Saturday, December 31, 2011

Long Time, No Post

I seem to always be apologizing for my frequent neglect of this blog but there have been a few bumps in the road over the last month. 


A week after I posted my last update, my dear friend, Huston Jenkins, who played a prominent role in that post, suffered a stroke. This news and the resulting concern and worry for my friend occupied my mind and my life for several weeks. I'm happy to say that Huston is now home and appears to me to be improving quickly. He might be eighty-seven but he is a fighter and the strongest man that I know. Of course this means that I won't be taking Danny, my colt, out to Missouri to stay with Huston and be trained but it only means a change in plans since I plan to start Dan myself. Then, hopefully, in the Spring of 2012, if Huston has improved enough, I will take Dan to Missouri for a visit and perhaps a ride by Huston around the barn if nothing else. Both Huston and I are excited by the prospect of this visit in the Spring and I hope it will motivate him to keep fighting and keep healing.


Another epiphany of sorts occurred in my life just one short week ago. Althought I haven't said too much about it, I have had a miserable year where, despite having so many ideas and obligations and so much that needed to be done I wasn't accomplishing anything because I was constantly sick, constantly fatigued, and constantly achy and stiff in a way I've never been before. I was also quite often depressed which I attributed to the stress brought on by living with the other symptoms and their effect on my daily life and productivity which was nil. I hate having medical tests so I  tend to put off going to my doctor until I am absolutely desperate for answers. I finally conceded that I had to see my doctor. He ran all sorts of tests  because he thought, like I did, that there was something seriously wrong with me but thankfully the tests all came back with good results except for the fact that I was severely anemic. I lied to my doctor, telling him that I felt better and I thought that I must have had food poisoning. I did in fact feel a bit better when I first started taking iron for the anemia but then, for no apparent reason that I could find, the painful intestinal problems returned. I started watching what I ate, restricting anything that I thought might be contributing to my problem. I kept track of everything I ate. I cut out dairy, thinking that I might have become lactose intolerant. At first, that seemed to work but then I'd eat what I considered a harmless meal and within minutes, I was in excruciating pain. A friend suggested to me that I might be gluten intolerant but I said no because I never had been and I wasn't losing weight instead quite the opposite. Despite the constant sickness and not really eating that much, I seemed to be holding on to my weight and I often felt bloated. Then, on Christmas eve, I was busy trying to work around the house and finish up all of the things that needed doing. I was fighting my extreme fatigue every step of the way and I literally forgot to eat lunch. I'd actually been feeling pretty good that day except for feeling tired because I'd had none of my usual digestive track discomfort.  The only things I'd eaten that day were eggs, ham and fruit.  Then, late in the afternoon, I stopped working long enough to eat a sandwich and within ten to fifteen minutes, I was very sick. I had come to conclusion that my problems were a food sensitivity but nothing made sense until then. I went to the computer and checked celiac disease and suddenly realized that I had ALL of the symptoms including anemia. As for my inability to lose weight, while weight loss is more prevalent, those with this sensitivity to gluten can also have problems losing weight. That sandwich was my last consumption of wheat and within 24 hours, I felt like a new person. Not only had my energy returned but I was not longer sick, no longer experiencing the gut wrenching pain that I've been experiencing on a daily basis for at least the last nine months if not longer. I feel lighter and I'm actually losing weight already! I also have the energy to accomplish some of the things I've been putting off forever and I'm walking/hiking as much as three miles a day....up and down steep hills. I plan to add more exercise later and so far, I don't miss the wheat although I have discovered that gluten and wheat can show up in unexpected places so I have quickly become an avid label reader. It really hasn't been that difficult to follow this diet because unlike other carb restrictive diets like Atkins, you can still eat starchy foods like potatoes, rice and corn when you are gluten intolerant so I don't feel at all restricted and I haven't had any cravings. I do realize that some of my favorite foods have been eliminated from my diet which makes me a bit sad but this feeling of well being and the enormous amount of energy I've had is well worth the sacrifice.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Epiphany


I did have an epiphany this past Friday which I think might end up changing my life in immeasurable ways. A good friend of mine had an incident of his own on Friday which was also life changing and in a far more dramatic way. He had the beginnings of a heart attack. Luckily, he realized what was happening, dialed 911 himself, and was just two blocks from the best Cardiology Hospital in Illinois. He had one stint inserted that morning and is due to have two more in the next two weeks but he was back to posting on Facebook by that afternoon and out of the hospital the next day. He is naturally very introspective at the moment. He posted a quote from Anne Morrow Lindburgh today, "When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides."

It is a beautiful and thought provoking quote and I especially liked the phrase, "lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. I'm discovering that this is true of life in general. Those friends who have know me for any time at all know that I have developed a fear of riding which had become both unreasonable and almost uncontrollable. The worst part of the fear and anxiety was that it had become emotionally paralyzing and was keeping me not only from riding but living my life. It wasn't a fear of horses that kept me out of the saddle or even anxiety left over from the bad fall I took six years ago. I think I've been living in fear because of various crazy accidents that I've had in my past because it wasn't just riding I was fearful of, it was anything which involved the least bit of risk. Before I did anything, I'd imagine every possible thing which could go wrong. Huston told me once that things could just as easily go right as wrong but I never saw it that way. The fear was actually keeping me prisoner in my own home because I'd also become very fearful of driving especially on the interstate.  

Oddly, it was on the interstate this past Friday, where I had my epiphany.  I was thinking about a friend who'd had an accident very similar to one I'd had or at least nearly had several years ago. I was in the car, in traffic, on the interstate bridge between Loudon and Lenoir City, when a tire blew. It lifted the front of my car straight up in the air and spun me around on the interstate bridge until I was facing the wrong direction. This happened right at rush hour when all of the workers from Oak Ridge filled the highway. It also occurred in the exact location where my friend had an accident which didn't have the same lucky results that mine did since I was miraculously able to get turned around and to the side of the road before the traffic..which had oddly cleared just as the tire blew...was suddenly zooming by me again. My friend's accident resulted in serious injuries and I was unharmed. I suddenly realized on Friday that despite that near miss and all of the weird accidents I've had over the years that should have resulted in serious injury if not death, I've remained virtually unscathed except for the residual fear. I had this revelation while driving to a friend's barn with the intention of riding a horse for the first time in two years. I'd tried to ride my horse, Django, a week before and I froze as I stood on the mounting block and couldn't get into the saddle. When I got to Brandy's barn, she was bringing in the horse she wanted me to ride. She helped me tack her up and then held my stirrup for me to mount. I didn't hesitate; I got on the horse and I rode without the slightest fear or nervousness. I walked her a short while and then kicked her into a trot. Brandy who is not just my friend but long time riding instructor was amazed and told me as much, saying that I didn't look the least fearful or even nervous.  I told her that I wasn't. I was relaxed and thoroughly enjoying myself. I had realized that, like the John F. Kennedy said, I had nothing to fear but fear itself.  I truly feel like a new person. So, I think that living a full life "lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now." That is true of life or love or horseback riding.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gratitude

November is the month of gratitude for all of your gifts and blessings. It is also a month of contemplation for many times, we might not feel that blessed but if we just take the time to really look at our lives, even amongst trial and sorrow, we can find a silver lining even if it is a bit tarnished.

