over on Sunday for Mother's Day; I sent around some e-mails today asking various friends if they'd like to meet up for dinner. I know it's hard to keep in touch when everyone is busy, but I'm hoping that if I reach out to people, they'll respond and I'll be able to have some more human contact.

Going through this has made me realize that perhaps I'm not meant to be a full-time freelance writer. I LIKE having people around, even if it is just my co-workers and I LIKE being in the city where I can easily meet up with friends after work. I feel like I'm on an island right now and am very isolated from everyone else. I don't really know if I can spend the rest of my life listening to the voices in my head. Frankly, they're beginning to get rather boring.