Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 42

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 Homepage 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 42

 

I got creative in the kitchen, yesterday. It has been a while. I made brown rice and added fresh mushrooms, green onion, and leftover roast beef in it. I used hoisin sauce. It was in the cupboard, so I used it. It made supper for 2 last night, and my lunch today. I have a little roast beef and green onion left for my roast beef special sandwich for lunch tomorrow. I really love roast beef, green onion, tomato, mayo and A1 sauce done up like a roast beef salad sandwich. My mom named it The Roast Beef Special, and I make it every time I cook a roast beef in the oven.

It has been a busy year for me. I have been working hard on the book, the website, the organizing, the blog, and building my business from the ground up. I have spent hours working on all of these things, but I think I forgot something along the way. Me. My health. I got lazy.

It is so much easier to be lazy and not do the work needed to live a healthier lifestyle. I have lost and gained. I am again scared to weigh myself. I am just not wanting to know the bad news. I am getting back into the practice of making better choices. I have to. My health depends on it.

I have had to work on the insulin levels again. That means I am doing better, when I start having lows it means I am needing to lower the dose. That means my body is responding to the things that I am doing right.

We are on the edge of a food centered holiday. I am not sure how well I will do. On one hand, I can make treats and try to stick to the THM plan. It is a good way to try to plan ahead. There will be times, though when I will not be in control of the meal, and I will have to make the best choices that I can at the time. Other times I will make things that I know will be good choices to have to eat when I can. So I do have a plan. Sort of.

I also need to start making the moonshine again. Yes, you read that right. THM has a recipe for Good Girl Moonshine. GGMS as it is called, has water, apple cider vinegar, and ginger with a sweetener in it. I add Black Cherry Berry Celestial Seasonings tea to mine. I really enjoy drinking it, and it makes you run to release it if you catch my drift. I have learned that I should not drink it during the day while I am at work. I can have it after work and on the weekends, though. I bought a mason jar with a spout just for the GGMS. I think it is time for a test run. I need to start making little changes now so that I will be on track for 2018.

Have you started thinking about New Year’sResolutions yet? I have, and I will get them organized and plan things out better this year. I did a lot in 2017. What do I want to accomplish in 2018? More. I want to take everything I have done in 2017 and do it better in 2018.  It is a place to start, and to build on. That is something I can do, start with little things, and push my limits and go for everything. One thing at a time, then another, and another. I have to start somewhere, and I am not going to wait. The only one that loses out if I keep putting things off is me. And the only thing I want to lose is weight. The time is now.

#TrustYourGut

Getting back on track with everything in one day

I made some resolutions at the start of this year.  I am working at them, at my own pace.  This week I feel like I am falling behind.  We had a lot of snow early last week.  I missed two days of work just digging out from under it.  My husband, who normally does the shoveling, hurt his back, and is still recovering.  So I did it myself.  It was a lot of work, and the reason I missed the second day is because I spent more than 4 hours shoveling, and it exhausted me.

So I rested for 2 days, when I wasn’t shoveling.  Eat; shovel; sleep; repeat; for 2 days.  I didn’t get much done inside the house for those days.  We managed.  We averted the crisis of having no Pepsi in the house for my husband.  It was a close one, though.  He doesn’t enjoy coffee, he likes Pepsi.  I enjoy coffee, and today, I am home without the car, so I can focus on what needs doing inside the house, and drink a lovely bucket of coffee.

I prep cook on the weekends.  It is on my list of things to do.  I need to get at the dishes and laundry.  I want to finish the kitchen and move on to other rooms, but life happens.  Other projects have popped up in the last month, so it was not a productive couple of weeks in my kitchen.

If you are following my blog, you are familiar with the Tish-ism in Bouncing the House.  It is what I do.  I crank the tunes and clean.  This is in my plans for today.  But where do I start?  There is SO much to DO and only ONE DAY.  I am a weekend warrior when it comes to cleaning, and someday, when I am more energetic or have things under control so that I only need a half hour a day in the week for maintenance house cleaning, that won’t be the case.  I will be able to manage it this way at some point, and then I will have the time I need to focus on writing and crafts.  What I WANT to do.

