The Little Blog That Could!

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The Little Blog That Could!

This adventure is growing.  One like at a time.  One laugh at a time.  One follower at a time.  One share at a time. Most importantly, one story at a time.  It has given life to an imagination.  It is a small obsession, reaching beyond what it was supposed to be.  It is gaining momentum.  Every time inspiration strikes, so do the strokes on the keyboard.  Is it going to change the world at large? Maybe.  Is it going to change my life?  It already has.

Something is happening to me.  I am gaining confidence in my abilities.  I am pushing myself to write several times a week, and I am following through with the schedule that is developing as I write.  I am watching the stats, and grinning while shaking my head at them.  They tell me that I have reached an audience in 30 different countries.  I have had more than 100 likes on this Blog, as a whole.  Most of them are from people I do not know personally.  To anyone that has looked at this blog, read any of my stories, liked, shared, commented or followed, I want to personally thank you.  It humbles me to realize that people take the time to do this, even if it is just for the few minutes they take to read what is on my mind.   I am finishing month five today.  I have been consistent and persistent.  It takes dedication.

I am having fun.  I found my passion,  I really believe it.  I want to write and share the things that matter to me here.  I want to expand my horizons, and get those books published.  I am also sharing how I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle, and how my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions are progressing.  I am writing about things that matter in my world, and from the support I see in the stats, these things matter to more people than just me.

It was a steep learning curve for me to take a run at when I started.  For me, HTML was a thing that popped up by accident on my computer when I was surfing.  Literally.  There I was, Facebooking away when suddenly, there was a box of text that appeared on top of my facebook pages.  Thank goodness I found the corner with the “X” to close it when it happened.  Which was more frequently than I want to remember.  It still scares me, when it is just there because I don’t really know what it does, or why it jumps out at me.  But I have used HTML in setting up this blog, and I would not call myself an expert in any way shape, or form, I can now say that I have used it, and that is something I wasn’t able to say six months ago.

Constructive criticism helped me to develop the page you see today.  I didn’t know anything about colour palettes for websites or branding myself as an author.  I have a long way to go yet, and lots to learn, but if it keeps being this much fun, I see me working on it for the rest of my life.  I have always had a vivid imagination and a creative artist inside of me.  When I work with beads, and I create something that is mine from concept to finished product, I get this feeling.  There is pride, but it is more than that.  It is excitement and that thing that everyone says you should base your career choices on.  That thing is passion.  I feel it even more strongly when I am writing, reading, editing, and previewing every story that I publish on this blog.  It is infectious.  It is contagious.  And it is bubbling out in every direction!

I am happier.  I am doing better at my day job.  People can see the difference in me.  I am feeling the spark of inspiration all around me, and I am fueling it with all of the creativity and optimism I can get my hands on.  I am able to process things in my everyday life, even things that I am not writing about, in a different way.  I got my optimism back.  It was missing for quite some time, but I have hope again.  I have always had faith and a belief that things would work out even when times are tough.  Now that I am working on this blog, and making plans for my future as an author, I am making one of my dreams come true.  Because I am making it happen, I KNOW that things will be better in my future.  It is up to me, and I am taking control of the next chapter in my own life.

I am a blogger, hear me type!

 

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Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

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Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 6

When I first found out that I was a type 2 diabetic, I had experienced being at “goal weight” about 7 years before the diagnosis.  I successfully lost enough weight on the Weight Watchers program when I did it with my mom back in high school.  After that, I got sick and put on more weight than I had ever dealt with, and since then, I peaked at almost 320lbs.

I am hovering at the edge of “twoville” again, and really hoping that this is the year for me to find my way back to “onederland”.  Twoville is in the 200 lb range, and it starts at 299.99lbs.  Onederland is in the 100 lb range and starts at 199.99 lbs.  That would be an amazing accomplishment.  I can only imagine how that will feel, as it has been longer than a decade since I have weighed in at under 200 lbs.  I think it is a reasonable goal, for one year, and if I make it, fantastic, if not, I will keep fighting the good fight.  Because I believe I am worthy of living a healthier lifestyle, and I can do it if I just put in the effort.  A goal needs to be realistic, and if I put too much pressure on myself, I will fail and be crushed under the weight of that failure.

