Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 22

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.

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

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 22

Well, folks, it has been a fantastic day!  I didn’t start off too well, I started the day with a sugar low.  I didn’t let that stop me, not for too long. I ate my banana in the car and had a juice box when I got to work.  My sugars, of course, went up from there.  As usual, I chased the banana with a black coffee.  That’s how my days start.  I don’t usually have the juice box, and I don’t usually have the low at that time of day.  So what is going on?

I have worked hard this week to find my way back to working on me.  I have had to make some decisions and some changes.  I have started cooking meals that are on plan this week, and I am letting myself enjoy what I make.  That is how Trim Healthy Mama is supposed to work.  I’m not an expert, and I stray a little here and there, but I am getting my groove back, and the scale is responding the right way.

I am also happy to say that I am sitting here melting in my living room.  It is said to be the warmest day of the week, and it is more than warm.  I am not just warm because of the temperature in here, but also because I have made it to Zumba twice this week.  So when I write that I am melting, it is literal.  I worked out in this heat, hydrated, and now I am relaxing in my little almost sauna.  It sounds better than it is, but I am not here to complain.

I am here to try and help people.  I have been lacking in that department, lately, because I was not trying very hard myself.  I have had enough of that noise!  I am back and working hard to make more progress than before!  I am seeing it, and when I see it, I know it is real.  I am cooking.  I am planning.  I am working with recipes that I really love because that is what keeps me going back to this plan.

My sugars are coming back around.  That is one of the most important things I can do for my health, is to monitor my sugars, and eat so that they stabilize.  I am working on that, and THM is the way for me to do that.  When I add in exercise, it is a remarkable difference in how I feel, and how I attack every day.  Planning is so important for me when it comes to food.  I have worked hard this week to make food that is on plan so I can start winning this thing called life we all play at here.

I am breaking away from the bad habits again.  Only I can do that, I have to believe that I am worth the effort.  Now that I am back in my routine, and back from vacation, it was time to start working on things that help me feel better, and live life better.

After my on plan supper, I was wanting a little something extra.  I tried the new Good Thins Beet crackers.  They are OK, but I saw the ingredients and decided to not eat too many.  I was debating making an on plan shake or smoothie when my husband showed up.  He had picked up his own supper, and cinnamon rolls.  But the best thing he brought home was a bag full of fresh cherries.  I indulged in a bowl full of cherries.  Because let’s face it, life really is based a lot on your perspective, and in what you make of it.  I am making the most of things tonight, and having the bowl of cherries, because who wants to choke on the pits?  Not me.  I’m back, and I am feeling great!

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 19

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.

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

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 19

I got on the scale this morning.  The number wasn’t as bad as I was worried it would be, but it is still not in twoville.  I knew I would not see good news, but as I expected, there were no surprises there.  I know by how I feel what is happening, without getting on the scale every day.  It had been a while, and I needed a reference.

I am having trouble in my kitchen this week.  There has been an invasion of ants.  I have declared war, and I think we are winning.  It is a slow progress kind of war, and it has distracted me from my personal tasks and goals.

I have not had an ant free day in my kitchen all week.  I am seeing less and less ants, and the ones I saw today seemed to be slower than those in the last few days, so I am tentatively hopeful that this means the war is almost over.  I have not wanted to make anything to eat in my kitchen all week, as a result of this.

My healthy lifestyle has become a casualty of war.  It could have gone in two different directions.  One being I stopped eating anything because I am so grossed out about the ants being in my kitchen.  This is not realistic.  I have to eat.  So I did it again.  I ate take out all week.  Let me tell you, I am not thrilled about this, but I felt like it was the only way I could eat because of the ants.

Is it a legitimate thing to do?  Yes.  Is it an excuse to eat out and go the easy route for the week? Yes.  Is it productive and conducive towards my personal goals for living a healthier lifestyle? No.  Is it a budget friendly option? No.  Is it a logical solution? Maybe.  I write that because when I haven’t been cooking, I have been hunting and cleaning up the countertop that the ants are crawling on.  That means all the hard work I did cleaning the whole winter, my coffee station, and the countertops all have to be emptied and wiped clean AGAIN.  For the millionth time this week.  Ugh.