Myself, I say my "thank You's!" every morning. Admittedly, there are some mornings that take more effort but I'm still grateful for every single day. During this month of giving thanks, many of my friends have started to post a new note of gratitude every day on Facebook. I've fallen behind since I just started my list today. So, I've decided to write a thank you for every day I've missed so far.

November 1st: Every morning when I wake up, I thank God for my family and friends and I pray that he will keep them healthy and safe for another day.

November 2nd: I'm so very blessed to be married to my best friend and to have had him faithfully by my side for way more than half of my life.

November 3rd: I'm so grateful for all of the animals that have shared my life. I've always loved animals and each one of them has added to my life and taught me so much. They've always given much more than they've taken. And their unconditional love and loyalty are unmatched.

November 4th: I'm thankful that I've been able to spend most of my life doing something that I love and that fulfills me. The creativity that God added to my soul before I was born has filled my life and outlook with color and joy.

November 5th: I love November, the month I was born. I'm grateful for the beautiful, warm colors of Fall and the days which are usually a combination of bright, warm sunshine and cool, crisp breezes. It's my favorite time of year.

November 6th: I'm going to go ahead and do this one because tomorrow is my birthday and I might not come near this computer....it will be a little gift to myself, to curb my obsession for at least one day. But I am so very, very grateful for another year of life and another chance to start anew, try again and get it right!

Friday, November 4, 2011

And I wonder why I can't sleep.....

I was watching a TV program a few nights ago and one of the characters became obsessed with death when he noticed that his Sports Illustrated life time subscription ran out in 2033. He goes on the computer and checked out a site called DeathClock.com, a site which supposedly calculates the exact date that you will meet your demise and your maker. When he put in his stats, he got the exact same date which makes for good comedy. The not so funny thing is, this site actually exists. I'm sure it's just for entertainment purposes but it still is a bit morbid especially considering how almost everyone past forty is actually obsessed with death and dying. So, what did I do but check it out; I couldn't help myself.

Unlike the TV sitcom version which asked if the participant brushes and flosses regularly, the real Death Clock only asks for four pieces of information: your date of birth, your outlook on life (optimist, pessimist, or neutral), whether or not you smoke and your BMI. It actually has a disclaimer that goes on and on about how obesity kills and that losing weight and exercising can significantly extend your life. The first time I tried it, I put in my actual BMI, knowing that I do need to drop more than a few pounds. My date of death was announced as January 18th, 2033. There must be something about that date. Maybe it's the end of time because it certainly seems like a lot of us are kicking the bucket in that year! January 18th also happens to be my husband's birthday. It would be a lousy gift to have your wife die on your birthday but Steve says it doesn't matter since the "Clock" has him perishing six years prior to that date anyway.

I know this is all a bunch of nonsense but with all of the talk about how being unfit and fat increases your chances of dying, I thought I'd put in a really low BMI and see how many extra years of life it added. So I did and............it added a little under two years......!!??  So, I starve myself and work my butt off and I don't even get an extra two lousy years??? I was more than a bit upset...even though I do know it is all nonsense....until my friend Daryl Lunsford (I love the way his brain works!) pointed something out to me, "Remember, though...every year, the Death Clock is in Daylight Savings Time for 6 months, so every November you get that back. 22 years of that amounts to another 11 years, so you're looking at 33 years minimum right off the bat. And then there's Leap Years... :-D" Like I said, I do love the way he thinks.:)

And before all of your avid dieters who are working so hard to lose the deadly weight get your dander up at me, I am still trying to be good. I'm at least moving more and I have good intentions with the food. My current problem lies in this busy time of year when I'm doing my best to pull everything together so I can end this year in the black. Consequently, Steve has been doing the grocery shopping. He's pretty good with picking up what's on the list but he always supplements the list with other items that he likes and he knows, I love. So, after sleeping in this morning....will explain that later...., I made us a breakfast of sausage (turkey at least), eggs (three a piece...yikes!...but I do love eggs), biscuits (which I coat with butter spray and garlic before baking), fresh tomatoes (yeh! for healthy;-), and some potatoes that I put on last night and by the time we woke up are now potato mush so I topped them with cheese to disguise that fact. My, oh my!! So, I think it is time I bite the bullet and manage to make it to the grocery store myself this weekend to buy some healthier fare.

This Sunday will be my 56th birthday. I was hoping to lose more weight before that date but that's not happening so I've decided that it will be the day that I finally get back in the saddle, quite literally, for the first time in nearly two years. It's a long story that I won't go into but I had a bad fall from my horse Mouse six years ago. It has been a long journey trying to overcome my fear of riding after that. I thought I had it whipped a couple of years ago but then it seemed that everything happened to keep me from riding and the more time that went by that I hadn't ridden, the more fearful I became. I came to the realization last week that I'm dealing with geldings now and they are both pretty laid back. Django can be a bit spooky but he's very easy to control when he does spook and generally does nothing more than a bit of hopping. Mouse on the other hand is an unpredictable mare or maybe she's actually a predictable mare since she is the best horse you'd ever want to ride most of the time but when she comes into season, watch out! I've said that I can identify with that. My days of monthly mood swings are long past now but I do remember becoming almost homicidal at times over the smallest offense. So, I can understand Mousie and her not wanting to be saddled much less ridden at certain times but these boys are boys. I don't think I have anything to worry about with them. They are not going to try and take over control while I'm in the saddle and I know that I can handle the situation if something does startle them and takes their attention away from me. So, last night's heavy rain should be dried up by my birthday on Sunday and I plan to ride my horse, Django, as a birthday gift to me. Too many beautiful autumn days have come and gone unridden and Django wants to be ridden (he is a lovable but obviously strange horse, lol.)

