I always start my blog up again with good intentions of blogging regularly, but it rarely happens. I guess my life has just become ... BLAH!

I have been up and down with my new healthy lifestyle. I have kept up with exercise, although with this heat, I find my shed/gym workouts aren't an every day thing. But, I have been out walking with the family, doing 2-3 laps around the local oval, and then around our town.

I have found that although my weight seems to have been up and down the past few weeks, I am happy that my measurements are going down each weigh-in week. I just wish the scales would be kind to me.

Diet - I haven't totally given up on the junk food / take away, but I have been wary of portion sizes, and when I have cooked meals, I've made healthier choices ie switching to cous-cous, instead of rice. And I've actually found I prefer cous-cous. It tastes yummy, and doesn't leave me feeling bloated.

My kidlets started their new school year yesterday. I now have a Year 6 girl & a Year 4 boy. I can't believe my kids are growing up this fast. 2 more years and my babygirl will be in high school *sniff sniff* Both settled in well, and so far, they are happy with their teachers. I am giving both the benefit of the doubt, as both teachers are young teachers, almost fresh out of University. Master9's teacher was at their school last year, but wasn't a homegroup teacher. I think she did lessons like PE & Literacy classes. So this year is her 1st time being a full-time classroom teacher. And Miss10's teacher was a student teacher last year, but she seems nice enough.

Other than that, the weather here has been H.O.T !!! The past 2 days temps were over 40C, and today & the rest of the week are forecast for mid to high 30's. YUCK! I am so not a Summer girl. I hate, hate, hate hot weather.

Let's hope this cool change they keep talking about comes in SOON!
This past week trying to get on the right track, as far as getting healthy, has made me reflect on a lot of things.

I was in the shed the other day, punching away at the punching bag, and I started getting all teary. Yes, I was in pain, every muscle in my body was hurting because I'm so fricken unfit, but that wasn't why I got teary.

I was trying to motivate myself to push through the pain barrior, to stay focused on why I NEED to keep going. It got me thinking about my Dad, and I guess life in general.

I'm not close to my Dad, I never have been, but I love him & always will. I had a horrible childhood. I'm the oldest of 4 kids & grew up feeling very unloved, and at times, hated by my father. For whatever reason, he resented me. I was treated differently to my siblings (1 brother & 2 sisters).

I could sit here and go over countless theories - 1. he resented me because I made him settle down, as he barely knew my 17 year old Mum, & they got married a couple of months after finding out she was pregnant. 2. maybe he thought he wasn't my natural father (that's a whole other story) 3. maybe he just didn't like me fullstop. Who bloody knows? All I know is he was a nasty man towards me, and from what I hear, at times violent.

By the time I was a teenager, I hated that man so much that I left home when I was 14, and lived with my Auntie (my Mum's sister). It was a really hard time for me at that age. I knew my Mum was having an affair, so I was angry at her. I hated my Dad for his cruel ways towards me. I didn't really have much to do with him after my parents separated. My Mum went her own separate way, and my Dad raised my siblings.

As time went on though, I learned to forgive him. We still aren't close. I really only speak to him around Christmas time. He has never gotten my children presents for their birthdays or Christmas. I always make the effort to at least send him a card for his birthday, and give him gifts for Christmas.

Then late 2010, I get a phone call from my estranged sister saying she was on her way to the hospital with my Dad & that his Dr suspects he may have had small heart attacks. My siblings and I knew he hadn't been well in the months leading up to that phone call. My Dad has Type 1 Diabetes, and had been complaining of feeling ill & passing out or fainting a lot. We all just assumed he'd not been taking care of himself. We all went into panic mode.

As it turns out, his arteries were blocked around his heart, and he eventually had a quadruple bypass - 2 days after I had my pyelosplasty surgery. The week before Christmas, we all gathered at my youngest sister's house for a joint Christmas & birthday party for her oldest son. It was here that my Dad, just casually, tells me that he found out recently that he had "died" twice on the operating table, and 1 of his lungs collapsed. I didn't know what to say!

As I sit here with tears in my eyes again, I guess what I am saying is that all of the above events have made me aware that life can be cruel. My Dad was a complete arsehole to me growing up, yet I took charge when we found out he was sick, & was the rock for my siblings who were all falling apart, especially my brother. Even after everything my Dad did to me, the cruel names, hitting me, throwing things at me, I still love him & would be crushed if something bad happened to him. And I don't want to end up like him, 59 years old & feeling like your life is almost over.

When I think about it, I could have easily grown up a different person. My life is so much different than my childhood. My house is always clean. My kids education is extremely important to me. My children's health & well-being is my number 1 priority. I make time to have "private talks" with my kids so I know what they are doing & feeling.

