“Stress needs to be minimized.”

I had a big “Aha” moment for me tonight:

“Stress needs to be minimized in order to get to a place where you can even think about a selfish goal such as weight loss.”

—Birdie Varnedore

I’m juggling a lot at the moment, most notably my 70-year-old mom who has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). She also has congestive heart failure, diabetes, & 14 cardiac stents. She lives on her own in an apartment in a building for senior citizens, but relies on me to do her shopping and run her to appointments.

About two weeks ago, she fell in her apartment. She couldn’t reach the phone or one of the 3 pull cords, so she ended up being stuck for about 24 hours. (I still carry guilt about that; if I’d called when I said I would before bed that night, it would’ve only been 12 hours.)

That episode sapped a lot of her strength, and two weeks later, she’s still recovering. Her appetite bottomed out, and for a while, it was all I could do to get her to eat ANYTHING, let alone something healthy from her kidney-friendly (and very restrictive) diet. I’ve been over at her apartment almost every day helping her and feeding her.

In the meantime, I’m still a stay-at-home mom with a husband and 2 daughters to take care of. Add to that our busy school, extracurricular & social schedule, and I’ve been slammed. As a result, I’ve COMPLETELY burned out on cooking. I ramped it up a couple of weeks ago, but after my mom didn’t eat the food I cooked her and my oldest loudly proclaiming “I’m NOT eating that!” 75% of the time I put a plate in front of her, I’ve had it.

I just got back from Weight Watchers tonight, and I’m up about 7 lbs over the last 3 weeks. Between eating out 1-2 meals a day and stress eating, I’m NOT doing myself any favors.

Then tonight, I read this. It hit home for me. How COULD I concentrate on cultivating the positive habits I need to get healthy with all this STRESS swirling around me? So I’m going to start approaching it from a different angle for a while.

I’m going to focus on trying to reduce my stress, and see if that gets me anywhere.

Thanks, Birdie!


About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to http://about.me/kathleendheuer.
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5 Responses to “Stress needs to be minimized.”

  1. Durgagirl says:

    You are so right! Stress is a huge barrier to us not enjoying 200% in life. We have so much untapped potential and all we need is a little tool to unlock all the mother load of treasures that are within each one of us. May I suggest my sandwiched and dear friend the TM technique (Transcendental Meditation). It has it all. Easy. Simple. Natural stress reduction. All the science shows it to be the “creme de la creme” in getting RID of the stress and enjoying deep silence and happiness..in the most simple way. It has served ME well! All the best to you and you know you have MY support!

  2. Colleen says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate to what you’re saying. Totally relate. It’s no fun and it’s not easy to have to choose between caring for your parent, your kids, your spouse and yourself. All we can do is our best and give ourselves permission to not even try to be perfect.

  3. peachy8588 says:

    Sandwiched – I have no words of wisdom for you… But after a weekend living what you live every day – you have my utmost admiration. My prayers are with you and your Mom. I’ll echo what Colleen said – we need to just do the best we can and give ourselves permission to not be perfect.

  4. Stacy says:

    You don’t have a full plate — you have a platter. Be kind to yourself.

  5. ElleBee says:

    Oy! Hang in there, Kath. I’ll be praying!

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