Now, finally, the reason that Steve and I both slept in today. My reason is the same old, same old. I woke up hurting around 1am and then couldn't get back to sleep. I could have washed the dinner dishes that were still in the sink or cleaned house a bit but instead, I sat in here and played Words With Friends and HotShots on Facebook until nearly 4am when I finally decided to try bed again.
I had just settled back into bed when I heard this horrible commotion and someone shouting angrily and it sounded as if it was right in front of our house. I woke Steve up, as much to stop his snoring as to get his help, and the two of us crept out of bed and toward the bedroom in the front of the house so that we could see what was going on. When I reached the hall, the direction of the noise seemed to change and I realized that it was coming from the kitchen not outside. Not to worry, it wasn't a burglar and I knew the source of the racket. When TV switched to digital, the little TV in our kitchen no longer picked up a signal so I hooked it to my little used laptop and transformed it into a monitor. I thought that I'd use them to monitor my diet....talk about good intentions....but mainly, I watch TV and movies on them while I cook and clean in the kitchen. We've recently discovered why the laptop has been burning through batteries at an alarming rate (especially considering that a battery is over a hundred bucks), the lid does not close completely and the computer will stay on even when closed unless you completely shut it down. Lately, it has mysteriously been turning itself and TV and movie back on even when it's closed. What I can't figure out about last night, when it was a very loud police program that was making all of that noise, is how did the TV also turn back on?? I turned both off before I went to bed last night. Also, how did the computer start that police program when I had paused the sitcom, The Middle, before closing it and the page was still closed? There was another page that had been opened and the police show was playing on it. Sooooo, the good news is, there wasn't a bloody gun battle happening on my front lawn last night. The bad news, our resident ghost evidently has developed a passion for late night TV viewing and loud, violent shows.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I've been neglecting this blog and a whole lot of other things in my life but there is just so much to do and not enough time. I was so lethargic for so long and as a result I'm behind the eight ball in almost every aspect of my life. I need to get back in my studio/workshop but I'm still working on redoing the workshop and this office/studio space first. The workshop hasn't been used in nearly six years and Steve has been using it for storage. So, we're talking a major mess. Then there is the upstairs part of the house where we live. I've spoken of this mess before. We started remodeling ten years ago and then stopped cold when Steve's dad became ill and died. If you think the workshop is a mess after six years of neglect and abandonment, try ten years of virtually camping out in our own home. My "new" stove is still sitting in the box in the garage. The "new" frig is the one that broke a month ago so it is just sitting. I told Steve this morning that when and if we finally do get back to work on the house and finish it and my kitchen, I'll have to learn how to cook all over again. Don't get me wrong, I do cook but my appliances consist of a portable grill, a crock pot, a microwave and a toaster oven. I have various other small appliances that I use to some degree or other but those four are my mainstays and my life savers.

Even working with the horses, another task I've fallen behind on, is made difficult by the mess in the house because everything is in boxes and baskets and pretty disorganized including the horse supplies and tack. In fact, just when I was ready to start riding again....we moved the round pen this past weekend so that I can ride solo since it is the rarest of rare occasions when Steve is home and available to ride with me. I started cleaning and sorting through the boxes on Monday, gathering my tack only to discover that a gallon water jug, on the shelf above where most of it had been stored, had sprung a leak and wet my leather tack which is now covered in mold! That is my first task for today, clean the tack. I have been enjoying doing some ground work with the boys since we moved the round pen. It's not only helping me with my horsemanship and bond with my horses but it's also providing some enjoyable exercise. Although, I must admit that some horsemanship more closely resembles yoga than aerobic exercise. Such was my time spent in the round pen with my horse Riley yesterday where I learned a lot about him and even more about myself. If you'd like to read the story, it's posted on another blog of mine that you can find HERE.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zippity Doo Dah!

My, oh my, what a wonderful day!!!!............Not that yesterday started off at all good. In fact, I woke up with an upset stomach, pain and raging diarrhea....I know, I know, too much information. I was feeling so bad that I didn't know if I could make my 1:15 appointment with my doctor that afternoon. I managed to rally before time to leave but I was still very uncomfortable as I sat in the waiting room at my doctor's office. The nurse called me back to the exam area and started taking my vitals. My doctor has been telling me for over a year that I need to lose weight and start exercising in order to lower my blood pressure and to avoid the need for medication. I have tried and I've failed and I've succeeded and I've backslid and I've tried again. Lately, I had been feeling so badly that I wasn't trying at all. There had been a dramatic change however because after my last visit to the doc, two weeks ago, I discovered I was anemic. So, I started taking a daily multi vitamin and an iron supplement. Within a few days, I was feeling better than I'd felt in months or maybe even years! I not only started walking every day, I actually enjoyed it and looked forward to it. It's been a long time since I actually looked forward to any physical activity because I was both so low on energy and it caused me discomfort. Suddenly though, I felt at least twenty years younger!
You wouldn't have thought that two weeks would be long enough to see significant results but when the nurse took my blood pressure, I asked her what it was since my doctor had commented at my last visit that it was extremely high but he hadn't told me what it was. She said, "It's 124 over 82." I think because I expected bad news, I said, "That's still too high, isn't it?" To my shock, she answered, "No, honey. That is as close to perfect as you can get."........Wow! It has been years and years maybe even decades since I've heard the word perfect associated with my blood pressure reading!!
When my doctor came in and was going over the results of the deluge of tests that he'd run on me, I asked if he wasn't happy with my blood pressure reading. He pulled today's vitals up on the computer screen and I swear, his eyes widened in surprise. He said that my last reading, two short weeks ago, had been 174/124!!! We both were amazed at the dramatic change and he added that I'd lost 8 pounds. He attributed the drop in blood pressure to the weight loss but since I lost significantly more last year but didn't lower my blood pressure any where near that much, I think that both the good blood pressure reading and the weight loss are because I'm moving again.......and loving it!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good News

Much good news, my ct scan results came back clear, I have more energy and enthusiasm every day and I've been losing a pound every day without even trying. I go to see the doc again tomorrow and I'm going to run my theory by him about the malfunctioning frig and food poisoning being the culprits which kept me sick for over two months. I'm not certain why I'm losing weight because my diet lately has not been great but I am far more active than I've been in several months so perhaps that's the cause. I'm hoping that when I really start exercising beyond just working with the horses and my daily walks, that I can really kick my metabolism up into high gear. Being several sizes smaller and having loads of energy and vitality would be a wonderful Christmas gift to myself.

The bad news is, my husband injured himself. He slipped and fell and landed on a large jack. He thought he'd broken a few ribs but the doctor who examined him on Friday told him no that it was either just a crack or a deep bruise. That is good news in a way but the doctor did not x-ray so my husband is being extremely cautious because he's afraid that if it is cracked, he might break it. That in a way is bad news for me since he is home most days because of the injury and trying to get caught up on work he's let go around  our house and farm. That sounds like good news for me, doesn't it? Well, he's afraid of doing certain tasks so I'm getting nothing done on my chores and goals because I'm helping him all day long. Ahhh, c'est la vie ;-D

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm copying this exactly from my own post on another site, " My favorite art teacher once told me not to under value my work. She said that people would consider my art to be as valuable as I considered it to be whether that value was high or low. I have to admit that I've struggled with that concept my entire life and not just with my art but with myself. I've allowed some people, who usually have their own agenda whether it is with me or my work and that agenda is usually control which some people thrive on, to have too much influence on what I think of myself as well as my art. I think we all do that and it's time it stopped! Confidence is sexy, it is probably the most appealing characteristic we can have. Confidence isn't vanity, it is simply believing in yourself and your abilities or capabilities. Loving yourself is not selfish but actually selfless because the more you love yourself, the more you can love others and show that love to others. So, lets start facing our lives, each day with confidence. We can do anything that we think we can but we'll never do anything that we convince ourselves that we can't." Quoting myself, how's that for confidence? Seriously, I've seen the affect that my confidence has on others....or my lack of confidence. I have terrible stage fright, despise public speaking and I just hate any large crowd even parties. You'd think I would feel safer in a crowd where I can hide but instead I usually feel more isolated and oddly more on display. And for some reason that I've never fathomed, I end up panicking, talking and laughing louder and bringing attention to myself. If I were going to analyze this, I'd say it was because I was the youngest of four children in a family where everyone always talked over the other and meals or any gathering were always, in a way wonderfully, boisterous. That is how I behave when I'm insecure and although being the loudest person at the party does get me attention, it is not the kind that I want and it tends to push people away. At my best though, when I enter a gathering with confidence, I'm calm, gracious, involved in conversations, interested in what the other person has to say and not just how I'm going to react to or answer what they have to say, and people seem to radiate toward me. Confidence makes you attractive and when you think of the meaning of the word, it means pulling people or objects to you. People want to be near a confident person. Quoting myself once again, confidence is sexy. We should consider when we go out in public, pulling on our confidence like a warm, comforting sweater because it is our best accessory. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Easy Way Out