At the start of the year, I decided on three things as my resolutions.  Work on me by living a healthier lifestyle, clean my house, really clean it, top to bottom, and write a book.  I will not begin writing in earnest until the house is done.  I will never get the cleaning done if I jump into writing and get lost in my creativity.  I have a plan, but it takes dedication to stick to it and get it all done.  One thing at a time, one project at a time, and one day at a time.

My creative mind travels in circles, and this can be distracting when I am working on something.  I start loading the dishwasher, and go through the house to collect dishes.  I find empty bottles and cans that also need to be relocated to the kitchen for rinsing and recycling.  I fill the sink with really hot water, dish soap, and dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher.  I wander into the bedroom and find laundry that needs doing.  Get the laundry started.  And realize that the dishwasher door is still open, the dishwasher is still not full and running, and the sink now has cold water with bubbles and dirty dishes in it.

So I add more hot water to the sink of dishes, and finish loading the dishwasher and take a break at my desk for a few minutes, only to realize that I lost track of time and the water in the sink, which was too hot when I sat down, is cold again and the dishwasher is finished and needs to be unloaded and the clothes in the washer need to be put into the dryer and a new load put into the washer but there is a load in the dryer that needs to be folded and put away.  That was a long and busy sentence on purpose.  It is demonstrating how I get in a loop.

Putting things away is a hard thing for me.  I get so far with the cleaning and I just leave it for later which essentially is never and the clean clothes get piled up and the dishes are just used straight from the dishwasher so they pile up again as the dirty dishes can’t go into the dishwasher if there are clean dishes in there and you get the idea.  I go in circles, constantly, if I let myself, and when I do this, the chances of me finishing anything are slim.

What do I do to fix it?  Well, I am stubborn, and that means if I make myself do all the dishes, I can get them done.  If I don’t start ten other things at the same time.  Some of the chores in my list are the kind you start and have to walk away from, so I try to get them going first.  That is also a trap.  I need a break, and I lose three hours.  I have no concept of time at all.  

Turning the music up LOUD helps, as long as I don’t turn it down on a break.  I can’t sit at my desk for too long if the music is loud.  That is another tactic I use.  It works if I don’t just grab the remote and turn the music down so I can spend more time at my desk procrastinating from the things I really should be doing.

Another thing I am going to implement today is a list.  I find crossing things off of my list gives me a small sense of accomplishment, it means I finished that thing on my list.  I make lists whenever I travel, and go over them several times to be certain that I don’t forget anything, and I cross items off as I pack.  I don’t forget things when I have a list made.  So I need to make more lists.  This can take time and be distracting.  I can put too many things down and never get back to the list, because I need to start a new one.  Or I can just spend too much time making the list and get nothing else done.  Not productive at all.

I think today I will be making more than one list.  I also think I need to make lists more frequently until I get things back under control.  After all, that is one of the goals here, to get things under control so I can let myself do the things I want to do.  I will make two, on a small piece of paper.  One for cooking and one for cleaning.    If I just use both sides of a small piece of paper, I can flip it over, and not waste paper that way.  If the list is small; maybe, just maybe, I can finish everything on it.  And that would help to get me going in the right direction again, and help me get back on track.  OK.  Time to make my little lists and get my day going in the right direction!  When I finish them, I have two writing projects that do need my attention.  That will be my reward for getting the chores done, I can then work on some other projects that will make me feel good about working on them, not just to finish them, as I may or may not finish them by the end of the day.  Getting time to work on them, though, will be a reward I can work toward.  Progress is progress, and that is my ultimate goal for today.

to-do-list

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 3

 

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 Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 3.

I love food.  I love to eat.  Sometimes I eat too much.  Other times I eat the wrong things.  I don’t allow myself to participate in guilt about eating.  I have cravings.  I give in to them.  I find if I don’t; I go way overboard when I finally cave.  I can settle for one of each flavour in a bag of candy.  It’s better than having the whole bag.

I don’t always make poor food choices.  I don’t always eat until I feel sick from over eating.  I don’t always have more than one helping.

I do associate food with feelings.  I think chocolate tastes like happiness.  Most sweets do to me.  Dessert used to make my day.  I have started to tackle that problem.  I am addicted to sugar, and it is bad for me.  Sugar is a diabetic’s kryptonite, only you want it, unlike Superman, he fights to stay away from it.  Even Superman needs help with his kryptonite sometimes.  It’s not an addiction for Superman, but like me and sugar, it is better to keep far away from it, at all costs.

