Caregiving

Love can be the motivator

I’m not sure I want to write about this. But if I’m going to keep it honest, I have to.

I’ve talked about my husband and his heart health issues.  He was in the hospital recently for several weeks after open-heart surgery and is now recuperating at home. It is so good to have him back!  Everything is working like it’s supposed to.  He is slowly getting his strength back. We hope to get back on the active transplant list later thiIs year or early next year.

Being a caregiver is at once exhausting and exhilarating.  Like so many other things that are hard to do, you jump in there and do it, without really knowing how much toll it can take on your energy and your life.

Often caregivers drop their regular routines, the things that connect them to a vibrant life.  Hobbies. Exercise. Reading. Music. Movies.  Friendships.  School.  Work.  Going for a Sunday drive. Running errands on a weekend.

Most caregivers don’t regret this.  When you care about someone, you want him or her to do well, and you do what you can to help your loved one live strong through a difficult time.  So when you can offer any help at all to someone who is struggling to regain their health, little successes are indeed inspirational for everyone involved.  Walking across a room unassisted.  Having the clarity of mind to read a newspaper or an instruction manual.  Reheating a meal without help. To see the steady growth is truly a miracle that God has given us.

But it takes one day at a time to get there, and for the caregiver and others who are helping out, your daily routine can slip away and disappear without you even realizing it.

The pounds can slip back on. You eat less carefully.  You exercise less often. You get tired or stressed and chow down on whatever is around. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but over time it adds up.

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Even healthy food can make you gain weight if you eat too much — hard to lay blame on a bell pepper though!

I’ve written about mindless eating and how it’s so easy to inhale a lot of calories without even realizing it. In the last year since my husband was diagnosed with heart disease, my weight has increased about 15 pounds.

This is interesting because I want to start a weight loss business, and this blog is the first step in that process.  But I’m going in the wrong direction! It’s possible to gain weight, even when you eat healthy foods.  Portions are important, and in the many years since I’ve lost 65 pounds, it’s been a problem I still haven’t licked. That’s compounded by what I’m going through now.

So all the hard work I’ve spent getting myself on a healthier track and spreading the gospel of healthy living to others could disappear if I don’t stop now and get it together.  As so many of you know, it’s a lot easier to gain the weight back than to lose it.

So I’m going to accept the help that people have offered me and make a bigger effort to stay focused on keeping myself healthy as well as my husband. It’s the best way I can show him how much I love him — and myself.

After all, could I have worked this heard 65 pounds ago? Maybe, but probably not. And I can honestly say I don’t want to know the answer to that question.



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