Up but Not Down for the Count!

I was not happy with my weigh in this past Saturday but life happens and the weight goes up a little. Last week, there were a lot of stressful situations and I did get through them without my eating going crazy, but I did not drink all the water my body needed either.

Yesterday began the “detox” as I did not bring any lunch to work or snacks.  I had wanted to try Pollo Tropical for lunch as they have a good selection of freshly made foods. I made good choices at Pollo. I chose to order a Tropichop bowl (Regular, size as I didn’t know what size was Regular). For the base of the bowl I chose a Romaine Lettuce, topped with black beans and chopped grilled chicken breast. I added those choices, chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers and fresh salsa as the sauce! It was delicious! It was a lot of fun to try something new that doesn’t break the “points” bank!

This is key to my journey is to embrace and constantly try something new! A new recipe, a new food, a new activity or a new thoughts! New thoughts, , healthy thoughts are what I need to embrace more each day. Many days, I have found myself not being very nice to myself when I make a poor choice or choices, some days my thoughts have been good; other days so-so and some days don’t even go there! I need to practice the ways to handle negative thoughts mentioned below! Work lately has taken care of #2; been busy that there has not been any mindless snacking! At work sometimes presents, #3 unavoidable triggers but I have been working on thinking about those differently with a new perspective. Another change, I have been trying to get into bed at a consistent time and I have started listening to music before I try to fall asleep. I have been waking up feeling rested and refreshed the last two mornings. I do think that #5 has helped a lot! I have combined having a background music of relaxing nature sounds with instruments playing as I take time to pray. It is easier to keep my mind focused.

Autopilot – Disengaged

It is amazing how you can be humming along in your daily life and things seem to be going well with few bumps along the road then BAM something that changes your rhythm and flow comes along and helps you to reexamine what is important in life.

This past week I had my annual mammogram and was not expecting anything but hearing “you are good for another year, see you next year” so I was taken back when I heard “we need to do an ultrasound” followed by “we need to do more ultrasound” followed by ” you have something we feel we need to biopsy” followed by “the doctor wants to do his own ultrasound and compare the pictures” and then you realize your life could change and be out of rhythm for awhile.

How to respond? Disbelief, sadness or humor. I have learned in life that when I am nervous my “funny bone” tends to come out to help relieve my feelings of apprehension about the possible unknown that I am facing at the moment.

My phone rang while I was waiting on the doctor with someone asking me where they could get tested for COVID. That took my mind out of the current line of thinking and that was a good thing.

The doctor projected his ultrasound images live on screens as he was scanning. He then put up the images that the radiologist had viewed. What looked like a small bb was plainly visible. Just as round as a bb too. I blurted out that it looked like a pea or a bb and the doctor confirmed it was about that size too. Inside my head I thought I did not recall being shot by a bb not even in any of my strange dreams. Not a bb or a pea, but something that did not belong was there. They prepped for a needle biopsy and the doctor said he did not want to poke it but take it out but wanted to know what he was dealing with before removing it. That meant coming back for another test on another day but I was free to go back to the office at that point.

I had gotten out earlier than expected so I was happy that I might get back in time to catch a little of a staff meeting. Wrong! There had been a bad accident on I-75 and all the traffic had been rerouted to the road I was on. I noticed so many semis around me I felt I had landed in the middle of a Smokey and the Bandit remake and wished that I had a CB so I could find out what was going on. A 7 mile journey that should have taken 15-20 minutes at best ended up taking a whole lot longer more like 45 minutes. The lane I was in was bumper to bumper and barely moving. Other lanes seemed to be moving faster but I knew I needed to take a left hand turn so I stuck to my lane.

Sitting in traffic actually gave me something else to focus upon. It gave my mind time to refocus on something besides my medical issues. But when I arrived at work, I was emotionally drained and physically very tired. My mind might have been distracted but my body was not! I responded to emails and questions that were awaiting my return and finally ate lunch around 2pm. I kept busy but I was totally drained. I shared with some co-workers what was going on and a few suggested that I take the next day off. I shrugged that idea off and clung to my idea of keeping busy was best for me.