So I keep going to Zumba, twice a week.  I am preparing to start walking in my neighbourhood in the evenings.  That is also preparing for adopting a dog.  Part of the reason that I want to bring a dog home to live with me is because I know I will HAVE to go for walks more than once a day, EVERY day.  The dog will benefit from living in a loving home, and my health will have to benefit from all the walking.  It is a good plan, and I will have until next winter to prepare myself for walking in the snow and ice.  By then I will be in the habit of the daily walks, and I will be ready to tackle the bad weather walking as a healthier version of myself.

I am so looking forward to having a dog in my life again.  I have friends with dogs, and friends with cats.  I visit them when I can, but it’s not the same as having my own pet here all the time.  My house has been very quiet this winter, with no pitter patter of furry friends to come home to.  I needed time to mourn for my cats, and decided it was time to get a dog, in the spring.  We will be getting ready for that in the next couple of months, and when the right dog crosses our path, we will give it a furever home.

When I first found out I was pre-diabetic (there is no such thing, it is a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes; the doctors just break it to you gently by saying not yet, but really you are a type 2 diabetic).  I was told that I would have a chance of not needing medication for it if I removed sugar from my diet, and ate according to Canada’s Food Guide.  I tried.  I failed.  I was so tired all of the time.  I was drinking up to 2 litres of cola a day for the caffeine because I was so tired all the time.  The sugar was making me tired, so the caffeine was not keeping me awake.  I began drinking more cola for more caffeine, and it never worked for very long.  I know now what I was doing wrong.  Then I switched to diet pop.  Aspartame is something I have removed from my life since then.  I now choose stevia and erythritol for my sweeteners and drink very little pop.  I have one can a day, and not every single day.  I choose pop sweetened with stevia, and it took a bit to learn to like it.

I now drink my coffee black.  It is healthier this way, and now that I am used to it, I like it like this.  Less fuss to prepare it in the morning, and no worries about not wanting to drink it because there is nothing in it.  I sometimes drink green tea.  I sometimes drink oolong tea in one of my THM drinks.  I do not use cola for my main source of caffeine anymore.

I did not tell everyone about being a diabetic for a long time.  I feared the food police.  I learned this term from a diabetes educator.   They are those people who immediately point out what is wrong with everything you eat.  You are the person with diabetes, and everyone else thinks they are the expert.  It is embarrassing to be an adult and have someone tell you that you shouldn’t eat that because you are a diabetic.  Out loud.  In front of a room full of people.  Or to say that isn’t good for you, because it has sugar in it.  People don’t mean any harm, I know it is being said because, on some level, they care about me as a person, and want me to be healthy.  However,  I am an adult, and this type of criticism is not positive, and can have very negative effects on my self-esteem.

I am a lot tougher than I look.  Even if you find me bawling in a quiet place, it is not always because I am sad, it might be because I am SO ANGRY that I sprung a leak.  It is a self-defense mechanism that I have had for most of my life, and I hate it.  It is the quiet, private way to vent.

Other times I would eat my feelings.  I would go buy junk food and regular cola and binge eat.  How dare someone point at what I am eating when they are eating something just as unhealthy, or worse than what I am eating.  They eat whatever they want, well so will I.  The problem with that, other than me gaining weight, is that really I am only hurting myself.  That other person doesn’t even know that they did something wrong.  THEY THINK THEY ARE HELPING ME.  They mean well, but if I am having a sugar low, I might actually NEED that candy I am crunching as fast as I can because my sugars are dropping.  It can happen quite suddenly, and I now have juice boxes and suckers with me all of the time.  I don’t use them unless I need them.

Maybe I have made plans to take extra insulin because I wanted a treat.  I want to be normal, and eat like other people do.  I am not, and that is why I am trying SO HARD to change. I have learned that if I give in a little when I have a craving, I won’t be as likely to binge eat as I would if I suppress it.  So I do have things that are not on the diabetic diet.   I am human.  It is more convenient to grab something quick sometimes.  I am working on that, just like I am working on me.  Most of the time I make healthy choices.  So when you see me eating something that isn’t one of those choices, let me be.  I know the consequences of my actions, and I will recover to my sensibilities when I am ready.