I have made progress in other areas of my life in the last month.  I have been cleaning and purging stuff.  I have been writing about that in my Weekend Warrior Category.  I am preparing to write books, and have been practising on my blog, getting into the habit of writing.  I have done well with both of these projects, and I can let myself be proud of the progress I am making in those areas.  So why is it OK for me to let myself down in the most important part of my life, my health and well being?  It’s not.

I had a genuine blood sugar low today at work.  My sugars were at 3.9 when I tested, and I was in full panic mode when I did.  I can feel it happening in my body.  I start feeling a wave of uneasiness, and I start to panic.  When it is an actual blood sugar low, I get weak and shaky.  My head and scalp perspire profusely.  I mean buckets.  I get a little confused and have a really hard time focusing. I was in a meeting when I started to feel it happen, and I rushed out asap and tested while chewing up suckers and drinking a juice box.  I got some extra candy from some colleagues, and I overcompensated because I was panicked.  It took me about two to two and a half hours to recover from that episode.  I am much better this evening.

I know why it happened.  I went to Zumba last night, and it had been a few weeks since the last class.  I started to get my regular exercise routine back.  I took my normal amount of insulin this morning.  But my body was doing that thing it does when I am trying to watch what I am doing, and it became sensitive to the insulin again.  It is great that it works better sometimes, but it is not so great when I happen to have that in between adjustment period that causes me to have lows and have to lower my doses of insulin.  Which is also good, because it means that I am achieving better control over my blood sugars.  But what a roller coaster ride that can be!

It is hard to adjust to everything all at once.  I am a fighter, and I am still able to do what needs to be done.  Sometimes I need to remind myself that it is not OK to put my own health and wellness on the bottom of my list.  Because it needs to be as important as everything else I invest my time in.  I tell people all the time that I am tougher than I look.  I believe it.  But I also know that I am a human being and that I am not supposed to be perfect.  All I can do is get up every morning and do the best I can in all aspects of my life.  It is a work in progress, and progress is progress, so I will take it and run with it.  Until I can’t catch my breath.  And then I will keep moving in the right direction.  One step at a time.

 

 

Weekend Warrior #18

 

 

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

It’s here!  The first official weekend of the summer!  I am gearing up to run errands and host a BBQ today.  I have been working hard at my Spring Cleaning Challenge, and I am literally at the finish line!  I have made it to the Master Bedroom and Bathroom.

Last weekend, I worked really hard to have the floors done, the guest room ready, and the main bathroom was cleaned.  When I did this, I had to move things out of the way.  I moved them into the master bedroom.  A pile gathered on my bed.  When it was time to crawl into that bed, the only logical place to temporarily store these items was in the sunken bathtub in the master bathroom.

This means I made a lot of progress in most of the house, but not all.  Today I plan to work on that.  The word purge is now in my weekend plans again, and it does not refer to food in any way.

I have been working on this project since last fall.  I started with my clothing.  I then went through the kitchen and didn’t have a lot to purge there, but rather spent time cleaning and organizing.  I have purged my makeup to make room for new makeup.  I am still in the middle of writing about that experience.  Today I plan to purge and organize my craft supplies.

I have decided that I am not going to do this alone.  I have asked a friend to help me with this chore.  It is not going to be a hard thing to do, but it may prove to be difficult.  Remember when I wrote I had purged my makeup?  I gathered it all up and then was unable to throw it out until I bought the new makeup.  I wanted to start with a clean palette, but I was very worried that I would not be able to afford to replace everything, and I decided to not throw it out until I had done the shopping so I would not be left without a critical item for my new makeup collection.

As I wrote, I am working on that story, and I plan to have it published sometime this week.  If the zit I treated that promptly decided to cause a skin reaction to the treatment and blew up over my face would kindly heal and let me feel like I can safely try my new makeup on, that would be fantastic.