Last night I faced a problem that I often have lately, Steve gets home late, there is nothing to cook or heat up, neither of us had time to run to the grocery and restock the frig and pantry, I'm tired, he's tired, and we make the worst choice ever and opt for pizza. We do choose healthy ingredients for the most part with pineapple, spinach, onions and peppers but then we add ham and bacon and call it breakfast for tomorrow. We didn't get to the grocery store and we are out of bread, and the new frig broke and ruined most of our food that I wasn't able to cram into the old one (This thankfully isn't a weekly occurrence but I'm so thankful that I kept the old frig around because even though cosmetically, it is a mess, it still works better than the new, expensive one....which isn't working at all at the moment.) I have plenty of excuses but one of the major ones, I just love pizza. Still, I realize that much of my over eating is caused by bad planning. Although our ever changing schedule often prevents me from planning meals a week in advance as most plans suggest, I'm still smart enough to gather enough easy, quick and nutritious emergency food to get us through. I've always REALY resented those super skinnies who think I must be fat because I'm lazy which I'm not but in this one circumstance, they may be right. I've become such a hermit that I dread going out in public. Silly as it sounds, I always think that people are judging me on my appearance. This might be because I judge myself so harshly but I tend to turn tasks like grocery shopping over to my husband. When he's very busy, like he's been for the past few months, the shopping doesn't get done and I end up saying, "Why don't we just order the three-fer pizza deal? We can have it for dinner and then breakfast and lunch! .....Yeah, that's a solution.

This week's goal: get myself to the grocery store!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Still Waiting

I'm still waiting for the results on the CT scan that I had done last Monday. I have gotten the results of the blood tests and I was told that everything, including tests for sugar levels and diabetes, were normal which makes me breath easier. Actually, what makes me breath easier is that the one thing that was wrong was extreme anemia. Why am I happy to actually be sick? Because the symptoms of extreme anemia, which I've been plagued with so many times in my life that I think the problem could now be classified as chronic, mirror many more serious ailments like heart disease and cancer. I was constantly exhausted, frequently depressed, my chest hurt and it was hard to breath when I walked up even a slight grade. Although the doc wants to see me next week for a follow up, I've already started taking vitamins and iron supplements AND I already feel better. Now, I'm hoping that the CT scan shows something which will be just as easily corrected with my digestive track. I've not wanted to talk about my problems because they are embarrassing but with in about fifteen or twenty minutes of eating anything, I feel nauseated, I get a distinct and very localized pain in my right side and (to put it as delicately as possible) the food goes straight through me. I can't understand why I can't lose weight except that I keep acerbating the problem by feeding the stomach pain which only makes it worse and I've reverted back to the old comfort standbys which are usually high in fat and low in fiber. My body is a fat vampire, it probably sucks out every bit of fat before quickly discarding the rest of the food so I remain plump as a Thanksgiving turkey.

I've been told that they are having problems with their computer systems and I should hear the results of my tests by Tuesday at the latest. I certainly hope so; trite as it sounds, I'm tired of being tired and feeling sick and hurting all of the time. I have no patience with myself and the fact that I've accomplished little over the last few months is really driving me bananas. Money is getting tight and I still haven't launched my new shops or even completed the first piece for them. I'm still working on the house...kind of.....actually, I'm doing well to half way keep up with the chores like laundry, dishes and cooking that have to be done each day. I need to be working with Danny before he heads to Missouri and even though that would only mean about thirty minutes a day, I never seem to have the time. Tell me how I can never have time for anything but still never seem to accomplish anything? Also, I've started taking naps in the afternoon out of sheer exhaustion. I've never been an afternoon napper. I don't like the way I feel groggy afterwards because I never wake up feeling refreshed like so many friends say they do. So, for me to basically just pass out after a small amount of exertion is not at all normal.

So, after all of that whining, I do admit that the vitamins are helping and hopefully each day, I will feel better and better. I don't want to be sick but I'm hoping for some curable cause for the digestive track problems. I need to start exercising again. I truly feel that is the key to weight loss at my age and I know it would make me feel better and give me more energy. I want to start working again; we have far too many bills to be a one pay check home. I want to start working with Danny. His departure time is fast approaching and I need to be spending every possible moment with him that I can before he leaves for months and months away. I also need to get our finances back in hand and today I realized something. I've been talking for months now about living the life I imagine. I realized this morning that I've been spending money that I didn't have and didn't need to be spending because I was trying to buy the lifestyle that I want. I've bought furniture for a house that isn't anywhere near being finished and is just been "clogged" up even more with all of the furniture purchases! I've been shopping for clothes and exercise shoes that I don't use just because I want to start working out again. I buy supplies for my work but I'm not creating art and it sits and gathers dust and often ruins. It's time I force myself to start living life again and not just dreaming about it! I watched the movie Buck last night and of course, because it is about a horseman, I found it very inspirational. I think though that this fellow has over come so much in his life and in such a profound and thoughtful way that he'd be an inspiration to anyone. One thing he said which struck home, (I'm paraphrasing so don't try to find this exact phrase in the movie) you can't just be a dreamer, you have to be a doer. I need to start "doing."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day??;-)

