Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I read an article today about ways to prevent getting colds and flu this season. As I read through them, nodding my head because I do each one with my new spark wellness goals it made me wonder when the last time I got sick was.
1. Sleep 8 hours every night
2. Eat soluble fiber (oats, apples, nuts and beans)
3. Know that refined sweeters make your immune system impotent (a new finding about sugar which makes the whte blood cells less able to kill bacteria for at least 5 hours after eating it)
4. Make sure your vitamin D level is at least 38ng/ml (50-80 is optimum)
5. Learn to stop touching your face
6. Mild exercise (10 minutes after each meal or 30 min a day)
While it made me smile to realize that something is working because I just am not getting sick as often and certainly not for as long.... think once a year if that... it also made me remember the effects of illness on me in terms of food....and the effects food had on me feeling ill.
Getting sick I had a weird response. I would not stop and take care of myself. I would push through, go to work, get the hundred things done on my to do list regardless of feeling crappy. Just like diets I wanted the quick fix, the magic pill. I wanted the doctor to put me on antibiotics just to reinforce that I was a super woman who could keep going. And.. I used food as my medication. It was my own weird way to look after myself. I had this idea that I was invaluable. Is that the right use of that word? I was indispensible. Nothing could go on without me. I had to suffer so I deserved the "crap" and volumes of food I would consume. I was freqently ill and my symptoms seemed to drag on. Reading this list has been an eye opener. In those days the focus was on hand washing and it is not even here. It never occurred to me to link binging to feeling sick. Binging was a coping mechanism but maybe was a cause too. Feeling lightheaded because I was fasting... obviously was illness too. Well, bottom line was I had a disease... an eating disorder. I just would shrug off any symptoms as cold or flu.
I think that the whole healthy "package" decision was a decision not to get sick. Whether it be reacting to the bad choices I was making that gave me symptoms, or exacerbating the symptoms of illness through my bad choices. Overall taking care of myself is paying off.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Whatever my energy is focused on... gets stronger and more powerful.
I was thinking that while writing this morning. I was deciding to focus on positive choices and it made me wonder how much the way I approach my "problems" affects how easy the solutions are. I have lots of choices.
I can say "don't eat junk food"! And after struggling with that for a while think that it is just too wide a goal so narrow it to "don't eat junk food at night" ... and still find it a struggle. "Don't think about it only has you thinking about it, right?
So what if I say "eat more healthy foods"? Yup, I have noticed that that is easier... and the side effect is I eat less junk food. Go figure. I think that that has been the secret of my successes....
And what if there are negatives attached to positives? Ah... the mind games. "Go to the gym" is a positive, right? So why am I not going? Could it be that associated with that is "get back in the car after working and drive... get sweaty and sore... I'd rather be resting because I'm too tired.... " (help me out here because going to the gym is not one of my things any longer, lol. ) So perhaps subconciously the energy starts going towards those negatives. The answer... for me... just "move" and actively think positives.
Knowing that my mind may be what is blocking me from success, that rewording something may unlock the ability to achieve something ... is in my opinion mind blowing. It is as though I have realized that if I reach a road block, there are detours possible. I just have to find them.
I used to be a great procrastinator and I listened to "eat that frog". The author said if the first thing you do each day is eat the biggest frog in the pond then nothing worse will happen to you. The "frogs" being things you have to/need to do. It made me realize how I use avoidance (including eating) to not face things I am afraid of doing. Just saying to myself "what is my frog today? And, lol, I guess it is time to "eat it"" helped me progress in my journey to be healthy. It is all about attitude. Adding in humour was my key.
I think the other thing was adding in the self talk. I have noticed lately my self talk is a little negative. Where did the cheerleader go? There was a time when I actively was cutting off my negative prattle and saying "Justyna, let me remind you why you are doing this!" and then I would tell myself about all the good things I was working towards.
It is easy to let the dark side in. From the dark side we can blame ourselves for letting ourselves get into "this mess" or let a background of muttering excuses colour our belief about what we "want" to do or eat. Or we can celebrate the small things that our good choices give us... like noticing the fall leaves because we went outside or appreciating not getting all the stop lights heading to the gym or, if you really want to think positive, look at stop lights as a chance to do some kegal exercises. Maybe you don't have to go that far, but the point is, it is MY choice and MY solution.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
This week's subject for the writing diet is "Scaling back the scale".
The scale and I definitely have a warped relationship. I've played the games, wearing less and only weighing first thing in the morning, delighting after being ill and losing weight, dreading a weigh in after a binge. It certainly HAS had too much power. It's hard for me to accept a "plus or minus a few pounds" as acceptable.
However I'm also not willing to give it up. I have put more emphasis on non scale victories and don't expect to lose weight... but I am very afraid of gaining (espcially right now since I am still awaiting knee surgery and am not as active as I was). I need that reassurance the number gives me when it does not move. The number still reminds me of my success so far... because I have lost weight since joining SP. The number is a reminder of how close I am to onederland and my goal. But it does feel a little like getting closer to the edge of a cliff when I am on the lower side and not wanting to go lower and certainly feels like I am backtracking when the number is on the higher side. I think that those two reactions to the number are not normal.