When I went through my clothing, I did it all on my own.  I reduced my wardrobe by 50%.  I donated it to a friend who upcycles fabric.  So far, the only items I have really missed were some of the more lightweight tank tops that I gave away.  One of my errands today is to replace those tank tops.  I have some, but I have not had a clothing shopping budget regularly for many years.  We have been working insanely hard on our household budget, and we are making some changes to that.  I am looking forward to the days when I don’t feel guilty about buying a new article of clothing to wear.  Or about buying a new book or magazine.  Things I like to buy from time to time.  Mostly beading magazines, and more recently, a writing magazine.  It will also be useful to know what I have on hand for craft supplies, so I don’t purchase items that I don’t need because I don’t know what I have in my stash.

The last area of my house that needs TLC is my office, a corner of my living room.  I have been building up to getting this area ready for spring cleaning.  It is where I plan to do my writing, and a fitting final task for all of the cleaning I am doing to prepare for writing.  I have organized the desk several times since I moved here, and it is long overdue.  Time to fire up the paper shredder when I am ready to tackle the last big area.  I am really proud of how much I have accomplished this year with my cleaning projects, and although I still have some smaller areas to work on after my deadline, the larger, more complicated projects will be done and over with, so I can feel confident about my home not falling apart when I start writing my book.  Maybe I will even be able to make time for more creative projects after it is all finished.

Phase 2 will be starting when I am settling into writing my book.  With the larger cleaning projects being finished, I will have to switch gears and get the maintenance cleaning done, to keep my home from ever becoming a disaster like it was when I decided to start the spring cleaning for real this year.

I also hope that this weekend is a start of more entertaining at my house.  I am feeling good about it, and not too embarrassed when I look around at the progress I have made here, the last 6 months.  Time to get going and finish this stage, so I can close the chapter of Spring Cleaning 2017, and open a new book to start writing it.

I hope my friend enjoys bouncing the house with me this afternoon, I need the extra push when it comes to purging craft supplies.  She is invited to stay for the BBQ as a thank you for her taking the time to help me out.  What are you working on this weekend?

 

 

Tishsplaining

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It happened again.  I was in the car today, with my husband.  We were having a conversation, and I completely lost him.  And that is when it happened.  I discovered a new Tish-ism.  I had to Tishsplain how I connected the things we were discussing to my husband.  Unlike mansplaining, Tishsplaining is something only I can do.  It is not restricted to men or women, and it is never done in a condescending manner.

I am used to this concept, but it is nice to finally put a name to it.  Thanks to all of you mansplainers that planted the seed for this Tish-ism in my head.

So what were we talking about?

“Look.  It is summer now, and that cloud is saying piss on you as it is raining on us.”  My husband started this whole ball rolling with that sentence.

I mentioned an uncle’s name, and his father’s name, and my uncle’s grandmother also.  Well, that completely confused my husband.  He asked me the question I have been asked numerous times before, and likely will be asked millions more times in the future.

“How does this relate to the rain?”

The answer was quite simple.

“My uncle’s grandmother was known to point at people and say “Piss on you.” ”  Luckily, I never made her point that finger at me.  If I remember right, it was about losing at card games or bingo.

Now I have a name for that thing I have to do ALL THE TIME.

Tishsplaining.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 16

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.

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

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 16

My hormones have gone CRAZY! When I was sick my body got a little confused, and now that it is getting on track, I WANT CHOCOLATE!  Not the square or two of the 85% cocoa that is on plan, but regular, easy to find, totally bad for me chocolate.  I am fighting with myself a lot right now.  I know what I should do, and then there is what I want to do.  Sometimes, the want is more than average, and my brain makes it a need.  So this week I gave in a little.