Ok, I have no idea what day I'm on and if I'm totally honest, I've monitored my diet for fewer days over the past few weeks than I've not. But, tomorrow morning, I'm seeing my doctor. Even though I'm feeling better now, I'm telling him about these last three weeks and how I've felt as well as about some nagging issues that have bothered me for a while. I'm sure that many of the problems I've had lately are related to my hormone levels and menopause. I was a bit upset when I heard Roseanne Barr talking on the Sunday Morning program today about how she was finally past her menopausal symptoms and the interviewer asked her how long it had lasted and her answer...ten years! I had no idea but according to her, that's the norm. Egads!
I have made a lot of progress over the past few days and I'm once again enthusiastic about not only the future but each new day. I've set up my lap top in the kitchen where I can more easily use the nutrition and exercise software, Diet King, that is installed on it. I'm not procrastinating but rather I've been preparing. I'll be ready to start monitoring my diet and exercise through the software as well as using this blog as a kind of diary of each day and my progress...which I'm sure I will have. It's nice to feel confident again.
I had something happen yesterday which didn't really hurt my feelings but it did open my eyes a bit. We were at a charity chile supper and auction to benefit an ill friend. One of my friends who was there with me and who is prone to interruptions and finishing your thoughts (usually incorrectly) and words before you do, commented on a very young woman who was quite over weight. Both of my female friends, who were sitting on either side of me, are extremely thin and always have been although one of them constantly thinks she is over weight. And also despite the fact that they both seem to eat sweets and junk food constantly and neither ever gains an ounce while I try to eat low fat, high fiber, healthy food and can gain weight if I just smell something fattening...and good! So, the two of them are discussing this young woman. I started realizing just how they see me. Even though I feel guilty over it now because it was almost like a betrayal of this young woman that I didn't know but felt a kinship to because of our shared obesity, I start defending myself. I say that I have no room to talk now and when they both just kind of look at me I say but I haven't always been overweight, I use to be quite slim. The one friend says, "Really?" and it was almost like she didn't believe me. So what do I do but get more defensive. I say that I didn't start putting on weight until like ten years prior and I knew exactly why. And then before I could tell her why, she pipes up, "Because you've had three or four children. That's why you're SO fat!" Well, I had to tell her that no, I never had any children and then I finally did explain about how I use to work out, walk, and ride my bike daily and now, I mainly sit either in front of my art work or in front of this computer. But the entire time I was explaining that, I was thinking, "Despite what the scale says and what the label in my clothes says, I've never really seen myself as really over weight; most of the time, I still see myself in my mind's eye as trim and athletic. I suddenly saw myself as they see me....as "so fat." That is eye opening and it didn't help when the friend to my right's husband started talking about his last trip to the doctor and how much weight he's gained. He was just so upset because he now weighs more than he's ever weighed in his life, twenty-five more pounds than his heaviest....and still, 12 pounds less than me.
This doesn't make me happy. No, my feelings weren't hurt by one friend's bluntness or the other's revelation but it does make me sad. Suddenly, I see myself as others see me and I'm shocked. Maybe though, this will be the motivation that I need to finally take that first step that I have been putting off for weeks. I had a false start two months ago but I plan to do it right this time. I will monitor and keep my diary/blog and schedule exercise and meals no matter how hectic my days are. I'm starting it right tomorrow not out of procrastination but because I'm going to see my doctor first thing in the morning and I'm sure that he will ease my mind about how much exercise I can safely do and just where I need to set my fitness and weight loss goals. This past week has taken its toll on me emotionally, I have several friends who are very ill and not improving, one where I just discovered the severity of their illness and one who passed away. And what Steve and I both keep telling ourselves is it isn't the number of our days (although we would like them to be many) but the quality. It's time that both of us take the first steps toward increasing the quality of our lives through fitness and health....and if, by this time next year, I can fit into some cuter and more stylish clothes, so much the better:)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day ?

I've been neglecting this blog, my diet, my exercise, my self for several weeks now....maybe even a month. I guess I haven't wanted to look at it too closely or I would realize how far I'd fallen off track. The honest truth is, although I started this blog and I bought into an online diet/exercise program, I don't think I truly ever committed myself fully to losing weight. I kept saying that I was digging for the underlying causes of my weight gain and I did discover several surprising "secrets" about myself that I'd literally been covering up with fat. But I don't think I ever truly committed to losing weight.

This short movie is deceptively titled, 3 Fast Ways to Lose Weight. Deceptive because there is no fast track to weight loss. It takes commitment to hard work, monitoring what you're eating, moving more, and truly changing your lifestyle so that the weight once lost, stays off. And basically, that is what this video tells you. The keys to losing weight, keeping it off and getting healthier: 1) Nutrition 2) Exercise 3) Lifestyle. 

So, I might just call this Day ONE. I could say, "I think I'll start my new life tomorrow because today is already half over. And after all, it is off to a horrible start. I woke up sluggish and with a horrible headache that kept me immobile for several hours. I really haven't accomplished anything today. So, I'm thinking that besides putting off the diet and exercise that I also just do the minimal amount of chores since the day is already gone. There's just no sense in starting anything major today but I will do good tomorrow. I will accomplish a lot tomorrow and I'll start eating right and walking...." Well, you get the point and I'm being totally honest here, that is the dialog that plays through my head most days. It seems that the days I don't wake up with a headache, sluggish and exhausted are rare. Lately, the days that I do accomplish something feel stressful because I'm so far behind that little victories are never enough and I still end up feeling like a failure. 

I really did appreciate the support and encouragement from that on-line group. They are a great bunch of people and most of them are very dedicated to changing their lives. I don't think I was quite as dedicated and I was using their encouragement to make me feel better when a good swift kick to the seat of my pants might have worked better. 

So, here is the plan: I am going to dust off the software on my laptop (which is currently hooked up to a TV in the kitchen serving up movies and programs to me while I pretend to work in there) that is a great diet monitoring program. I'm going to write down every single bite that goes into my mouth. I think what has made me feel so sick for this past month is how I was eating on my "diet." Yes, it was low fat and low calorie and yes, I was losing weight BUT I got hooked on eating the same thing over and over, blueberries and cottage cheese. It wasn't an unhealthy choice but at the same time it was because of all of the sugars, although complex, and what they were doing to me. My pee actually started to smell sweet and I was afraid I'd developed diabetes! I see my doctor next Monday and I've got a long list of complaints for him. I think many of them are menopause related but others I think are caused by my diet and still others that I need to ask him about. So, I think I'll write everything down so I'll know which are most important and need to be addressed now. Ok, on to number 3 on the list, I keep making excuses for not exercising. I told everyone that I would start walking as soon as Steve bush hogged a path for me around the pastures. Well, he did that three days ago. Do you think I've taken the first step on the trail or even put on my new walking shoes?....No.  Lastly, life style change. I've been putting off living until I lose the weight. I've been putting off living until I finally get my house remodeled and pulled back into livable shape. I've been putting of living until I look like I did twenty years ago. Ok, that last one just ain't gonna happen! However, the point is, none of them are going to happen at least not until I do start living again. I can draw up all of the plans in the universe and say to myself, "Ok. This is like boot camp. Starting tomorrow, every minute of every day is going to be accounted for and you're going to work your butt off and make progress and I've got this mapped out for the next three months! No, go!" I end up staring at the list and revising the list and being disappointed in myself for not accomplishing anything on the list and feeling sad because I can't be happy until the list is done and I realize now, I'm just one more day behind on my goals. While I admit that goals are accomplished through planning and hard work, this all or nothing plan is evidently not working for me so I think it's time I drop it. I think a plan is needed and maybe even a list but it has to be more flexible. No more writing and scratching out and simply destroying my calendar because I can't meet these self imposed dead lines. I don't think Super Woman could do what I expect of myself. So, I'm drawing up a new plan, a new list, which gives me more time and has "fun" things added in that I force myself to do. Isn't that a funny concept? I'm forcing myself to have fun and relax occasionally. I don't mean just goof off. I'm a pro at that. I can veg in front of the TV with the best of them. No, I'm thinking up things that I would love to do or either currently enjoy doing or use to enjoy doing and I'm going to force myself to do at least one fun thing a day. 
Now, that sounds like a plan to me and I feel better already!