Just like no person is the same as any other person, no person with diabetes is the same as every other person with diabetes, and no person has the exact same issues with weight that every other person has.  That is why it is important for me to write about how I feel, and to share the stories of other people and their issues with weight.  We all are experiencing life as a journey, but we still forge our own paths as individuals.

Coffee Station Complete!

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Coffee is Here

I decided to get back in action yesterday in my Kitchen Cleaning Challenge.  Well, it continued today!  I have gotten to all the countertops and cleaned and organized my 3 sections.  FINALLY! I had lost my gumption somewhere after Christmas, and I am getting it back!

I realized that the dishes not being finished before I got started, although it is a logical way to plan the cleaning of one’s kitchen, it was HOLDING ME BACK!  So I dove in and started cleaning and organizing one section of the countertop.  I decided that it was time for me to revamp the countertop organization, and get caught up with the rest of the world.  I needed to redesign and organize a new coffee station!  

I have a Keurig.  I have an electric tea kettle.  I have a tiny little space of countertop.

This is what I did!

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Tish’s Coffee Station!

I have continued all the way around the countertops.  The rest of the kitchen progress will be added into my next Weekend Warrior story, but I couldn’t wait to share this! I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel like I have made progress, and that will inspire me to keep going.  Well, that and the coffee! 😉

 

Weekend Warrior #5

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Well, look at that.  I made it to another weekend.  It is unplanned, as of yet, and that could be dangerous.  In terms of making the most of my weekend off, that is.

Looking around, I can get overwhelmed at the amount of work I still need to do.  But just looking at it won’t fix that.

So I have to make a list.  It will be for both days, as I never seem to finish the list I make in one day, so I’ll be realistic.  Then  I will pick some small things to get me going.  It is motivating to cross things off of the list.

eggs and avs

Eggs and Avs (THM) A nice filling breakfast. I love poached eggs, but you can fry them if you prefer. I love this quick, healthy breakfast on weekends.

We do have to run errands today.  So I’ve filled the Overthinkin and Coffee Drinkin mug to sip my coffee while I Brunch and write.  Tomorrow I’ll need to prep cook, and my husband doesn’t know it yet, but there is a package of bacon for tomorrow’s breakfast.  He wouldn’t eat this with me, but he loves bacon and eggs.

I am still struggling with the cleaning challenge.  I feel like this weekend might be when I get back on track.  I set the goals at the start of the year, and I intend to keep them.  But where to begin?  I am overwhelmed by a number of things to do on an exponentially growing to do list and underwhelmed with the energy to attack it.  How do I fight my way to doing instead of dreading?

The lists and music are the answer.  Even if I take an hour to make the list, it is a start.  Do I write down everything, share it with my husband, and tackle it with him?  Will we bicker if we tackle the same thing together?  Sometimes that happens.  If we are both working in the kitchen, there is not a lot of space when we are doing the dishes.  My kitchen is deceptive.  It looks spacious but has very little cupboard space.  I have had to be creative in what I have and where I store things.  I have a bookcase, an open pantry, and a large standing shelf with a door on it.

My Open Shelf Pantry

This is the final result of the only thing I really accomplished in the first year I joined the Cleaning Challenge. I need to tidy it up this year, but for the most part, it is still in good shape, and just needs a good dusting job. It is my Open Shelf Pantry.

We have often talked about how to get more efficient storage in the kitchen.  We are planning to get some furniture “someday” at Ikea.  It will be mostly to set up the living room, but the kitchen will get a boost too.  It will happen, it is hard sometimes to make do and stay motivated, but it is what it is.

This afternoon we went to get our taxes finished up.  Done for another year.  We then made an afternoon trip of going to two local SPCA animal shelters.  We are starting to think about getting our first dog, and saw a lot of cats too.  We will get another cat too, someday, but we needed a break, after having been a cat only home for so long.