I also made the lasagna last Sunday, and I have been eating a piece a day for lunch this week.  I needed suppers, and I have planned an adventure in my kitchen that happened yesterday…

I love making Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole.  I don’t have any chicken breasts ready in the freezer to make it with.  So I poached some salmon pieces and made Salmon Bacon Ranch.  It turned out really good.  I swapped the chicken for salmon (poached in water with onion powder, dill and garlic) and made the recipe.  I doubled the dill, added spinach, and extra Miracle Whip and Plain Greek 0% fat yogurt.  I used extra old cheddar, and bacon bits.  I kept the parsley, cream cheese, garlic and pepper as per the recipe.

I was surprised at how good this turned out.  It is rich and heavy, but carb free.  I checked my sugars right after supper, and they were at 10.2.  For after eating, this is really close to normal range.  Considering that it was a Zumba night, and I had a juice box, a G2 and a snickers bar before supper, (I was hangry and dropping)  this is what I needed to see.  It means that I was correct about being low, and I didn’t do too much to overcompensate. YAY!

So what I am getting at this week is that sometimes, chocolate is a necessary evil.  More importantly, it is good to experiment in the kitchen with healthy recipes.  You might surprise yourself.

I am not going to have Zumba classes for a few weeks.  I am in charge of keeping the Zumba Crew motivated until class starts up again.  I have a few ideas, but I need to get the gumption up for me to work on it as I need to be active too, especially when classes are cancelled.  Dance off, anyone?

#TrustYourGutThursday  #TYGT

Relay for Life 2017

Relay 2017 2

Relay for Life 2017. Tish & Matty

I attended Relay for Life to participate in the Zumba at Relay.  My Zumba instructor does this every year, and when I am able to attend extra Zumba classes to support her and to get me moving more, I go.  I actually met her at Relay several years ago.  I have come a long way with my Zumba since then, and I will be continuing to go to Zumba as long as I am able to go. I do what I can, and I am feeling the rewards of stress relief,  getting stronger and healthier.

So many people are affected by the ugliness of cancer in their lives.  Relay is a fundraiser to help find a cure for cancer, but for many people, it is more than that.  It is a chance to reflect on loved ones who have lost the battle.  It is a chance to support people you know that are fighting cancer.  It is also a chance to celebrate with those who have looked cancer in the eye and beat it.  Sometimes more than once.

Members of my family have had cancer.  It is something I have learned to live with while trying not to live in fear of it.  I have been spending some time with a good friend who is not going to win her fight with cancer.  It is hard to face as a friend, but it must be even harder to face as a person with terminal cancer.  It makes me sad to know that her time is limited and that her family and friends will feel this too.  It is hard, sometimes, to know what to do or say.  We are becoming better friends because of this terrible thing that is happening to her.  We were friends before, but it is important for me to make sure that I am available to spend time with her now, while she is still here and able to enjoy the company of our friendship.

I went to Relay and did Zumba there.  I did not participate in anything else.  My focus this year was to go and have a good workout.  I promised another friend that passed away that I would take care of myself, and although it wasn’t cancer that he died from, in going I am keeping my promise to him.  The first few classes I went to after he died broke my heart.  I cried.  I fought to finish the classes, and I am still keeping my promise to him every time I go.

Relay 2017 1

They found a Rebel who was unable to convince them of the health benefits of Zumba at Relay.

I didn’t see the Storm Troopers in the crowd this year.  They were at Relay, but I am guessing Darth Vader ordered them to not participate in Zumba.  There were a lot of people there. I saw some angel wings, costumes, masks, and a little girl in a princess dress.  When Zumba was over, there was a song still playing on the speakers.  We all stopped, and the little princess walked over to me and wanted me to hold her hands and keep dancing.  So I did.  I don’t know her story, if she was sick, or if she was there because of someone else.  I knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  When a princess approaches you in a crowd full of people and wants to hold your hands and dance, well, you hold her hands and dance in a circle until she wants to stop.  I don’t know who she was, except that she was a princess for Relay.  I don’t know why she chose me in a crowd full of people, but she did, and I wasn’t prepared to walk away.  That is why I attend Zumba at Relay.  You never know what kind of memory you will take home with you, and it somehow makes you feel that even when it seems like the ugliness of cancer is at its scariest, if you are able to support a friend or hold the hands of a princess and share a dance, there is a glimmer of hope.  Be present in your life, and do good unto others while you are here.  Which left me with the message I am carrying in my heart.  Hope.