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 34

Well, after several weeks of introspection and quite a bit of self pity, I'm ready to get myself and my diet back in hand. I discussed the influence of menopause on diet several posts ago. I heard a doctor say that the only reason a woman gained weight once she experiences the "change" is that she is less active and eats more. I do agree with that to some degree. When I was younger, dieting was easier and exercise was a breeze. I've discovered over the last ten years or so that I tend to throw myself into exercise and expect myself to be able to do as much and as well as I did ten or more years prior. When I disappoint myself, I quit. Maybe it is the age I am but I've dealt with a lot of emotional baggage this time around and it really threw me off track for several weeks. Also my entire life is in upheaval at the moment because of changes happening with my work, home and just life in general. It probably hasn't been the best time to start a diet and exercise program as well but then again, I desperately need the extra energy and balance that they provide. The one factor that "male" doctors don't take into consideration about menopause is the fluctuation and sometimes almost absence of hormones. I don't know what's caused it but I can tell that mine are on the war path of imbalance at the moment. I feel as if I have extreme PMS. I am tired all of the time, I ache all over, I'm depressed and sad, and trying to control my emotions is like trying to catch a lone pea in a pot of boiling water. My time of month use to be the true test of any diet. If I could make it through, I was good but the odds were against me. I'm feeling a bit like that again but the fact that I'm still keeping up with this diary of my journey gives me hope that I'll finally triumph. So, no, I don't think doctors know what they are talking about when it comes to diet and menopause. Perhaps the fact that we slow down has a lot to do with it but they never ask, why do we slow down? It's like I've been saying during this roller coaster ride of a diet I'm attempting, in order to change, you have to get to the root of the problem that brought you here in the first place and to get to the root takes a lot of digging and getting dirty in the process but like digging for hidden treasure, it will be worth it in the end.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 33

What do you do when you reach your rope's end? You have a good, feel sorry for yourself cry and then you tie a knot in the end of that rope and start climbing again. I think sometimes that over eating is like any other form of addiction, you have to hit rock bottom before you can start to change. I'm not saying that I have had any great catastrophe in my life, nothing that exciting. No, it was the self examination of the last month which sent me into an emotional tailspin that threatened to topple this precarious house of cards that I call a life. I could go into every self pitying detail but my story isn't as bad as some and I know that this emotional dungeon I find myself in is of my own making. Anyway, I've gone over and over the details both in these posts and in my mind ad nauseam for at least three weeks now. My cry is over and it's time to move on. I could just keep describing the problems that have been the spark that started this train wreck but it is much better to get off my duff and do something about it. People don't want to hear problems; they have enough of their own. People want to hear solutions and that's what I'm hoping to show over the next few months. I can't control what other people are doing but I can control the amount of influence their actions have over my own. I can take back control over my life.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 32

I'd love to see that I'm full tilt back with the program but I'm not. I do think I'm getting a handle on my sleep or the lack of sleep that's been controlling my life for the last few weeks. I took a couple of benadryls before bed time last night and if it hadn't been for the huge bowl of watermelon that I consumed right before that, I think I would have had a great night's sleep. I was up and down going to the bathroom at least six times before 1:00 AM and then the benadryl kicked in making me feel more hyper and groggy than sleepy. I did finally fall asleep so much so that I don't think I ever really woke up after I heard Steve stirring getting ready for work. I packed his lunch and made him a turkey sandwich for his breakfast....as sleepy as I was, he's lucky that he got that and I do admit to a few puzzled pauses as I assembled it. Then I tried to go back to sleep. I watched most of the latest Misfits episode on Hulu and then switched over the Netflix to watch Mad Men. I remember little of Mad Men past the first five minutes. I woke at 9:00 because the phone rang. It was obviously some salesman because they blocked their number. I worked on my email for about twenty minutes, fixed myself breakfast which I ate in front of the TV re-watching the Mad Man episode that I'd slept through earlier, and then decided to watch another for the next 45 minutes. That brings me to here three hours later (I never know how that happens), and I still haven't fed and watered my poor horses. I know they must wonder what's been happening to me for the last two weeks. I am gradually getting better though and getting with the program more even though I'm not leaping in head first this time but gradually dipping my toes in to test the waters. I have been watching what I'm eating more but I have had a few "controlled" slips. I haven't binged for several days and I've been taking short walks every night after the horses are settled in. Steve's been home and has been walking with me. That is a nice change and reminds me of the "good ol' days" when walking or riding our bikes was a nightly ritual. I'd really thought it would be that way with the horses but we've had the pair of geldings that were to be our riding horses for two years now and we've only ridden once. I'm determined to do several things over the next two to three weeks. First, I'm going to start spending at least an extra hour with the horses, grooming them at first and then gradually working into riding again even if I have to do it solo. Second, I'm going to buckle down and hit this house hard. I really want to be downstairs in my studio/workshop carving, painting and making jewelry by the end of next week. Third, I'm going to get in charge of my finances again and get our books both business and personal up to date. Fourth, I'm going to diligently work at learning my Dreamweaver software so that, after I've got at least two weeks' worth of carving finished and ready to pack and ship, I can have the new gallery pages up and ready to go. Fifth, I need to start pushing the magazine again as soon as the website is ready and the ad prices set and I need to start doing that by sending out a press release to as many outlets as I can muster up. Sixth and possibly the most important, I need to start using my diet software again and keeping track of every bite that goes into my mouth, I need to start following the exercise program from the RTN site, and I need to start walking daily and using the weights and other exercise equipment ritually as soon as the room is done and the equipment set up. As for what I need to stop: One) emotional eating Two) procrastination Three) spending as much time as I do sitting in front of this machine especially wasted time playing games on Facebook (we will get into the psychological aspects of that problem later.) I think I am headed in the right direction but I am off to a slow, tentative start. Still, forward movement is always progress and in this case, change is, too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 30

If you think about it, all of life is about perceptions and often, the perception we have of ourselves is not the same one shared by others. It's also possible that the many different people that we know and meet in life have completely different perceptions of us based on their own circumstance, age, life or even opinion of themselves. So, it could be that it is all together possible to change our own perception of ourselves by changing ourselves, our lives and starting from the inside out.

When we built our home, we moved in with it only partially finished with the intention of finishing it ourselves. A fellow that I worked with at the time told me that it would never be done. I promised him a steak dinner as soon as we finished the house and he joked that he'd start sharpening his steak knife. Years later and right before I left that business to work on my own, he said to me that he had already worn out two steak knives and was working on his third. The house still wasn't finished, at least not to my satisfaction, and where in the early years of our marriage, we'd had guest over ever weekend and often through the work week, we now rarely invited anyone and often cringed when they arrived unannounced or invited themselves as a several friends from Chicago did.  For years, we were jokingly referred to as "the half way house" because we were half way between the colder Northern states and our friends' vacation destinations South of us in Florida and the Gulf states. That first visit however sent me into a panic. I rushed around for a week trying to make my place presentable and guest ready. The first morning after they arrived, I was standing at my kitchen sink looking out the window at the woods that started not twenty feet from my backdoor and noticing how over grown all of the undergrowth was and brush and vines that had taken over the bare part of the hillside leading to the woods. I was embarrassed to the point of mortification thinking how horrible this must look to my city friend when she walked up behind me and said, "How lucky you are to wake up to that view every morning. It's beautiful." What had appeared ugly, overgrown and neglected to me was beautiful to her.

