Saturday, July 17, 2010
By the way, 26 years ago this morning, I became a mother. At the exact minute, I wrote on my son's FaceBook wall to wish him a happy birthday... yes, I'm into psychic symbolism!
On to the long personal whine about how I spent yesterday, i.e. the side trips, and all that jazz:
Some of you know that I grew up in a religion that "didn't believe in going to the doctor". It does things to your head, if the whole idea of going to doctors is an in-your-head debate anyway.
For some time I've been noticing in the night when I get up to respond to the dog's prompting, that my arm might feel "funny". I mentioned this to my doctor a while back and he asked me if it was always on the same side. I could not give him an honest answer... I'm that unaware. So, I started trying to pay more attention.
Last winter I had a weird thing happen with my middle finger becoming numb on the steering wheel on the drive home from work. When I removed my gloves, it was an icy white, compared to the other fingers. I bought thicker gloves and took care to flex my fingers when I'd stop at lights. That seemed to help that problem.
Anyway, I pondered over these things, but haven't been really doing anything about them. I have an annual physical coming up in August anyway, and started keeping a list so I can address them with the doctor then.
But YESTERDAY, on the way to work, I noticed my right foot start to tingle, and up my right leg. I remembered that my right arm had been doing the same thing when I got up to let the dog out at 2:30 a.m. The arm, well, like I said, I've been kind of ignoring it for a while... but I hadn't sat funny, and the leg added to the arm, and both on the same side. Of course, I walked around the block on the way into the office, expecting it to go away (like when your foot's asleep). Only it didn't. So, here I was at work, two hours later, debating with myself... should I do something about this or not?
Knowing the signs of a stroke, I went into the ladies room and grinned at the mirror. I wasn't lop-sided. I talked to people, and wasn't confused, and I could function, mentally. So I didn't think it could be that. Still, after a couple of hours, and with the encouragement of a work chum, I called the doctor's office and asked what I should do... and the answer came back... "get to an ER and have it checked out".
That is what I did with the rest of yesterday. In the end: they have no clue. They did an ultra sound of my carotid arteries. They did an ECG. They did a CAT scan. They did an MRI to confirm the CAT scan result wasn't anything to worry about. They ended up sending me home five or six hours later with a prescription for baby aspirin and no real results... just instructions to follow up with my regular doctor.
With my upbringing, I feel foolish. I'm still tingling. The next day. I have no clue what is really going on with my body. I kind of want to go back into that comfortable place of denial. The place that says, "You're imagining this!"
I am following the instructions to "take it easy", but there's a part of me that's afraid of how my compulsive side will interpret "taking it easy". How strange to observe oneself in this detached way!
Which brings me to another topic: recognizing what is normal for ME, and accepting that it doesn't have to be Super-Woman. But that will have to be a blog for another day. Here's to "taking it easy" in a rational, non-extreme way, and not freaking out.
Friday, July 16, 2010
To those of you who have never been enamored of the bubbles... you can probably skip this one. It's a follow up to my pondering earlier in this blog-cycle over whether I'd let myself have a soda on 4th of July. I chose not to, aided by my sister having not stocked the bubbly!
I will tell you, I have an unopened 12-pack and two cans -- oops make that two unopened 12-packs and two cans -- in my pantry that don't even call to me, except on really hot days. But the big number 200 that I celebrated yesterday... keeps me going. There is power in streaks. Even if Spark isn't recording this one, I am (I didn't start keeping track on Day 1... I kind of backed into this streak... and Spark doesn't let you back-date a streak).
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Ever notice how bad we talk to ourselves sometimes? We call ourselves "lazy", "failure" and say we'll never succeed? It's like a part of our personality has been taken over by all the monsters we ever imagined from childhood on: the bullies, the mean girls, the taunters.
Where's the nurturing voice in there? The "that's OK, they're just jealous", the "you'll do better next time", the "you're still lovable", the "you can do this" voice? The comforting arms the healing touch?
So... having a hard time with your program? Which motivates YOU better? The bully or the best friend?
Everybody's different, but the bully is not much of a motivator for me. If I'm not careful, I could start to believe what she's saying! I could go in to personal history, but the whole "I'm not worth it" thing plays in here.
The best friend is better for me. I have to be careful about choosing that "best friend"... some best friends are wolves in sheep's clothing, to use a cliche.
The best friend that says it's OK not to try? Lose her. The best friend that says "let's go get a pizza and blow off this workout"... well, shall we say, "limit contact with this one"? It's not like I can NEVER get a pizza and blow off the workout... but I need a best friend who gets that I only need one slice and I can only do this once a month, or every six weeks, if that often.
The problem with reverting to old means of coping with emotions in food is that, besides being scary ("is this the start of that downward spiral back to fat-land?"), it invites the bullies in. Sometimes it's better not to start.
The best best friend for me? The one that says, "let's go for a walk, we'll feel better", the one that says, "this, too, shall pass", the one that says, "you're worth it: look how far you've come", the one that says, "just for today, you can do this!"
Here's hoping the voice I offer to others, and the voice I give to myself, has words of encouragement... as a best friend!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Goodness, it's been three weeks of daily blogs! I know I said "six days out of seven" for the next month, but I haven't missed a day yet. I think I'm getting addicted to these self-directed pep-talks!
And there are side benefits to the blogging pep talks... when I come and blog, I'm also likely to track. Tracking gives me confidence in my program.
Today's germ of truth: it's a process, not a project.
Weight loss itself can take on a little project aspect, BUT, if you notice, projects have an end point! Taking care of your health for your life time does not. So you have to cut yourself some slack, get over the deadline feeling, and do something right, just for today, or even just for the next five minutes. Then give yourself credit and hold yourself as a person with dignity.
These thoughts are not unique... you'll see them all over the Spark community. They are the reminders to ourselves that we are worth taking care of.
Bottom line: it's OK to mess up. It's NOT OK to GIVE up!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Random thoughts this morning - I read a newcomer post in my team "At Goal and Maintaining". I highly recommend reading newcomer posts as a way to keep your motivation and memories green. It dawns on me that it's been about six months since I started with that team.
Maintenance always scares me... because I'm a repeat loser, and a repeat re-gainer. I know from experience that for me, keeping healthy habits is a matter of caring, and a matter of doing, and a matter of energy and general health.
It's taken me forty years to get from where I was as a teenager worried about snide comments from classmates to the "little old lady in training" that I am today. Some of those years have been spent fit and happy. Some have been spent fat and miserable. And some have been spent in the other quadrants, too: fit and miserable, and fat and happy!
Disconnecting emotions from fitness and the number on the scale is probably one of the hardest things to do. Why is that? I think for me, it was easier to put the blame on the fat, than it was to address what else was wrong in my life.
So when I was miserable, not only did excess food serve as a comfort and as a way to mask feelings, it also served as a punishment. Once I had misbehaved with my eating, and gained weight, I could blame my unhappiness on the weight, and live with the fantasy that losing weight would solve all my problems.
Over the decades, I've learned better. I've addressed other health issues, and am continually working on things like my tendencies to perfectionism and imbalance... binge eating, binge cleaning, binge anything... I just seem to have that kind of personality: work on something to burn-out, then collapse in a heap for a while, and move on to the next thing to focus on to burn-out.
That game has stopped. Well, not completely, but at least I can see that I'm playing it, and give myself some caution signs.
That said, just for today... I am feeling grateful for a sense of balance. Just for today I will live my life one breath at a time. I will love life, because it is precious. May all who read share in that blessing, of living today just for today.
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