That night I did not sleep/rest much and when I alarm went off I spoke aloud “OH NO!” as I felt I had only closed my eyes and still felt drained. I relented and decided to follow advice and take the day off. I would monitor emails but made no promises. I needed that day. My body needed that day and my emotional psyche needed that day too. I am thankful for those that encouraged me to take that day off. How may times I have given the advice to others take care of yourself and yet I had not.

Tomorrow is back to work and to waiting on a call from the doctor’s office to schedule that next test that will invasively be able to tell if that “bb” is benign or cancerous. Self-care is something we often feel selfish for doing but sometimes it is the most selfless act we can do!

I allowed myself to sleep in on Saturday too. While I missed the WW Team, I needed to take care of myself for this time.

A Lasting Healthy Relationship

“Building Relationships that Last”

This is the wall art tagline that I saw while my car was being serviced.

All throughout our lives we try to build relationships that last. One relationship that we can expect to last is the relationship we build with ourselves.  How do we treat ourselves when compared to how we treat others in our circle of relationships? Are we kind, gentle and understanding whenever a friend needs to talk with us about a struggle they are having? Do we make time for that friend? Do we emphasize? Do we give them a hug if they need it?

The Flip Side 

How do we treat ourselves when we are struggling and facing obstacles? Do we give the same grace to ourselves as we give to others? The Biblical Scriptures instruct us in Matthew 22:37–39 to “love thy neighbor as thyself” we will instantly say we love our neighbor and treat them well.  But the rest of the story,  how do we love ourselves? If we do not love ourselves,  how can we love others? Or can we?

How do we show our love of others? How do we show we love ourselves? 

Gauging Progress (aka Success)

In our daily journey to greater health, we try to gauge our progress (success) and often that is on the weight scale.  Sometimes we see progress and sometimes we do not.  But that is not the end of the story nor the complete picture.  Using only one measure of progress, such as the scale, is having blinders on to the whole process and creating a very narrow focus. This can lead to early overwhelming discouragement and not being able to continue the journey.   You might find yourself saying “IT is not working, I CAN’T do this!” etc.

There are other measures we should be examining our progress (success).  Examples of non-scale progress (success) are items like:

  • Feeling better
  • Sleeping better
  • Breathing better
  • Walking without pain
  • Standing without pain
  • A waistband not squeezing us as tightly
  • Having more energy at the end of the day
  • Clearer and softer skin
  • Not snacking past a certain time
  • Choosing healthier foods
  • Controlling our portions
  • Feeling satisfied with eating less
  • Tracking our food intake honestly
  • Drinking more water
  • Smiling more
  • Maximizing our daily food budget

Not all progress (success) is measured in pounds and ounces.  Every weigh in will not show a weight loss.  This is normal!  To help keep focused on our journey we have to look at the big picture, see the changes no matter how small and celebrate them. 

Focusing on the Climb

One of the most difficult mountains I have had to climb since the pandemic has been overcoming my own thoughts and attitudes. At the beginning everything was pitched as extremely pessimistic filled with doom and gloom and instilled a sense of fear and stress. My mother who is almost 80 lived with me at the beginning of the pandemic and I was constantly afraid that I would bring the killer virus home and she would become very ill. My old habits resurfaced and I began to eat that stress. We were stuck at home and could not go very many places. Online shopping became the new normal and social interaction was very limited. When I went to my office, I was often the only person in our suite and while the quiet was at times very nice; at other times it was maddening. My inner turmoil grew and so did my body size. Within two months I noticed that I had a muffin top which was something new. The sad thing is I knew I needed to stop my body from expanding but my mind did not feel any sense of urgency.

The longer the pandemic continued, my mind kept being more and more comfortable with eating for comfort and as a stress coping mechanism. Since I di not have to “dress up” to do anything my mind really didn’t “see/feel” how much my body had expanded. Leggings became the new “dress up” standard and most of my clothes no longer fit. Inside my mind was crying and hating what was happening but couldn’t “muster” the frame of mind I needed to re-focus on my health.