When I was growing up, there could never be enough Kool-Aid in my water.  If it was so thick I had to chew it, that was how I wanted it.  Currently, I have actually started reacting to things being too sweet.  It was nothing I had experienced before, until recently, in the last two or three years.  Age has to be a factor in this.  Certainly my change in eating habits has also contributed to  this foreign concept.  Not allowing as much sugar in my diet has increased my sensitivity, I think.  Similar to the non-smokers reacting to the smell of cigarettes.  A scent-free environment really highlights any scent that enters into it, and this might be what is starting to happen to me, with sugar.

I am not on the aspartame train.  I have found that I feel better when I cut it out of my life.  I am trying other sweeteners, I am using stevia, and erythritol which is also known as Swerve.  It comes in granular and powdered forms, and I have started to figure out how to use it in food and drinks.  Swerve does leave a cool feeling on the tongue, but doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste.  I used to drink a lot of pop.  Now I can go days without it, and try to only have it as a treat.  I didn’t like Zevia, a pop made with stevia, the first, second, or even third time I tried it.  But I kept trying it, and now I enjoy it.  It has to be really cold, and then it is good.  I haven’t gotten to the stage where I choose water over other beverages yet.  I am working on that, too.

The Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan I follow most of the time has me trying new things a lot.  I like every recipe I have tried, and that is a big bonus.  I fall short on a night like tonight, when I worked all day, and then came home to what the snowplow left in my driveway.  The heavier snow that clumps all together at the end of your driveway, where it meets the road?  Yeah, a foot of snow blocking me from parking in my driveway.  My husband has hurt himself shoveling earlier in the week.  80 cm of snow (that is 2.62 feet) in one storm was a little too much for us to tackle.  The storms of this week are being called Snowmageddon.  We went at it together, taking turns with the one shovel, working our way from the step to the shed where the other shovels were. I got the dustpan out to putter with between turns.  He pushed himself, and now he is starting to recover, as this was a few days ago.  We got a guy with a tractor/snowblower rig to widen the driveway so I could dig the car out and move it.  I was not going to be done before spring; otherwise. It stormed again last night, and I was up and at em this morning, and got myself shoveled out and drove myself to work.  Then I came home.  Ugh.  I mean, yay,  exercise.  I spent an hour and fifteen minutes pushing and pulling the snow out of my driveway.  Ten minutes for swearing, and another ten talking myself out of crying in a heap.

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My back is not a happy camper, either.  But I pushed through…the snow, the anger and the agony of it all…and came in for supper and a beer.  I am going to have another drink too.  I worked hard moving around a lot of freaking snow this week.  My back is not amused, but I have not hurt it.  I went to Zumba last night, and upped my activity levels for the week big time, up and over the top of all those snow mountains in my yard.  So when I was being asked if I wanted him to make homemade pizza for supper,  I told him to make it.  Is it on plan? No.  Did I stay on plan by eating everything but the crust?  Not a chance.  Sometimes you have to make the easier choice, because it makes more sense.  I was on plan for the rest of the day, so this was not going to ruin everything.

One thing I learned with THM is that you don’t have to wait until Monday to start over.  You don’t even have to wait until tomorrow.  In 3 hours, you can be back on plan, working on your goals again.  I like that.  It works for me.  When I see that I am not making progress, I know what I did that was not on plan, but I don’t beat myself up over it.  I just start again, and every time I do this, I work a little bit harder to stay on plan.  Eventually I will be able to say no to more things that are off plan, and yes to more things that are on plan.  Little by little, I am making progress.  Some day all of those little things are going to really add up.  So I keep working on me, and I let myself be human and take the easy meal sometimes.  The important thing is for me to not take it every time.

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I am 5’2 3/4″ tall.  That snow bank is indeed taller than I am.  Let’s hope there is no more snow on the way any time soon!

His and Hers Weekend Projects

We are both home this weekend.  He works one in three weekends, and this is his favourite, the three-day weekend.  He has been off since Friday.  I have every weekend off, and rarely go in for overtime on the weekend unless there is a need for extra cash or to make up for missed time.

I am on a mission this year to clean my house, so I can be guilt free when I settle in to write my book, and work on various craft projects.  So I am working on a cleaning challenge, and an organizing challenge.  I also have a plan for maintenance cleaning after the main cleaning is done.  They say it goes quicker every year, and this is the year I plan to finish it.