I don't want to be a product of my Father ... but I love him and I always will !!!
Today marked Day 3 of my exercise program. I really wasn't looking forward to it, and almost slipped back into that "ah I'll just skip it" mode. I could have easily done that since Mr Hottie had left for work, and he's the one that pushes me & keeps me on track.

I was all set to go have my shower, then thought to myself "Don't give up already!" So, I got my plan & book out (The Australian Women's Health "Big Book of Exercises") & changed into my workout gear.

I really wasn't looking forward to it, as my legs are feeling so tight that it even hurts to use the toilet ha! Although I couldn't complete all the sets for some exercises, I did give it an effort, especially with the ones I knew were going to hurt my legs - squats & lunges!

Even though my legs still hurt, I am glad that I made an effort to do some exercises today, even if I didn't do all the ones I struggle with (plank & reverse crunches). I am hoping that by sticking to doing some form of exercise each day, that it won't be long before I can complete a full set of those exercises.

As for my diet - well I have made a choice to not go on a "diet" but simply use common sense with my eating & drinking. For at least the next 4 weeks, I am going to try to eliminate flours & sugars ie bread, pasta, soft drinks. I really only eat pasta maybe once a week, either lasagne or spag bog, so that won't be hard even though I LOVE pasta! My biggest downfall will be giving up bread. Some days I find myself eating bread with every meal.

So far, I'll give myself 50/50 on that challenge. Kids and I had hotdogs last night for dinner, and I've been a sucker for the fresh burger buns aah! But at least it's only been a once a day thing. So that's a start. Next week, I plan on putting more effort into that idea.

BUT ... I have given myself a day off for the 15th January - MY BIRTHDAY! I am, however, not going to go silly. I just meant that I will work extra hard so that I can have a few drinkies with hubby & friend, who is coming over for the weekend. We are going out for dinner, so I am making a promise to myself to be conscious of what I order so I don't undo all the work I've put in.

That's pretty much it for now. Another hot day here & another day spent indoors with the ac on blah!
Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I blogged. I deleted everything and am going to start fresh.

A lot happened last year. I had 5 surgeries - 4 minor & 1 major. For the past 11 years I have been dealing with kidney pains. About 7-8 years ago, I was told I had kidney stones. Simple problem huh? Apparently not!

I went back and forth to hospital for visits & scans, and tried everything possible. According to the doctors, since the stones hadn't grown, shrunk or moved, then I basically just had to put up with the constant pains. Most days the pains were just a quick sharp pain, but some days the pains lasted 20 or more minutes. And then there were the days when I ended up in severe pain due to infections.

Finally it was decided towards the end of 2009 that it was finally time to remove the stones. I was scheduled to have surgery in January 2010. After 2 cancellations, I finally went in for surgery. I was going in for a procedure where they used a laser via the uretha to "blast" the stones.

1st surgery Feb. 2010 - I was told they couldn't get into my kidney so a stent was inserted. I had to wait 3 months to go back. All I will say is stents are NO FUN! I couldn't walk more than 5 minutes without being in pain.

2nd surgery May 2010- Woke up to be told that they STILL couldn't get into my kidney, so a bigger stent was put in. I ended up in ER twice the 1st week due to excruiating pain. Again, another 3 months wait.

3rd surgery August 2010- Good news - the stent had been removed & they were able to get the camera into my kidney, and surprisingly there were no stones. Bad news - I NEVER HAD STONES TO BEGIN WITH. Apparently I had a birth defect which was causing a blockage to my kidney. Hence the reason my kidney was so dilated for who knows how long, since apparently I had this problem since birth!

4th surgery Oct. 2010 - MAJOR ONE! I had a procedure called laprascopic pyelosplasty. The Dr basically detached my uretha, removed the damaged part of my kidney, then reattached the uretha. I spent 7 days in hospital with a catheter & drainage tube, plus a body rash due to an allergic reaction. I will be going to hospital hopefully this month to see if they can find the cause of this reaction.
On top of that, 2 days after my surgery, my Dad went in to have his surgery - quadruple bypass. It was not a good time for me & my family!

5th surgery Nov. 2010 - simple procedure to remove yet another stent.

I will be going to have an xray in a couple of weeks to see if the surgery was a success, with a follow-up appointment in February. Fingers crossed it's over & done with, and I can get on with my life now.

So as you can see, it was a pretty horrible 2010 for me. Because I couldn't really walk far for about 9 months, I have gained so much weight. Yesterday I started my exercise program back up again. I have a cross-trainer & punching bag in the garage which got a workout this morning.