This evening we went to visit some friends.  It was nice to get out and socialize as a couple with another couple that we are friends with, but haven’t been to visit in quite some time.

Another productive day outside of the house.  I will have to work really hard tomorrow to catch up.  It can be done.  It will be done.  It has to.  I hope the energy is still with me tomorrow.  The house needs a bouncing!

 

The Big 50

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When I press the publish button, this becomes my 50th blog on this website.  I give myself a gold star!  I had no idea back in November when I decided that I wanted to get my lyrics out for exposure to a possible collaboration, that I would be writing this today.  I didn’t even know I wanted to start a blog.  But here I am.

What have I learned so far?  I still love creative writing.  Whether it is about serious topics, made up things called Tish-isms, Zumba classes, or me vs the weekend, I am really enjoying this blogging thing.  I like sharing my thoughts here, and since I am Always Thinking…they will continue to accumulate.  I hope I never need a shovel for them because the snow in New Brunswick has that covered.

While I am not a fan of numbers, I have started following the stats for this project.  I am somewhat speechless at times when I am reviewing the results.  It is growing, slow but steady, in the right direction.  The likes and comments I have been getting are very encouraging, also.  This has been a positive experience.

I have written a poem, as one entry.  The lyrics page has 20 songs on it, two of which I have written this month.  They do not count as separate blog posts, they are not in the 50 count on the blog itself, but they are here also.  Since a few of the 50 are shared from another blog source, they balance that out a bit.  I can’t write this without remembering I wrote my first guest blog that was shared on another person’s website.  I never even dreamed that I would write from my heart, and that other people would read it, like what I wrote, and tell me they want to read more.  How great is that?

In the blogging world, I am finding my way.  If you are reading this, thank you for doing so.  If you are following my blog, I am following yours too.  If you have seen the tweets and facebook page, you are getting a little more of me through those different locations.  I have one story on Medium, and that is just for fun.  I hope to write more like that, and I will likely share between this blog and my medium account as I expand it.

I hope to keep growing the blog as I prepare to write my books.  I am definitely having a lot of fun, and this is good.  As long as it continues to be fun, I will keep writing.  I am certain that I will have slow times of dealing with life in the real world or the dreaded writer’s block.  It is a challenge I will have to face when that time comes.  Until then, I will keep up the positive stories, and expanding my horizons.

Thanks for reading.

Tish MacWebber

Always Thinking…

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Trust Your Gut: Bonnie’s Story

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Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share the story of another friend.  It is written in her own words, and she submitted it earlier this week with her permission to share it as a part of the series.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Bonnie’s Story

 

My story begins all the way back to when I was five years old. I was always small for my age until then, when my parents got divorced. All of the changes and upheaval that happens with that sort of thing, is what seems to have contributed to me eating more and gaining weight. Still, I was only chubby as a child. I wasn’t truly overweight until my preteens. I believe I was about ten years old when I realized that I was bigger than most of the kids my age, but other than some minor teasing from other kids that usually went over my head anyway, I did not feel bad about it. At age twelve, I weighed 180 pounds and that’s the age that I really started noticing how heavy I was and feeling body conscious.

I never did anything about it at that age though, except maybe some walking for exercise. Other than that, I did a lot of wishing and dreaming that I would just wake up skinny one day and everyone would like me because I wasn’t a big girl anymore. I remember feeling bad about being overweight, not being able to wear the types of clothes my friends were wearing, and receiving some teasing or comments here and there.

When I was sixteen, my mom and I joined a women’s gym together. There I learned about exercise and how beneficial, as well as fun, it could be. The first workout left me so sore I could barely move and I didn’t want to go back, it hurt so much. However, I did go back a few days later and started to realize a love for exercise I never knew I could have! The trainers there, one I’m still in touch with to this day, were so kind and really involved. They provided me with so much quality guidance that I really needed. Due to a move across town, making the trip to the gym too far for me to go, I stopped going once our one year was up there and turned to walking more for exercise. Slowly the weight I had lost from exercising at that gym for a year crept back on.