I am not a hoarder (except when it comes to craft supplies; I am dreading the necessary purge of them), and I know how to clean.  Laziness is my issue.  Combine that with a poor sense of time management and a healthy dose of procrastination, and you get the mess my house is in.  It is lived in, I can find what I need almost every time I need something, and I do enough to get by.  I don’t feel comfortable with guests seeing the disaster zone.  So I have taken it upon myself to get this place clean and tidy before I dive into my next creative projects.

I also go in circles, and am finding this is creeping into the cleaning and organizing schedule.  Yesterday I just could not bring myself to continue the projects started on Friday after work.  I am procrastinating the dreaded craft supply purge, even though I have decided that I will donate the items to the annual Relay For Life Yard Sale in support of my team from work in their fund-raising.  I will be joining the team again this year.  I am moving my craft supplies into my bedroom, out of the guest room.  I have the cutest shelf that I bought for this project.  Last weekend we got it assembled.  Friday the old mattress was removed from the master bedroom, so we could get the new shelving unit in place.  I bought plastic bins for it, and it really is pretty to look at.  Now I am over thinking how to organize it.  So I have stopped that project.

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He went to work on the man cave yesterday.  He put his new bookshelf in place Friday night, but needed bolts to complete his project.  Yesterday he went out to get what he needed, and today the man cave looks a lot more organized and there is room to move in there.  We can even sit on the fold down couch that doubles as a guest bed to watch movies in there if we want to.  It hasn’t been cleaned the way I intend to clean in my challenges, but one thing at a time.  I do not plan to clean it for him.  He will have to do that room himself.  I will make sure he knows what needs to be done for spring cleaning in there, and leave it to him.

Yesterday I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this weekend.  He was going to putter in the man cave.  I was OK with that.  This morning, we are taking a bit of time to relax before diving back into the weekend projects.  I asked him what his plans were for today.  As expected, he wants to rearrange furniture for the new fish tank we bought a couple of weeks ago.  The next question was to define my role in his project.  I have been drafted to help lift and move furniture around.  That is fair.  So I am left to figure out what I am going to tackle today, when I am not moving the sofa and chair.

This is the progress in the man cave so far:

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The bookcase on the right, and the shelf between the two bookcases that the TV is on are new.  We both have a long way to go in finishing our projects, but progress is progress.

Last night I started cleaning and organizing around my desk.  I wanted to just watch TV, and needed to feel like I was being productive.  So I started.  My office is in the living room, and I need to work on purging paper, and cleaning and organizing the desk and office corner.  All areas of the house need this, so I am not wrong to find something that I can do from my desk.  However, it is not getting the kitchen or the craft supply project finished, either.

This is where my creative mind needs to be put on the back burner for a bit.  I NEED to finish in the kitchen.  It is the first project in my larger,  more in-depth challenge.  I am also going to have to delegate some chores for my husband, or I will never get to write my books.  He is going to get the list for the living room.  He will be exempted from my office area, as I am not going to tackle the man cave.  So he will get the responsibility of 3/4 of the living room.  He doesn’t mind some chores, so if I pick the ones I don’t feel like I need to be in charge of myself, he is fine with pulling his weight in maintaining the household.  Thank goodness!  We both work outside of the home, so we need to team up to tackle things around here.  Sometimes we growl at each other if we are in each other’s way while working on the same tasks, so we work better alone for some chores.  Depending on what it is.  I am fine helping move furniture around.  He is fine pitching in when I need help.  We do work well together, and can count on each other to get things done.

I am going to head back into the kitchen today.  I really need to be puttering at it all week.  I sent out a message that I may be needing help next weekend, as I grew up with sisters, and I am  used to sharing the workload.  My husband was an only child, and he is fine going at his own pace on chores by himself.  He will be working next weekend.  I don’t expect my friends to clean my messy house for me, not at all.  An extra pair of hands is appreciated, but even more importantly, someone to chat with while I work, and help keep me from wandering off to procrastinate is what I really need.  Sometimes, the music isn’t enough.  When I feel like I am OK having a friend over, even if they bring their own craft project to work on while I am cleaning; it helps me stay on track. It also keeps me from starting ten projects at once; as I wander through the house.  Yes, I find a way to go in circles, even though I live in a mini home.  It is how my brain is wired.