Several years later, my father passed away after a lengthy illness. I'd been the one who stayed with him and cared for him during the nights. Even after he died, I still was unable to sleep at night. I had terrible insomnia for months and then suddenly developed what seemed strange phobias. My doctor suggested that I see a therapist to work through the issues that were at the root of my problem. I'd been seeing her for several weeks when I had an appointment right after a weekend when we'd had a wonderful time biking in the mountains. The therapists asked me about the weekend and in describing our days of mountain biking to the top of a mountain for hours and then the exciting descent (always the best part) which never took over a few minutes, I happened to mention a couple that we'd passed on the trail. I described them as "beautiful people." She asked me what I meant by that. I said, "You know, people who are perfect, whose life you just know is perfect, who have everything going for them, and are the envy of everyone who sees them." She started to laugh and I, a bit offended, asked what was so funny and then it struck me. "You aren't saying that I'm one of those people are you," I asked in total astonishment. "You'd be surprised," she answered, "just how many people think of you in that way." In my wildest dreams, I never imagined myself as having a perfect life much less being perfect myself. In fact, in my entire life, I always saw myself as being "less than" everyone else. To even consider that someone might envy me is just astounding. My entire life, people have seemed drawn to me and that also surprises me. I wonder, what do they see in me that I don't see in myself. I certainly haven't ever seen myself as lovable or pretty or even passably cute most days.

Over the past few years, I've shut myself away. I've just felt inadequate when I'm out in public as if I stand out like the proverbial sore thumb because I see myself as so fat, so unattractive and so old. I see myself as being down right repulsive and I always perceive that as how others see me, too but still, people seek out my friendship, my companionship, my council. Maybe they see something I don't? I keep thinking, if I could just lose enough weight, I'll start living my life again. If I could just finally finish this house, I'll start having people over for parties and cookouts again. If I can just get in shape, I'll start riding my horses again and take up kayaking or some other challenging sport. If I can just, get my office pulled together, I'll start creating again and utilizing all of those ideas I've put aside until.........If I can is holding me back. One day is holding me back. I'm too this and I'm too that is holding me back. The image of me I see in my mind's eye is holding me back. I'm fifty-five years old and I've waited too long to live the life I imagine. I can't afford to wait another day to start living. It's like the way I've used every excuse in the world to say I'm going to start this diet and exercise program tomorrow and then tomorrow comes with its own excuses to put off the rest of my life. I'm going to try for a while to see myself through the less critical eyes of my friends and loved ones. My friend Huston said to me a few weeks ago, "I don't care what size you are or how much you weigh, you'll always be just fine in my book." That touched me so that I nearly cried and I realized that until I start loving and accepting myself with that same unconditional love, I will never lose the weight, get in shape, finish my house, start riding again, start creating again, start living again. I've decided that I'm going to be Lazerus; I'm rising from the dead. You can just lay down and die or you can decide to love yourself enough to live. I'm choosing to live and also to love myself more. I am "as much" as everyone else and I'm beginning to think I'm a pretty super person.....if I do say so myself;-)!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 28

Menopause....ugh! I was late coming to this stage of life. Come to think of it, I've been late coming to every stage of life. It was on my forty-fifth birthday, standing in a dark hotel room in Boston at 1:00 in the morning and staring out the falling snow while I quietly wept that I suddenly realized that I wasn't a kid anymore. I'm sure that this is a realization that most people reach around twenty-nine or sooner but like I said, late bloomer. I guess that's why it was no surprise that I didn't start the menopausal stage of my life until I was nearly fifty-five, ten years past the age my mother and sisters began what most consider the final stage of your earthly journey. Although it has recently struck me that the next step is truly old age, I still haven't lost my youthful hope for the future. My sister once told me that once you hit menopause or at least fifty, you life is basically over. Gee, I sure hope not since I feel that I still have a lot of living to do. I've not only not given up on my dreams, I'm coming up with new ones every day. Most of my dreams have to do with either my work, my home or my beloved horses but I also dream of being fit and slim by this time next year...and being able to invest in an entirely new wardrobe, one that reflects the youth I know I'll feel. No, I don't intend to by any skinny jeans, mini skirts or midriff bearing tops but I would like clothes that make me feel good about myself again instead of the matronly cover ups I've been trying to hide behind for years. Going back to the subject of this post, I disagree with doctors who say that menopause itself has no effect on a woman's weight, ability to lose weight or how she feels over all. In fact, I disagree vehemently! True, part of the reason that we gain weight or find it difficult to lose weight at this age is that we usually aren't as physically active and although I know that thanks to computers, I personally live a more sedentary lifestyle than I did fifteen years ago, I also think that a lot of the problem is lack of energy. Whether it is because menopause seems to skew our sleep cycles or just the lack of hormones, I am so low energy on some days that I really don't want to get out of bed and then I sleep walk through my days just accomplishing what absolutely has to be done and not much else. Some days it takes effort just to walk a short distance much less even consider exercise of any kind. Still, in the back of my mind is that still flickering memory of how great I felt when I was fit and active. So, even though I feel like David facing Goliath, I'm determined to fight against the "symptoms" of menopause and do my best to regain the health and vitality that I had fifteen years ago. Maybe that seems like the impossible dream but remember who was the victor in that David against the giant battle. I think I can do this.....of course then there are those unusual cravings that occur whenever the hormones go on a rampage but one battle at a time. After all, I'm only human ;-)

Oh, and as if I don't have enough to do....or enough that I'm not getting done,lol.....with my art, the magazine, the house, and this blog, I've decided to start a new blog which highlights the work and shops of other artists (and occasionally my own new work--it is my blog! :-) from Etsy.com and around the web. It's called Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe and I post seven or eight new shops/pieces each Saturday. If you have the time, check it out; it's lots of fun and has a broad range of prices and styles.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 27