I got tired of wearing tunics and leggings. I missed my pants, my Levis, my cute jackets and dresses. I had not been on a scale since October 2019 (my primary care doctor told me to stop weighing and I stopped). I guessed and ordered some pants online and I guessed my pant size. The pants were a little big but they were pants! That was sad to see the size that fit after having been wearing a 4/6 for almost 7 years.

I felt the extra pressure of shame and guilt and that was accompanied by a huge dose of failure. After all, I had lost 136 pounds, been on national TV and could in my mind hear all of the snickers, jeers and laughter because I had regained some weight. It took me a year to be able to silence those thoughts and pull myself together and return to a WW meeting just three weeks ago. My first weigh in showed me exactly how much damage I had done to myself by making poor choices and not taking control of the situation sooner. I am looking at having to loose 50 pounds. After my first week, I was down 3.2 pounds and this week I was up point six (0.6) which all things considered thought disappointing is not a disaster. I did have a good week the week before.

My mother got married and moved out a month ago and there was a bridal tea/brunch for her last Saturday which was fabulous! However, in trying to honestly track everything I used all my daily points and all of my weekly points allowance and probably a few more beyond that. My goal for this past week was to “earn” back my weekly points and I did manage to through daily walking to earn back some weekly points and ended the week with 35 weekly points. That was a HUGE non-scale victory!

Overcoming my own mind’s thoughts is the first hurdle that I have to constantly battle. It is a constant battle but worth the effort. I am on vacation this next week which will present its own mental hurdles but I am focusing on preparing healthy meals from scratch since I will have more time to cook, drinking more water and keeping up with my daily walks and extra movement. Today I feel I have been on my feet a lot but that is good as I already have over ten thousand steps. Yay!

I found this online and I think this shows great ways to overcome negative thoughts.

CAMHS Professionals is a pioneering Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services staffing and training provider. Our facebook page has been created to raise awareness within CAMHS, share latest news, and connect those working in mental health. 

The Daily Climb

Each day we all have mountains to climb, and our mindset will determine if we are successful climbing our daily mountains.  What are daily mountains you ask?  It could be something as basic as not getting experiencing road rage on the way to work, or not adding that extra creamer to your coffee or as complex as wondering how to confront a co-worker.

My biggest daily mountains are choosing to eat healthier and eat smaller portions. I often can plan but others can become obstacles to achieving even your smallest of goals.   Learning how to work around minor obstacles is key to long term success. 

Planning ahead

How to deal with any obstacles/hills will help pave the road to success. 

  • Have a good response and now to best respond when —-
    • Have an action plan in your mind before a hill/mountain arises
    • Practice responding to those hills/mountains

REMEMBER

No matter what comes your way and plans do not work out, never E-V-E-R give up on yourself; you are worth it!

Conquering the Mountains

To say the last two years have not been full of stress would be an understatement. Stay home, mask up, get vaccinated, un-mask, go out, get boosted, get masked, and the list goes on and on. At times, it feels like are carrying the collective weight of grief, anger and hopelessness and not at times having the needed tools to cope with those emotions can initiate us returning to old bad habits. We have added the stress of higher prices for necessities, higher cost of fuel to get to our jobs and then facing the possibility of having to move with skyrocketing rent increases and some homeowners losing the homeowners insurance because of companies either going belly-up or pulling out of the state, that makes one for a huge hot mess in most lives. Inflation and uncertainly have brought many of us financially to our knees wondering how will this ever get better, asking will we ever get our lives back? Adding all of that to the COVID stress, the sad constant news stream of so many losing their lives to violence because of race, mental illness, greed, nationality, politics and location, is it any wonder so many of us have put on excess weight?

How many of us have gained weight and added feelings of failure, excessive guilt and humiliating embarrassment to our already stressed bodies? I know I have and my body weight has increased since the beginning of COVID. At times, I felt totally hopeless thinking why bother with eating right and exercising? My primary care physician had instructed me to stop weighing myself and put the scale away in October 2019. Today was the first day I was on a scale since then. I was not happy with the number I saw but in my head I had guessed my weight and I was very close, just eight pounds more than I had thought. As a friend at WW told me this morning, knowledge is power. Time to channel my anger, disappointment, shame, guilt and embarrassment into reducing that number on the scale.

