Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome to Sarasota

It sure has been awhile since I've sat down to write. The past 4 months have been a whirlwind but finally it seems the tides that have swept through my life are finally settling.
For the past 4 months my life has been focused on one solitary issue: my health. It all began over 2 years ago when I couldn't stop my body from losing weight. I searched for answers and a resolution to to the problem with little success. In the meantime I was feeling horrible. I had no energy and my body seemed to be utterly confused by food. It didn't seem to know how to process it or use it. As the days ticked by the weight fell off.
Finally, after multiple doctors and rounds of blood work I threw up my hands in frustration. I handed the matter over to God and told Him that He was going to have to fix me because it seemed as if no one else could. I stopped eating gluten at the recommendation of one doctor and let the rest work itself out. Amazingly enough, something started to happen. I started feeling better and I put on weight. From February of that 2011 to August I gained 8 pounds. I was feeling great and working non-stop. Life was good. I felt good!
Fast forward to November of 2011: muscle wasting and weight slipping. It was happening again. It was as if I couldn't stop it. All I wanted was to be able to hold onto the weight, make the scale stick. But it wasn't meant to be. Each time I stepped on the scale I held my breath and each time the number was lower than it was the day before. A few ounces here and a few ounces there...before I knew it I was down 10 pounds - at my lowest weight since I was in the seventh grade. By Christmas I was desperate for answers. First I traveled to Seattle. After testing that doctor came back with nothing. I came back home and did more testing. Still nothing. February was here again and the weight was still dropping. I was in a state of almost constant panic. The next doctor I found was in California, so hello SO CAL. After two weeks of treatments I came back home but with mixed feelings. I had a few good days but in more ways than one, I was worse and still stuck with a scale that wouldn't budge.
At the recommendation of an acquaintance I started looking into an acupuncture/ Chinese medicine doctor in Sarasota, FL. Within two weeks my Mom and I were back on the road again, this time with unwavering determination. I made a vow: I will not come back home until that scale has moved up.
So now that I'm here I can say thanks be to God, I believe that the treatment is working! I have seen improvement in how I feel and I have only been here for a week. It is amazing to me that sticking some needles in a person could produce favorable results but the changes I'm experiencing are undeniable. This Chinese doc knows his stuff! Not to mention that he is the sweetest doctor on the planet. He is kind, gentle and soothing. If he weren't all these things I might be reluctant to have needles stuck all over my body.
Although I am already seeing progress I know the road ahead is long. I am over 20 lbs away from my ideal weight. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I have to be in it for the long haul. Which is why I signed a lease on an apartment and will be making the move to Sarasota on May 1.
This move is sudden but I have no doubts that it is the right step to take. This decision reminds me of another spur of the moment life altering move I made in August of last year: to buy a dog.
When I bought Pippy I didn't waste much time mulling over whether or not to go ahead with puppy ownership. I slept on it. When I woke up I was more excited about the possibility of becoming a dog mom than when I had gone to bed. Well, that was enough confirmation for me! I scoured the internet for a Schnoodle puppy that I could bring home - immediately. The puppies that still had to be with their dog momma for another few weeks were crossed off the list. I was in the market for a puppy to be picked up tomorrow, not in a month.
As you can see, once I make up my mind, that's it. Some people may call it rash or immature or naive but I call it decisive. If you know what you want why waste time pretending you don't? I knew I wanted a dog so I found one. And you wanna know what? She's the perfect dog for me. I'll be honest, I had days in the beginning that I wanted to drive her right back to the breeder and leave her there. Just like children, puppies will push your buttons. She got too good at hitting the big red one that says, "DO NOT PUSH". But as time went on, I began to see that Pippy was teaching me valuable life lessons like patience and not to sweat the small stuff. Pippy's friendliness taught me to greet everyone with a smile and to always be ready to meet a new friend. Pippy's forgiveness has taught me to stop laying guilt on myself and to forgive the imperfections of the people around me. Even after the moments I'm too harsh with her, she always comes back loving me just the same. She may only be 15 pounds but she is bursting with wisdom only a dog can provide. The beautiful part of learning from a dog is that there's never an exchange of words. Sure, I talk to Pippy, but she can't say anything back. Cocking her head to one side doesn't count. She teaches in the best way possible: by example.
The decision to get Pippy was a quick one but has been one of the best of my life. When my health struggled over the past 4 months she was right there to help me keep going. I never missed a day of taking her on her walk. If it weren't for her I don't know if I would have had the motivation to get up and out each of those days. But she kept me going. When I brought Pippy into my life I didn't know why I felt so sure that a dog was a good addition to my life, but I was positive that I was meant to have her. Now I see why. God knew I would need Pippy long before I knew the reasoning.
Likewise, I am sure I should be moving to Sarasota. As for all the reasons I'm not sure - God doesn't like to show all His cards too early. What I do know is that God is working out a wonderful plan. He has something exciting for me here. If I don't take a leap of faith I'll never know what He's been working in me these past few years. So, here I go. In my human weakness I feel anxious. What if I'm lonely? What will I do all day long by myself? What will I be missing back in Erie? But then I think about how beautifully God works things out for those who love and obey Him and I can't help but be pumped! Who will He have me meet here? Where will he use me to serve Him? What new experiences will I enjoy? What will I learn about myself? Those are the questions that get me excited. And of course the question of, how will I decorate my new home? I love that question!
Sarasota, get ready, because Pippy, Daisy (my VW convertible) and I are on our way! Bring on the sunshine, warmth, healing and adventure! This is going to be a great year.

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