Another few years went by where I tried various things but never stuck with anything consistently, until 2009, when I was twenty. I started a weight loss journey by cutting back my calories significantly, exercising five or six days a week, and drinking Slim-Fast and changing my eating habits to include more vegetables and fruits. Soon I joined the SparkPeople website where I received support, information, and resources I needed to keep losing weight. I lost over 75 pounds during the seven months I was on there and actively working to lose weight. Right around my twenty-first birthday though, I ended up suffering from gallstones and pancreatitis, spending a whole week in the hospital and having my gallbladder removed. After that and some dramatic changes in my life that happened directly afterwards, I pretty much gave up on losing weight. I mean I tried, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I wasn’t consistently working on it any longer.

The next few years after that I continued to try to lose weight at different points, but it never lasted and I never stuck with it long enough to make a significant difference. Finally in May 2014, I started my final and last weight loss journey. This was it! I was going to lose the weight and keep it off! I had gained all of the weight I had lost in 2009 and then some, as it often goes. I was a whopping 309 pounds at this point, when I had sworn I would never get over three hundred pounds! I was shocked and appalled, and I knew I had no choice but to make changes so I could lose that weight. By August of 2015, I was in what is often referred to as “onederland,” finally breaking into the 190’s. It took quite a while after that to get into the 180’s, but my lowest weight was 181 in April 2016.

Enter this past summer that brought issues with my grandparents and their health, a big cross country move, having to leave behind my siblings and their kids when my parents and I moved, and so much more, I just let things go. I had just completed my first ever half marathon in May of last year, which was one of the most rewarding and invigorating experiences of my life. It was so much fun that I’m doing the same half marathon again this May. After the half marathon, the summer was full of all of these huge, and very stressful, events that kept the next few months super stressful and overwhelming. I started gaining weight back because I just felt too overwhelmed to devote the attention and dedication to my nutrition that I had before.

Even with the weight gain, I am still 60+ pounds down from my highest weight, but it has been a huge struggle to get back on track and the weight has kept creeping on due to my struggles. I know I can do it, as I proved it to be the case before, but it seems harder. I lost that momentum, I stopped being consistent, and I guess I gave up. However, I still had a huge passion to help others, and had restarted a blog for the purpose of helping other women find a way to not only lose weight, but believe in themselves, find their inner strength, and practice self-love. Still, at some points in the past few months, I have felt like a fraud because I had been struggling so much. It is all a part of my journey, so even though it felt horrible and disappointing all the same, it has been a learning experience and has made me stronger!

A positive thing that has come out of my struggles is that a little over a month ago, I made the decision to join Beachbody as a coach. Using the container system, Shakeology, and workouts they have in their programs is truly making a huge difference for me both physically and mentally. That doesn’t mean that it is easy or that the changes are instantaneous, and I am still slowly getting my nutrition back in check in addition to working out more consistently again. I am also drinking Shakeology everyday and noticing how much it makes a difference in my energy levels. I never realized how beneficial it could be! Besides that, I also have a huge support system with the coaches that are part of the team of the coach I signed up with. As a friend, she is someone I trust, feel comfortable talking to, and know she will help me the best way she can which is a huge deal to me and made the decision that much easier!

I have complete faith that I will lose the weight I’ve regained. I felt so skinny at 180-190 pounds, even though I still wanted to lose 30 more pounds. Now I glance at pictures from that low weight and wish I could be that small again. However, I can’t live in the past and I can’t beat myself up anymore. I am ready to continue moving forward, working on improving my healthy lifestyle, and helping other people do the same thing in their lives. The greatest reward for me is to help others realize how they can really live the life they dream of living, whether it be to lose weight, go after their dream career, or whatever else represents happiness and success in their lives. On SparkPeople, helping others and providing feedback was more than just helping them. It helped me to stay on track too!

Bonnie McConaughy is the owner and founder of Inspire the Best You (www.inspirethebestyou.com), where she writes about healthy living and personal growth, and provides health and wellness coaching. She is also a freelance and ghostwriter (www.bonwriterfreelance.biz).