I think I Zumba-(ed) too hard

i-think-i-zumba-ed-too-hard

Here is another Tish-ism for you.  In my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, I have added in two Zumba classes a week.  I do my best to be there, barring migraines and having to stay late at work once in a blue moon, I go.  Living in Canada, sometimes weather is an issue.  I am working on getting more active besides my Zumba classes, but for now, it’s my main activity every week.  Winter + Ice = Tish is scared to fall down.  So outdoor activities are not a thing for me in the winter, without the proper equipment.

I had a good amount of positive energy today,  and feel like my pedometer lied when it read 3700 steps.  It felt like a million tonight, at least.  I was in the Zumba Zone, and was literally working my butt off.  I know what that means.  When I go back to class Wednesday, I will be moving a little slower, and maybe in a little pain.  The good kind.  The kind of pain that is caused from exercise that was done correctly.  It also  means I worked out my muscles, and that I wasn’t just going through the motions.

At the end of a class, when I feel like this, the first thing that comes to mind is that I Zumba-(ed) too hard.

I don’t like pain.  I don’t deal with it very well.  Lately I have successfully convinced myself that there is a right kind of pain, and a wrong kind.  The right kind means that your muscles worked out and did what they were supposed to do.  That is why it is good, it was productive, no matter how bad it hurts.  It is neither throbbing, nor a high amount of pain.  The bad kind is counter productive.  If you rip or pull a muscle, it hurts a lot.  I pulled a ligament in one of my legs in elementary school.  I was mid-stride and went from running to limping and crying.  I had to wrap it and got a few days off from school.  I still remember how much it hurt when it happened.  I do not recommend trying this, ever.

No matter what is going on, I have come to enjoy going to Zumba.  I love dancing.  Sometimes it is not the same as what everyone else is doing, but I am still being active, no matter what I have to improvise.  That is important.

So when I was in the middle of class today, I really felt like I was completely in my Zumba Zone, and I went for it.  There are going to be days that I am not feeling up to giving 120% to the Zumba class.  Today was not one of those days.  I felt strong.  When things work for me, I am all in.  I left feeling like I had worked out today.  That is a big deal.  I am not an athletic type of person.  I do enjoy swimming, and dancing.  Biking is OK, but I haven’t had a bike for years. It’s the same for skating, I used to skate, but haven’t for years.  I walk, and I am starting to pick up my pace again when I have errands to run in the mall where I work, or even just for moving to the break room.  I sometimes feel my heart rate picking up, and even am short of breath when I push myself.

What am I getting at?  Well, there are days when you feel good and strong, and on those days like today, it is a good plan to push yourself a little bit harder.  If you do this, on the days you don’t feel up to the 120% and you aren’t in YOUR Zumba Zone, well, on those days 75% is OK.  You are doing the best you can.  For me it’s all about how I am feeling, and I know my limits.  I don’t think I am to the point I was about six months ago when I could feel my abdominal muscles the next day, but I am on my way back.  By the time the weather changes from winter to spring, I plan to be increasing my activity level.  When I am ready.  And when there is no more ice out there.  Until then, I’ll keep going to Zumba, I don’t have any plans to stop for a long time to come.

 

 

 

It is OK to celebrate small victories

fireworks

I have made some progress in my kitchen and in my health.  These are things that are important to me right now.  I am getting my environment ready to write a book.  I am preparing myself to be healthier when I write.  So tonight I plan to sit back with a nice glass of wine for a mini celebration of my progress.

The trick is to keep going.  A small celebration is OK, but it doesn’t mean I am done working on my projects.  Far from it.  The old me would have stopped, because I got something accomplished.  The new me that wants a more productive life, wants to finish it all. So I am taking a break.  Having a treat, and then getting some prep work done for lunches this week.

It looked like I missed throwing out expired bottles of salad dressing and the like last year.  That makes sense, as a year ago I was under medical restrictions concerning movement.  I was fighting a knee infection, and not able to move around as much as I like to. It was a scary experience, being told to stay as still as possible to prevent spreading the infection, and it was hard to comply.  Yet here I am, working on a deep cleaning project of my house, a year later.