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Most of the pics are from my friend Matty.  There are two from Fredericton Relay For Life 2017 Facebook Page, all shared with permission.  Why do you Relay?

Weekend Warrior # 14

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

I am so PUMPED after this weekend!  I HULK SMASHED IT!  Without turning green and angry!  What a busy, productive weekend!

Friday night I was at Relay for Life, specifically for the Zumba at Relay.  Expect a story this week to tell you all about that.  It had some real special moments, and there are some great pics to share.

Saturday was cool and rainy and drab.  Hubby worked this weekend, so I got up and got the car.  Got a few groceries on the way home and got some cleaning done.  I did some laundry and ran the dishwasher.  Nothing picture worthy.  I found out that I lost a pillow sham (and the puns did find my post about it on my personal Facebook page).  This caused a full stop on the kitchen cleaning and started a full-on search for the missing sham.  No house elves were found wearing said sham, either.  The search continues.  Maybe, just maybe it is in the towel area over the washer and dryer?  It was not in the linen closet where it should have been (I am in the middle of reorganizing that mess since yesterday) or maybe it is under the bed ( I tried to look but with my knees, I try not to get down on my knees on the floor) and I am running out of places to look.  I am sure it will reappear.  I am crossing my fingers about that one.

Sham on me my cousin wrote.   It was never a real pillow it was just a … 😉 was left by another friend.  The puns keep me laughing while I tear my home apart to find the culprit of the whole sham.

I got inspired while in the master bathroom working on the linen closet to do something I have been thinking about for a long time.  I have been wanting to purge my makeup.  I do not wear makeup every day, but as a collector, I had gathered quite a stash.  It was neatly organized in 3 wicker baskets on my counter, gathering dust.  I panicked about tossing it all because I might need some of it for a special occasion or something in the future.  My budget does not always allow for this type of purchase.  The last time I bought makeup it was January 2016.  I have had some product since the wedding in 2010 or even before that.

I will be writing a separate blog about that adventure.  It happened Sunday.  I got up and put a roast beef in the oven right away.  I set the timer for 3 hours, it was frozen going into the pan.  I had planned to get ready and go to church before the makeup shopping event.  I mean, it could have been an event, it was a big thing for me.  I decided that I did not want to rush, and had breakfast and got ready for my day.  I postponed church until this evening (I actually went and was not late).  The makeup event happened-details will be in a separate blog.

I got home, sliced the beef, made sandwiches, ate 1.5 sandwiches and rushed out to church.  I then fit in a few small errands on the way home, finished the last half a sandwich I made earlier, made 2 sandwiches for my husband, picked him up from work and rushed off to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2.  It was a fun movie.

I have yet to finish my next submission for a well-known publication that has a deadline this week.  That will be tomorrow’s priority.  I have started writing it already, but it is not ready for the beta reader yet.

There you have it!  Non-stop, action-packed, super busy weekend!  I got some cleaning done, in tandem, from one end of the mini home to the other, all day Saturday.  I want to an extra Zumba class, for a good cause.  Spent time with friends Friday and again today.  Different friends on the different days.  I even fit in a movie with my husband to finish it off! Sorry, I’m a little late getting this one published this week, this is the first chance I had because I wanted a productive AND fun weekend to write about.  Mission accomplished!  HULK SMASHED IT!

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 14

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.

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

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 14

Getting back on track is easier said than done.  It takes determination and effort.  I have missed a few Zumba classes.  I went today.  I was eating anything and everything, the last few weeks.  I prep cooked earlier in the week.  My insulin is now working well enough to lower my doses again.  Some days it is a fight just to get motivated to do what I should be doing.  Other days I feel prepared to tackle everything.  I am gearing up for another run at living a healthier lifestyle.