Thank you to Bonnie for sharing your story.  You have inspired me to try harder, because like you, I know I can do this, I just have to stick with it.  Although we are travelling on different paths, there are some similarities in our journeys.  Keep working on your goals, and you will achieve them, I know it!  Something that resonates with me after reading is that you are not alone, you have a support system, and you are building your own skills to help others.  This is really a great thing,  to take what you have learned to help you guide others in their journies.  I wish you all the best, and have faith that you are going to be a success.

What have you cooked in your Turkey Roaster?

 

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Where’s the Beef?

 

I just put this massive Beef Stew in the oven.  The beef is on the bottom.  Then I cut up cabbage, turnip, carrots, onion, mushrooms, and radishes.  You read that right.  There are radishes in my beef stew.  It is a new thing for us, and as I am on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan, I have tried this once before, and I liked it.  The husband did not like the radishes as much as I did.  Last time he said,  “Fewer radishes and more potatoes.”  There are no potatoes this time.  That’ll teach him.  Just kidding.  He bought a bag of potatoes, and he will have mashed potatoes on the side.  I can bake a sweet potato if I want a potato.

I added a carton of beef broth.  I was thinking about adding some red wine for flavour but decided to save it for Thursday.  TGIT and I have plans that involve wine and popcorn.  It’s our thing.  So I  added a carton of mushroom stock instead of wine.  Then I hit the spices.  Some bay leaves, garlic, onion powder, dill, parsley, and a little Montreal Steak Spice for that little something unexpected.

I have made homemade baked beans in this roasting pan.  They cook all day.  I have made turkey in it, of course.  I have made a ham in it;  and boiled dinner which is a ham with vegetables, like the stew above.  I usually don’t add mushrooms to that one.  Or spices, the salt from the ham is amazing with those veggies.

If you have lasagna lovers in your life, you can make a many layered lasagna in one of those roasters.  It is absolutely amazing, especially if you have the right flavour combination.  I have been hit or miss with regular lasagna lately.  Or as I call it now, his lasagna.  With noodles.  I make the THM Lazy Lasagna for myself when I want a lasagna.

THM Lazy Lasagna Recipe

I have also made Bangin Ranch Drums in this roasting pan.  I eat them with sweet potatoes and green bean fries.  I add nutritional yeast flakes instead of onion or garlic powder, when I make the green bean fries.  I finally like frozen green beans, but only if they are cooked this way! 😉

 

THM Green Bean Fries Recipe

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Bangin Ranch Drums THM

 

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The cooked stew

I hope it tastes good, or I’m going to have to go off plan and top it with ketchup!

Update: The stew was really tasty.  My husband told me it was better than the last time, even though he was dubious about how it smelled.  He said the radishes weren’t even so bad this time.  I ate the stew by itself for my lunch today and paired it with baked sweet potato for supper.  He made his own regular boiled potatoes to go with his supper.  Ketchup was not necessary, but a pinch of sea salt and a light sprinkle of pepper would be the only change I would make next time.

Today is not my birthday, but someone gave me a present!

Surprise at Zumba

It is Monday.  I got up, went to work, then I went to Zumba.  I got a surprise when I was getting ready for class.

Someone anonymously had a Heartrate Monitor Smartband delivered to me before class started.  It was such a nice surprise!  When I say the Zumba Crew Rocks, I really mean it!

It didn’t turn on when I tried it on.  But I am glad I did because I had to learn how to take it off!  I took it home and plugged it into my computer.  It didn’t take too long to charge.  I have 2 days to get used to it before I can try it out in class.

I don’t know how to set the time and date on it yet, I will have to google that, I am sure.  But it is already measuring my heart rate, steps, distance and calories for me.  That is so neat!

I wear a pedometer in Zumba class, that is how I know that I had 3531 steps today.  It will be interesting to wear both in class Wednesday to see how they compare for the steps.  From what I see here, my resting heart rate is 67.  I hope that is OK.  When I exercise it will be a more important number to watch, I am sure.  The good news is that it is not capable of sending or receiving text messages, so I don’t have to take it off at work.  It is going to take some getting used to.  I will have to figure out how long the battery runs before I need to recharge it.  I am hoping there are some tips online for it, as I am interested in seeing what else it does.  I don’t know why it buzzes and vibrates, but I know it does.  That could be entertaining.