No, I know. the number does not reflect non scale victories, good choices, what is going on in my life. I'm grateful for the information I have found that lists reasons why we don't lose weight even when we are successfully eating and exercising. I remind myself of those in my writing and try not to focus on the number. I'm also more aware of what a "good" weight is for me. I know that my children are "normal" in size but higher in weight on charts and that has been great inspiration for me to see myself as a lot closer to a "normal" weight than the charts tell me. The number no longer yells at me that I'm huge. I know clinically I am still obese, but I don't feel like such a huge person any more. My clothes tell me that. The mirror tells me that. So my goal weight is much "higher" than it used to be. But I'm not there yet... and seem at a standstill. Why? It can't just be my activity level. I am still eating more than I need. Why? But because weight loss can also trigger bad eating behaviours I do consider what might happen if I gave up the scale. It probably would be a good thing. Losing weight can trigger me rather than encourage me. I suppose that is a really good thing to write about today. There is likely something I am still afraid of, losing weight. I still want food to numb pain (emotional and physical), satisfy boredom, and escape fears. I'll keep writing trying to work on those and maybe soon I can let go of my death hold on the scale.
Baby steps... maybe away from the scale this week....
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
It was thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and the first one that all three of my daughters and the 2 boyfriends would be together ... so I planned a full tukey dinner plus 2 more days of meals that we took, by boat, in freezing weather up to the cottage and then we stayed there the long weekend. There were certainly some challenges but everyone took them in stride. My eldest daughter in particular does not like the outdoors and has severe asthma so with woodsmoke and dust and mice, she suffered but endured.
With waterproof gear and many layers I was able to kayak with DH and the dog Saturday and Sunday. One DD went hiking with her BF and later canoeing with the dog. Anther DD and her BF spent most of the time sleeping but did kayak a bit. I sketched with my eldest DD some of the incredible foliage we get in the part of the world and enjoyed the mist every morning coming off the water. My eldest DD spent most of her time indoors in a warm sunny reading.
I was so pleased when furniture started shuffling and everyone somehow ended up in the "kitcen/dining" area reading, eating, chatting and playing games. Everyone wanted to be with each other. To look out over the lake where Osprey and Eagles and Loons were still fishing. There were small back rubs and jokes. Photos taken. It was lovely feeling like this is my family and we get along so well. Especially nice because I do love being up there and it rarely happens that they want to be there. Perhaps some of them will not want to go back but at least one daughter and her BF have the "bug" and were beginning to see the potential in the place. They are interested in helping with cottage opening next May.
Then Monday we packed up and boated to the "landing" where after we packed up our vehicles, 2 of my sister in laws had organized a pot luck dinner at my parent's home on the mainland. There were.. about 30 of us with 6 dogs I think. One toddler and two teens and the rest adults. My parents and one of my siblings and his family had gone the previous day to my mother's side of the famlily. On the way home one of their vehicles had lost a wheel so thankfully my parents had been close behind and able to help and then nice for them all to arrive to a full meal prepared. It was less stressful than many gatherings and... I managed to talk with my father. For those who know our history, there are issues between us and fr the last year we have been estranged. In fact getting up the cottage didn't happen at all last year because we share it with my parents. But he is about to have surgery. My mother is worried, as the primary caregiver, and she should be. They live remotely on a lake, at least a half hour from a town with medical support and several hours from a large hospital, and they both have limitations physically. I'm an Occupational Therapist. Anways... I have knowledge that could help. And... my father, who used to be outstanding in his field replacing knee joints, had knowledge that could help me. I had my own concerns after having my surgery consult last week with my doctor. My relationship with my father made me prepared to avoid him the entire time... but somehow the situation, people, good moods? all managed to work away at my fears and I found myself initiating an impromputu assessment of him and then asking his advice. So we talked. It went all right. We agreed to disagree about his needs and he pretty much convinced me that he and my Mother would manage (assuming nothing goes wrong) and he convinced me that, as usual, my worries are not valid about my own knee. He is after all an expert. There had been no yelling. No tears. No pain. I woke up this morning with a feeling of gratefullness. I would just go ahead with my plans and rust the surgeon to make the best choice.
And then to my surprise he phoned this morning. He had considered overnight and decided I was right about his needs and will make the changes I suggested to make it easier and safer for he and my mother. I think I almost fell off my chair. And... he had considered my upcoming surgery. If I had been his patient ...he said he would order an MRI or bonescan before doing the surgery and certainly would be more inclined to do a full replacement rather than a partial. Really? He was acknowledging my fears as possibly right?! I was stunned. . Since I have known my father I have never been "right" about anything. The converstaion with my Dad this morning made such an impact. I can't express how much relief I feel because ultimately I want my life back. What it does mean is more waiting. Here in Ontario it takes forever to get bone scans or MRI's. Last time I went to Quebec and paid out of pocket. DH says we should do that. I am tired of wating for surgery... but .... I can live with this for a few more months or another year if I have to... if the final result is successful surgery.
So unlike many post thanksgiving mornings, I am very thankful. Many times thankful.
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