Last week I was watching the scale climb.  This week it is starting to go down.  I am working hard to try and stay on plan as much as I can, and it is working.

The last few months I have been consciously trying to drink more water.  It is a good idea, not just for me, but for everyone.  It would be better if I enjoyed drinking water.  I have to force myself to drink water, sometimes.  I have a drinking buddy, my straw!  I need to get it in quickly or I won’t drink as much water in a day.  Straws certainly help with that.

It is time to get out the measuring tape again.  Still, nothing to report.  With the last few weeks of being sick, I will have to take the number on the scale moving down as my encouragement.  It is good that it is going the right way again.

My heart rate was steady in class.  I do love that I can check it.  Now I have to keep a better focus on what I eat and how much insulin I am taking because my body has come around to responding to it well, again.  That happens when I work hard.  I feel better so I want to do more and I do that and I feel even better.  It is possible.  Just not when I am sick. Everything goes out the window when I am sick.

I did go to the doctor last week.  He gave me a different antibiotic.  I bought a probiotic to take with it because we all know the warnings about what happens when you take one antibiotic, and now I have had to take two.  It has been a little challenging to keep track of when I have to take what medicine.  The good news is that it appears to be working, and worth the trouble.

This week I am feeling more optimistic.  When I feel like doing things, there is a better chance that they will get done.  I am finally feeling like trying again.  So lesson learned.  When my sugars are skyrocketing out of control, it is not me, or what I am or am not eating; I am probably sick.  Which is good to know, because I don’t remember this happening when I was off work with my infected knee.  There is a good reason for that. Painkillers.  I was on some heavy duty painkillers.

I am sleeping better this week.  Quality sleep is also important in the struggle to live a healthier lifestyle.  If you are well rested, it will boost the energy.  Again, you can do more.  It can snowball in the right direction.  It is happening for me right now.  It can happen for you too.  If you need help, ask. Don’t be afraid.  If you don’t ask for help, it might be too late.  We are all worth helping.  We are all worth loving.  Believe it.  When you believe that you are worth investing your own time and energy into, good things will happen for you too. One change becomes two, then three and so on.  What change are you going to work on this week?

 

 

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Surprise at Zumba

A while back someone gave me a smart band to wear at Zumba Class.  I already had a pedometer, but this levels it up for me.  It also keeps track of my heart rate, which I also use now that I can.

It has been helpful to keep an eye on my heart rate.  I am able to work out a little harder because I know when I check it, the smart band will tell me if I am working my heart too hard, or not enough.

I report my steps on the Zumba page also.  When I started, I was told you can get up to 5,000 steps in a Zumba Class.  As there is a movement in the world to get a minimum of 10,000 steps every day and walk your way to a healthier lifestyle, getting 50% of those steps done in an hour is a HUGE ADVANTAGE.  So if you are thinking that it is just another dance aerobics class, you are setting your standards for Zumba too low.

I average around 4,000 steps in a class.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  My goal is to have it increase to the 5,000 steps (or more).  Since I got the smart band, another member of the Zumba crew is using my pedometer in class.  She is averaging 5,300 steps a class.  I have got to say, she is definitely in the Zumba Zone.  It is absolutely possible, and realistic to aim for 5,000 steps while in a Zumba class.

What else do I love about Zumba?  The Zumba Crew, the music, dancing, and having fun!  I don’t do all the moves, I’m not always confident that I can do them all.  I am changing how much I do all the time.  Some days I push myself.  Some days just being there and going through the motions is all I can do.  But I go, and I participate, however I can.

Sometimes I have to stop and check my blood sugars.  Most of the time, they are normal.  If they are low, it means I have to drink a juice box before continuing my workout.  If they are still low after that, it means I need candy and to lower my insulin dose before the next class.