My first goal is to lose 5 pounds!

How am I going to do that?

  1. Honestly track what I eat (good, bad and ugly)
  2. Drink lots of water – stay hydrated
  3. Walk, stretch and move a little each day
  4. Find my body weight scale and set it out and remember it is a ONLY tool to determine my relationship to gravity.

The number on the scall will NOT tell you:

  • What a great person you are.
  • How much your family and friends love you.
  • That you are kind, smart funny & amazing in ways numbers cannot define.
  • That you have the power to choose happiness.
  • Your own self-worth.

I conquered my first mountain…..I went to an in person WW meeting and after two years happy being “seen”

Another thought – Love yourself here and now!!! Think about it, where you are now is where someone else would LOVE to be….

My Baby Steps Journey- Week 15

My Progress for the 15th week:

Water/Fluid Intake —- A

  • With having five full days in the office this past week, it made it easier to drink on schedule again.  But I know I can do better!   Our less than 2 year old refrigerator stopped dispensing water and ice and no lights on the inside! Waiting to hear when the tech can come fix it (for two days now) But thankfully we have some bottled water and have been drinking that!
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK– focus on drinking more water!

No unhealthy snacking after 7:00pm—- B+

  • This was better than last week, mainly because after I got home and had dinner it was already after 6pm.  What a difference a different routine can make! But now I am on vacation for a week. I have to focus more!
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK – no unhealthy snacking after 7!

Increasing Steps — A-

  • DAILY STEP PROGRESS
    • Friday, July 30 – over my daily goal! +640 steps
    • Saturday, July 31 over my daily goal!+102steps
    • Sunday, August 1– under my daily goal! -1654 steps
    • Monday, August 2 – over my daily goal!! +1770 steps
    • Tuesday, August 3 – over my daily goal! +29 steps
    • Wednesday, August 4 – over my daily goal! +1772 steps
    • Thursday, August 5 –  over my daily goal! +562 steps
  • One day under my step goal but I had two days over 10K which was my goal for this week.  I think I will try for doing that again! 
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK – Try to have 2 days over 10K steps for a second week in a row!!

Portion Sizes  B-

  • I am seeming to be more consistent with this but still portions need to be downsized even more.   

GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK: To keep pushing forward!

Positive Experiences/Outcomes for the week:

I worked three full shifts before going on vacation.  I am getting back into the working groove but my dog is not adjusting very well.  She is refusing to eat or do anything other than to get into her bed until I get home from work.  I think I am going to have to have a conversation about the possibility of adjusting my work schedule.  

GO TEAM USA!!!

My Baby Steps Journey – Week 14

My Progress for the 14th week:

Water/Fluid Intake —- B+

  • With having two full days in the office this past week, it made it easier to drink on schedule again.  I can do better!   
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK– focus on drinking more water!

No unhealthy snacking after 7:00pm—- B-

  • This was better than it has been but still not where it needs to be!
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK – See how many nights I can be successful of having no unhealthy snacking after 7!

Increasing Steps — A-

  • DAILY STEP PROGRESS
    • Friday, July 16 – over my daily goal! +359 steps!
    • Saturday, July 17 over my daily goal! +45 steps!
    • Sunday, July 18– over my daily goal! +1943 steps!!!!
    • Monday, July 19 – over my daily goal!! +872 steps!
    • Tuesday, July 20 – over my daily goal! +1167 steps
    • Wednesday, July 21 – over my daily goal! +210 steps
    • Thursday, July 22 – BARELY over my daily goal! +5 steps
  • The AC issues were resolved this week and I was able to meet my daily goal EVERY day this week! 
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK – Try to have 2 days over 10K steps!

Portion Sizes — B+

  • I measured out portions and tracked everything, the good, the bad and the ugly!   

GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK: To keep pushing forward!

Positive Experiences/Outcomes for the week

Two full shifts back in the office helped me to keep my head in the game.  It wasn’t nearly as hard this past week to focus on what I needed to do to work on my health.  I did manage to work in more stretching and other movements to prepare me for getting back to the gym again. 