To whomever this gift is from, THANK YOU!  I need all the help and encouragement I can get in this journey to be a healthier version of myself, and it really means a lot!  I will take good care of it, and in turn, it will help me take better care of myself!  What a wonderful surprise!  😀

Weekend Warrior #4

weekend-warrior

Today started with  Scotch Lick and grab and go.  I had scheduled my morning to help a friend look into setting up her own blog.  I am in no way an expert at blogging, and I don’t claim to be.  But as a few friends helped me get this Blog up and running, I decided to pay it forward.

It was really neat to see someone else put their own creativity into action!  We started with some basic conversation, and she figured things out.  She has some work left to do and is capable enough with her own experience and training to move forward on her own.  I am only a message away if she needs any more help.

I am fighting to stay awake.  Waiting to find out the plans for the evening.  If it is a Game night, I will have to start preparing snacks and get done what I can here in the meantime.  If it ends up being a guys gaming night, I will work on the cleaning challenge.  Either way, I will be busy.  I have the kitchen to clean, a grocery list to make, and general cleaning to do.

I have had 2 cups of coffee with breakfast.  I am having a sugar free vanilla iced coffee now.  I AM STILL TIRED!  So I have cranked the tunes and will make 1 more coffee.  Soon it will be too late to have any more coffee, but if I am busy enough, I can still tire myself out enough to sleep tonight.  I need the help today.  I am a night owl with a day job.  So I tend to be more active in the evenings.  Sometimes a little too late.  I struggle with it, but my health is better with the 9-5 schedule, so I try to go to bed early when I need to.  Sometimes I even make it to bed early.  Not on the weekends, though.  That is the problem I am having right now.  So I am going to make 1 more coffee.  A power snooze might have to happen, though.  When my body wants sleep this desperately, I have to consider if it is necessary or not.  A power nap may just what I need, followed by that one more cup of coffee.  Then I’ll head into the kitchen, and unload that dishwasher, that I ran last night.  I need to focus, and that is a good place to start.

Had the nap.  Never found any energy.  I have spent some time on Linked In today.  It was time for an update, and it is another way to share this Blog.  I am disappointed that I did not get more accomplished around the house today, but the networking has to be worked on also.

My Linked In Profile

Tomorrow is a new day, filled with possibilities.  And a new To Do List!  Enjoy your weekend!

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 5

trust-your-gut

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

Here is the next addition to my own story, Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 5

Emotional Eating Epiphany

Today’s Trust Your Gut story is brought to you by alliteration, and the 5th letter of the alphabet, the letter “E”.  It is the fifth entry in my own story.

You don’t generally get to be hovering between 299 lbs and 301 lbs by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly.  It doesn’t work that way.

I love food.  Not only am I addicted to sugar, but I center a lot of my thoughts, moods and feelings around food.  I never thought about it too much before this past week.  I have had a doozy, but the point of this story is not to focus on what is happening in my life, but rather how it affects me in terms of my weight issues.  That’s what the series is about.

So I’m going to break it down real simple.  If I am bored, I eat.  If I am hungry, I eat.  If I am moody, I eat sweets.  Sometimes I can keep myself to the small sample of one of each type.  In candy, this can be reasonable.  If it is a box of doughnuts, that could be a disaster.  I have cravings.  I do obsess about food sometimes.  If I am lazy, I eat fast food.  If I am gearing up for a real honest to goodness attempt at not having junk food in the house, I will eat it all and then it is gone.  That is what I tell myself, I can really work on that plan after the bad food is all gone.  Not thrown in the trash, but devoured.