I have missed a few classes this spring because I have been sick.  Nothing serious, but I was not able to go in the last few weeks.  I look forward to going back this week.  Monday is Victoria Day so the next class will be Wednesday.  If I am feeling better, I may just push myself to hit 5,000 steps.  It is something to work towards, and when I get there, I will aim higher.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery Blogger Award Logo

This is my first Blogger Award.  I am very grateful to The Ink Owl for the nomination.  It really means a lot to me.  I would also like to thank Okoto Enigma for creating this Award.  It was designed for Bloggers to acknowledge their peers in the blogging world, and to be passed on from one to another to help grow the Blogging Community, and for people to discover new blogs to help them to grow and flourish.  What a remarkable idea to spread encouragement, positivity, and to help Bloggers to earn some recognition.  It is also a wonderful way for people to find new blogs to love, read, and follow.

If you would like to read the nomination post from The Ink Owl, it is in the comments on my About page.  If you would like to read more about the Award and its creator, please check out the following link: Mystery Blogger Award Background and Story.

When you are nominated for an award like this, it is meant to make you share some information about yourself, and to encourage you to acknowledge some of your own favourite Bloggers with some new nominations from you.  It is a pay it forward kind of idea, and I think it is wonderful.  That being said, there are some rules that go with being nominated.

Mystery Blogger Award Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and post a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the blog and provide a link to their blog also
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one strange or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

I have to write this note here to tell you all that it was difficult for me to create that list. At last, I have outwitted the bullet list formatting and can continue working on the rules and acceptance.

Three things about me to tell you.

1.  I try really hard to be funny.  Sometimes it backfires and I have to quickly change the topic of conversation.  Other times it is taken totally wrong and I have an angry person instead of a laughing person to deal with.  Once in a blue moon, I get it right.  I do seem to be getting better at this talent with age.  Possibly because I am a huge fan of both Betty White and Weird Al Yankovich.

2. I wish I could afford a maid. I know how to clean, I just really don’t like doing it.  I would rather be working on my creativity than creating a clean organized space to live in.   I am working on that.

3. Blogging is my mid-life crisis self-help therapy.  It is cheaper than a motorcycle, and I can take more than one person with me for the ride!  Helmets are optional.  There are no judgements here.

The Ink Owl Listed five questions for me to answer, as a part of the nomination and acceptance.

  1. Where (physical locations) do you write?
  2. Why did you start writing?
  3. What is your favourite part about your life?
  4. What has been the most challenging part with writing?
  5. What gives you the inspiration to write?

Here are my answers:

1. I used to write in journals when I went to school and university.  I have written on my laptop when I was in a local creative writing group.  That group, which I have the honour of saying I named, Freddy Words, is currently dormant and awaiting a revival.  These days,  I am writing on my desktop computer. PC not MAC. I will be working towards purchasing other electronic devices to write in different locations in the future so that I am always ready to write when inspiration strikes.  My desk is in my living room in the center of my mini home.  I can watch TV, listen to music, and write all from my desk.  It would be nice to write outside sometime.

2.  I have been writing my whole life.  Nothing spectacular in my school days, but I have always enjoyed writing, both creatively and emotionally.  Why I started writing my blog is a more interesting answer.  I watched an inspirational video one day, and it got me thinking. It made me think about how to get my lyrics for songs out of my head and to a place where other people can read them.  Before I knew it, I had to research how to set up a blog, and I never expected it to just take off like it did.  I write and I have a lot of fun with it.  I hope it never stops being fun.  I used to write as a form of not keeping things bottled up.  Now I am practising to write a fantasy trilogy by writing on my blog, building the habit. Always thinking…

3.  The favourite parts of my life are finding my passions.  I love the beach and the ocean, especially in Cape Breton.  I love my husband, and the life we have together is not always perfect, but that keeps things interesting.  I love creating things, from thought to completed projects.  This blog has been a wonderful rediscovery of my own passion for writing.  I truly believe that writing is what I am meant to do, that it is my purpose in life.  I also love it when I line up all my ducks in a row to land the unexpected joke once in a blue moon.  That is something that gives me a lot of joy.  This year I have grown personally.  I am proud of the person I am turning out to be, flaws, bad jokes, and all!