I am looking forward to being back in the office 40 hours a week again but with the increasing cases which are stemming from the Delta variant of the COVID19 virus I can see the possibility of having to reduce face to face time, social distance and mask wearing again.  I live in Florida and the news was saying that 20% of new COVID cases are in Florida.  It made me think “Here we go again!” My mom’s primary care physician asked her to start wearing her mask again when in large crowds just to be safe.  She is fully vaccinated but he still asked her to start wearing her mask again.  I wore my mask out when we went out shopping this week too. We lost two dear friends and neighbors to COIVD19 in the last week. They were not vaccinated.  I do not even want to imagine losing both parents within 7 days!   I encourage anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID19. 

The 2020 (well 2021) Tokyo Olympics have gotten off to a start!

New Covid problems for delayed Tokyo Olympics – Sailweb

My Baby Steps Journey – Weeks 12/13

My Progress for the 12th and 13th week:

Water/Fluid Intake —- B-

  • With the approach and experiencing of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Elsa things went off the rails a bit this past week.  The second week on this report was a bit better. 
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK– focus on drinking more water!

No unhealthy snacking after 7:00pm—- C-

  • With having continuing AC issues and the Tropical Storm/Hurricane Elsa event things were not overall very good but better for the second week of this report.
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK – See how many nights I can be successful of having no unhealthy snacking after 7!

Increasing Steps — C-

  • DAILY STEP PROGRESS
    • Friday, July 2 – over my daily goal!!! +813 steps!!!
    • Saturday, July 3 –BARELY over my daily goal! +67 steps!
    • Sunday, July 4– under my daily goal!!!! -766 steps
    • Monday, July 5 – over my daily goal!! +1210 steps!!!
    • Tuesday, July 6 – under my daily goa!! -670 steps
    • Wednesday, July 7 – undermy daily goal!! -1359 steps
    • Thursday, July 8 – under my daily goal!! -918 steps
    • Friday, July 9 – over my daily goal!!! +37 steps!
    • Saturday, July 10 –under over my daily goal! -1790 steps!!!
    • Sunday, July 11– over my daily goal!!!! +18 steps!!!
    • Monday, July 12 – over my daily goal!! +716 steps!!!
    • Tuesday, July 13 – over my daily goa!! +406 steps!!!
    • Wednesday, July 14 – over my daily goal!! +1345 steps!!!!!
    • Thursday, July 15 – over my daily goal!! +474 steps!!
  • The first week of this report was not a good week but the second week I did rebound a bit better with the daily step count.  Overall, these 14 days; 9 days over my daily step goal and 5 days I did not meet my daily step goal.  The first week I had 4 days out of 7 under my step goal but the second week there was only one day under my step goal. Making a come back!!!
  • Between the storm and AC issues it took a toll on my eating and walking.  The AC issues really zapped my energy levels.  We have been having constant AC issues EVEN with replacing it with a new unit since February! Fingers crossed those issues will soon be resolved!
  • GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK – 7 days over my daily step goal!

Portion Sizes — B-

  • I measured out some portions this week but when the storm and AC issues reoccurred it was tough.   The second week of this report was much better with handling portions.

GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK: To dust myself off and keep pushing forward! Keep making a great comeback!

Positive Experiences/Outcomes for the week

The approaching Tropical Storm which turned to Hurricane Elsa before it reached us caused some stress and when coupled with re-occurring AC issues since early February it totally pushed me over the edge on eating, stress levels, and energy levels.  The second week was less stressful, but the AC issues have continued promised a resolution today! (7/16-manufacturer defective parts to be replaced) Looking very forward in the near future returning to the office 5 days a week and feeling like life and routine MIGHT be returning to normal! I feel once I am back to a regular routine, it will be easier to post on a more regular basis.

ON THE UPSIDE!  The Tampa Bay Lightning WON the Stanley Cup for the 2nd year in a row! Stanley can keep his tan!!!  GO BOLTS! Photo: CBS Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning win Stanley Cup, beat Montreal Canadiens in five games  to claim back-to-back championships - CBSSports.com