The good news is, I'm finally back on track with my diet. The bad news is, I was like a run away train for over a week. I missed posting yesterday and I think the crazy, out of control way I've been eating is to blame for that. I've felt physically ill for two days. I've discovered that my diet truly does influence the way I feel, not only physically but emotionally, too. During the two weeks that I carefully monitored and controlled what went into my mouth, I felt energetic and happy. The past two weeks, I've not only eaten what ever I wanted but way too much of it. Some days, it felt as if I was constantly eating because nothing was satisfying the hunger. Even when I felt so full that it seemed I was bulging at the seams, I was still hungry. I've been dealing with quite a few emotional curve balls during the past ten days or so and I think that upheaval is what sent me falling back into old habits. This morning, after finally getting a good night's sleep, I feel positive again. I started my day not with pancakes and syrup but with blueberries, cottage cheese and granola. For the first time in at least ten days, I'm enthusiastic about my day and the tasks at hand so I'm hoping that I accomplish a lot today. One of those tasks is cooking up the chicken breasts and broccoli that I bought when I was out on Wednesday. I thought I'd have that done by now but two days of feeling absolutely miserable kept my activities at the minimum, have to be done jobs like caring for the horses and Sadie the dog. I'm not so certain that I did those tasks well even though I did manage to throw in a much needed bath for Sadie which she of course wishes I hadn't. I've been feeling over whelmed and hopeless for a while but today, I can feel a flicker of that old light of enthusiasm and I'm ready to start moving forward again. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 25

I'm still off kilter. I've had quite a bit of digestive track upset for the last few days and I'd imagine it was something I ate. I don't know if it's anything in particular or just the fact that I've been skipping meals....and not just the extra ones scheduled on the RTN program.....and then starving and eating everything in sight. It seems to take a lot more to make me feel full and satisfied when I eat like that and so I eat more and usually foods that aren't very good for me. I don't know what has caused me to spin out of control like this. Not any progress on my diet today but I am doing my best to get my entire life back in balance. Today's project is cleaning out this office space not only getting our finances back in order in the process....taking a break from working on the books to post this update......by finally filing a years worth of receipts that were packed into a large, overflowing basket but also  just sorting and straightening so that I can finally get the new furniture painted and moved in here. It is a lot bigger task than I first thought. One problem is, I moved into this space...somewhat, I've been living out of boxes, bags and baskets.....six months ago and I'm finding that many things were just tossed into random boxes with the intention of sorting it out later. Well, judgement day has come and I'm playing the judge and deciding what stays and what goes in the trash can. I know that I'll feel so much better once this is done. I'm also sure that I'll be ready to tackle another task, another room and possible my diet and exercise program next. But right now, I'm still knee deep in unfiled and unrecorded receipts and I'm not feeling very enthusiastic especially as the day is rapidly slipping away from me and I don't feel as if I've made a lot of progress. Then again, progress is progress but still having work to do will mean that tonight's dinner will be the second pizza that I picked up yesterday (on sale 2 for 10 so how could I resist such an economical and quick meal?) I'll try to throw in a salad, too, just to pretend that we're eating a healthy meal. I'm sorry that I've seemed so discouraged lately and that I've not only not made any progress but seem to have slipped back several steps. I still have faith in myself though and I knew that trying to change my entire life would not be easy. Today, I've taken an important and rather large step in taking on the mess in this room. Once this is done, I know that I'll feel like I've taken a huge leap forward in getting my life pulled together and that is sure to offer me the encouragement and enthusiasm that I need to keep moving forward. Today's already part of my history. I can't change or correct anything I've done, right or wrong. All I can do is consider just what I've learned and build from that. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 24

That night time demon insomnia has returned. I was up until nearly 2:00 this morning and my alarm goes off a little before 4:00. I did try going back to bed after Steve left for work but then I got up and ate! I dozed for about 45 minutes before the phone woke me and then I ate again. I'm not even going to tell you what I ate but it was not good.....Ok....aaah, this makes me so sad and a bit angry at myself but I resorted to my usual low energy, quick fix but quick to revert to an energy drop solution...sugar and fat :( .....First I had a peanut butter and dried cranberry sandwich on whole grain bread. At least that choice was somewhat healthy if high in fat and sugar. Second "breakfast" was whole grain blueberry pancakes with too much butter substitute and too much syrup even if it was sugar free. Well, at least it was whole grain. This was all before I got a morning energy and spirit boost from my pals in the RTN group, Over Fifty and Still Reshaping. These strangers are fast becoming my good friends and they all know exactly what to say. In many ways, I think they are really more supportive in my diet and life style changes than my family and friends. I've shared a lot with them including how down and depressed I've been over the past week and most of the reasons why. Being down has also led to me disappointing myself by indulging like I did this morning thinking that somehow, the food would make me feel better. Well, it actually does but only for a moment. Then the moment of contentment and well being passes and I not only feel emotional down but physically ill as well. All, I can hope is that I've learned a valuable lesson over the past week that will eventually change my life. I'm going to do something a bit different today not only because I've got an appointment in two hours and the horses aren't fed, the breakfast dishes aren't washed, the laundry isn't started and I am not dressed and ready to head out the door but because I want to share with everyone just what a great group those Over 50 and Still Reshaping folks are. I adore them and I can show you how supportive they've been as well as share a bit of what's been bothering me for the last five days or so by pasting a few of this morning's posts from the group here:




  • GrayHorse
    GrayHorse Sorry that I've been so silent for the past week. I have been checking in and reading all of your inspirational posts every day. Hope everyone has a good Wednesday as I try to get back on track. I've had a few days of feeling defeated not just with my diet but many aspects of my life. I've given in to feelings of self doubt but it's just been a temporary lapse. I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow and stocking up on healthy food again. A few stressful days and I fell back into old habits but I have learned a lot, too. It's too late to go into it all now but there was an incident that I didn't put into my blog because it involved my professional life and comments from others in the same field of work. Instead of leaving me feeling defeated, I decided to stand up for myself for the first time in my life. I've finally decided that I can't please everyone even though I've tried for 55 years. I may be getting a late start but it is time that I pleased myself. I'm taking care of myself and my needs, my dreams and I'm not letting anyone else with their own selfish agenda tell me that I can't!
    August 24, 2011 at 1:06am Delete
    • imhistory@gmail.com
      imhistory@gmail.com You are one strong woman Grayhorse, you can do it! Canadian, I love the coconut reference (maybe we will all be bananas one day...oh what, that means crazy :-).
      August 24, 2011 at 10:48am
    • karolynmarie
      karolynmarie I believe one of the tougher things in life, is learning how to deal wth negative, i.e. selfish, people! You are dealing with them Grayhorse! What a leap towards gaining your goal(s)! :-)
      August 24, 2011 at 11:00am
      • Username
        GrayHorse You all will never know how much your support means to me. I think intimidation is just the adult form of bullying. For most of my life, I've let people manipulate me into doing not what is best for me but what is best for them. Then I watched them either leave me sitting in their dust as they sped ahead or else sitting there with them while they continued to whine and complain about what life had done to them and holding me back at the same time. Oddly, I never felt sorry for myself. I think part of that was not feeling that I deserved success and when it came to me unsolicited, between my own low self esteem and friends telling me that I was selling out, I sabotaged my good fortune. This time around, I think I've gained enough self awareness that I recognize manipulation and intimidation when it's happening to me. I have another business opportunity and I asked the wrong peoples' advice. They once again told me that I was selling out and devaluing my work and theirs. Well, I don't see it that way and this time, I'm doing what's best for me and only listening to people who give me positive reinforcement.....like all of you wonderful coconuts, lol.....thanks for that image, Canadian and imhistory, the banana reference does very much apply to me. I've alway been a bit quirky and cuckoo ;-)