4. The most challenging part with writing is actually three things.  The first one is that I need to know when to take breaks.  I do not have any problems writing, I need to remember to stop and eat, and walk around for a bit;  to step away from my desk. When I decide to write I need to make sure I don’t ignore the rest of my life.  The second thing is grammar and punctuation.  Grammarly is helping with that.  I have trouble with commas,  and use a lot of exclamation points! The third thing is that you should always write down your ideas as soon as they hatch…or you will forget them like I just did for my number three.

5.  Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.  I get a title in my head, I start writing, and there is my story.  I hear people talking and I run with an idea the conversation sparked. I am an emotional woman, and my feelings sometimes dictate the direction a story goes in.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have to get a pen and paper right away so I don’t forget what I dream up.  Other times I use my highly developed pantser skills and sit down with nothing in my head for an idea or plan, and I just start typing.  A short time later I have a blog post or a new song.  I am certain that writing is what I am supposed to do, and with that being said, inspiration can strike at any given moment in any place I am present in.  I have faith and religion in my belief system, therefore all of the inspiration I have comes from God.  He made me this way.  Always thinking…

As I need to post this blog to grab the link to put into my announcements for the bloggers I have chosen to nominate, please allow me a few minutes to type up my nomination memo for the nominees.  I have not mastered the internet well enough to be able to do both things simultaneously. (This note is for nominees-your memo is coming if you didn’t get it yet).

I would like to nominate (in a randomly organized list) the following Bloggers for The Mystery Blogger Award:

Rebecca Craig of Spiritelle Blog

Gordon Dougherty of Unlikely Mystics Blog

Denise Marcello of Denise Marcello Fitness Step out in Faith Blog

Mohamad Al Karbi of  Mohamad Al Karbi Blog

Irene of They Once Called Her Pumpkin…

Colline of Colline’s Blog

Kirsty Allen of  The Ramblings of a Madwoman who hosted  My first Guest Blog, and a little more of the back story.

Payal Tyagi of Writings by Payal Tyagi

Apple Alvarez of Apple Bits Blog

Bonnie McConaughy of Inspire The Best You

Dionne Abouelela of Girl VS City

The Olive Brunette of The Olive Brunette

Sam of the Caffeine Gal

Jessie Wing of Wingswordsblog

As if it wasn’t hard enough to select a few of my favourite Bloggers to nominate for The Mystery Blogger Award, now I have to think of five clever questions to ask them all. The rebel in me has disguised a few extra sub-questions sneakily with the five I am required to ask.

  1. How long have you been Blogging?
  2. If you could put a face and a name to your Muse, who would it be? (My silly question)
  3.  What is your why, as in why do you write?
  4. Do you listen to music while writing?  If so, what artists and or types of music do you enjoy listening to while writing?  Does it change as your story develops?
  5. Who is your favourite published Author?  Do you read their books only once, or do you read them frequently?  If you can’t narrow it down to just one, two or three are also acceptable as an answer, as I have three at the moment, and that is in the top three of a long list of many.

If you check the links above, you will see there is already one link to my first ever guest post.  As per the rules, I can also link to some of my favourite blog stories.

The Little Blog That Could! , I Had Sass in Zumba Class! and When the African Violet Blooms are three that stand out to me and others, based on the number of likes and comments.  I am really proud of all of them.  I have created two regular series within the blog as well, Trust Your Gut and Weekend Warrior.  They are stories that aim to help keep me on track and inspire the readers to keep working on the things that challenge them in their lives.  I have had other people submit stories for Trust Your Gut, and if you have issues with weight, and would like to submit your story, please contact me.  I would love to help you tell your story by sharing it in the series.

I follow more blogs than the ones listed here as my nominees. Shout out to Fears of Little Fears,   Blair of The Shameful Sheep and Brian of Bonnywood Manor Blog  to name a few more blogs that I enjoy visiting frequently.  If I missed you, feel free to answer my questions below in the comments! The more the merrier!

Thanks for the nod, Ink Owl, and I look forward to reading the answers to my questions.