I am working on it.  All the time.  I find if I give into a craving when it happens, I can have what I am telling myself I need to eat, and then I can move past it.  The problem is, the damage is already done.  I have to take extra medicine for my sugars when I am not behaving. I have recently discovered, the hard way, that if I eat too much sugar, not only does it make me sleepy, like narcoleptic, but I can now feel sick to my stomach if I eat too many sweets.  Does that stop me?  Not if I am mad, or sad, or bored.  Not if I know in the back of my mind that there are cookies in the kitchen or that box of chocolates, well it is empty because I ate those a tray at a time so it was gone from the house faster.  And doing damage to my health by being in my belly.

It is easier to eat your emotions than deal with them.  When you associate feelings with food, you learn to rely on it to feel good things.  Food makes me feel better.  In the short term.  It keeps me from thinking about what is really happening, and from having to deal with it.

I have spent a lot of time eating, and a lot of time avoiding the reasons why I am eating what I am eating.  I have had to start to focus more on what I am eating, instead of just grabbing whatever is quick and easy.  It takes grocery list making, meal planning, meal prepping, and a plan for storing what I have made.  That consumes a lot of time and requires energy and the desire to spend the time on myself and my health.  To want to do better.  For me.

It does no good for me to meal prep too much because it would be a waste to not have the containers to divide it into meal sized portions.  I am now trying to plan different meals at times.  That is more work.  But my husband appreciates the efforts to make him his own food, as he has a day job too, and we can’t afford to eat out every day, financially or healthily.  It is hard, sometimes, to pace myself with it, as I would benefit from having extra food made in advance so I can eat healthy with little effort on a regular basis.  I go in circles, with the creative mind, and when I get on a roll, if I don’t go with it, I don’t know when I will feel like tackling the prep cooking again.  I go through productive spells, and slumps.  Currently, I am in a slump.

This is my second year of being on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan.  There are times when I follow it like a Bible, and I am able to be strict and keep myself on the plan.  The plan does have some foundation from religion, so it is an accurate description.  There are other times when I view it as a guideline, like when I am dabbling with it.  I like the 3-hour rule.  If you go off plan, you get right back on it in 3 hours.  Give yourself some grace, allow yourself to be human, and move on.  Don’t wallow in it.  Good in theory.  I like this concept.  But if I am being honest, I am cutting myself too much slack right now, and not making myself get back on plan as a reaction to keep the momentum going in the right direction.

I finally put it all together, this week, when I was thinking about writing this week’s story.  I need to stand up to my feelings.  It will be rough.  But I am avoiding them every time I eat them.  That is a bad place for anyone to be in.  It is time for me to take action.  I want out of this cycle.  When I follow Trim Healthy Mama, I do feel better, and I do see results.  Win win!  It’s time to up my game, and work on myself.  Nobody else is going to fix it for me, so I have to work on myself for myself and by myself.

After the week I just had, the hardest part is going to be convincing myself that I am worth the effort.  I know it in my heart, but it is covered in layers of unhealthiness, telling me the easy way is the best way.  Old habits die hard, and I am fighting for my life. Again.  One day at a time, one meal at a time, one snack at a time.  Every 3 hours, I can stay on plan, not need to get back on plan.  Start with something you can do as a beginning, and ride it through to the end.  I will keep reminding myself that I can do this, and the food is wonderful, so I should work harder at this.  I know I will see results.  I just have to be strong, and learn how to deal with my feelings.  

I am also going to have to change one of my favourite sayings.  I really believe that the day gets better after lunch.  It means you are closer to the end of your work day after lunch.  Or it means I am focusing on my food because I don’t want to think about work.  It’s going to be a hard thing to get a solid 8 hours of sleep every night, but I am going to try and focus on that, for a while.  Rest is important to your health, so it is a better thing to focus on, rather than food, or the next meal or snack.  I don’t like going to bed, I never have.  Once I am settled, it is hard to climb back out of bed.  I didn’t like to have to get in the shower when I was growing up, either.  Same thing, once I am in there, I don’t want to get out.  I have changed my train of thought on that one, I play music in the shower, it helps me try to keep it reasonable in length of time when I am in there.  And music makes my world go round.  If I can change my mind about that, then I can change my mind about lunch.  A new focus may be just what I need to get out of my slump.