I am back to normal (as close as I get, anyway) and focused.  My end goal is a book.  Then another.  It will take three to write a trilogy.  However, if I didn’t start with my cleaning projects first, they may never get done.  That’s not OK.  I have to be healthy to be productive, inside and out.  So I am not procrastinating about writing, not at all.  I am being realistic.  If I don’t make myself do this first, it won’t get done.  I know myself.  I will get sucked in to my imagination, and not come up for air for days.  Maybe weeks or even months.  The point is, I am doing it.  Working on my home, and working on making myself healthier also.

It is hard to sit at my desk, and not work on the immediate area.  I am creative, and would rather make a mess than clean it up.  I have to focus on the kitchen now, and another project will be my living room/office cleaning.  As my husband and I generally do work on the living room together, I will have help in that room.  Which is good.  I am not living here by myself.  I sent my husband out for groceries while I got ready to tackle the fridge.  I wish I could say I was ready when he got home, but I was in the middle of it.  So he put the freezer things away, and helped a little here and there.  He made me a kaiser roll with ham and swiss.  A regular roll is not on my plan, but sometimes if someone offers to make you something to eat, you have what is offered.

Another reason I do not want to start working on the living room/office right now is that I won’t finish either room.  I get distracted easily, and if I am working on multiple projects simultaneously, chances are one won’t be completed, maybe more than one.  So I have my reasons for working on things in order.  Once the whole house is clean, then I will begin a maintenance routine, something quick and efficient.

In terms of my health, the scale was nice this morning.  I am working harder to stay on plan, so I can start losing weight.  It is so much easier to be lazy about everything.  Last year I decided that what I was doing then was not working, and I decided it was  time to make some changes.  Trim Healthy Mama was in an ad on facebook one day, and I thought it was worth a shot.  I am still working on it, and have lost weight.  If I stick to it, it works, and I do try.  This year I am trying harder, and this will show me more results.

My snack for my celebration will include cheese, turkey pepperoni, some pickles, and that glass of wine.  I have a bottle that has been open a little too long, so I am going to have a glass from it.  Then I will have to go back to the kitchen.  I am not going to finish tonight.  I am going to finish up some dishes, and find some order in the chaos that happens when I clean.  Things move to where they are not in the way until I find a place to put them to stay.  And when I go to bed tonight, I will have a restful sleep after such a productive day.

As long as I continue working on my projects, I can have little celebrations along the way.  And chocolate.  85% cocoa chocolate IS on plan, and something I am also happy about!  Celebrate the little successes along the way, and keep going.  Whatever you are working on, do it.  It will be a giant snowball of positivity when you finish, and when you are on a roll, it’s easier to keep going than to stop.

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I wish I had gherkin pickles.  Oh well, another grocery run in 2 weeks will fix that for me!

I made my husband look at the completed fridge.  Hearing him say, “Nice!” as he looked at the way I have organized our food was validation.  I did a good job.

A Kind Word Goes A Long Way

Give yourself a little Grace

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Copyright ©2017 Tish MacWebber

All rights reserved

Grace has its place

in my everyday life

I need it because

it grants a respite

If you allow

yourself some grace

it lets you be human

in the daily race

for perfection

The unobtainable goal

can taint you

deep inside your soul

By letting a little

grace in your life

It removes the guilt

that causes you strife

Stop looking up

at the bar over your head

Grab on and pull

look over the top instead

Take that dose of reality

and swallow it down

Learn how to float

rather than drown

Take a break; catch your breath

it will  be okay

Don’t worry yourself to death

tomorrow is a new day.

 

Donation Day

After purging my closet a little over a month ago, I had a destination in mind for the clothes that would no longer take up space in my wardrobe.  It is a result of a furniture rearrangement project in the master bedroom.  The clothes were way out of control.  When you don’t like to put things away, they pile up, and one of two things happens.  You give up and live in a place that looks like several bombs went off, or you get fed up and do something about it.  So, during the first full week of December, my husband and I tackled the master bedroom.

Several months ago, he came home one night to find that the project was started without him.  Then I did my thing, and worked on other stuff for a while.  Until I couldn’t stand it any longer.  He had been after me to put the clothes away, and I decided it would be the perfect time to purge them.  We worked together on the furniture rearrangement.  By the time I had sorted the keep pile and was ready to get them all put away, it was heading for 3 AM.  He came to the rescue and helped me finish.  Sometimes he reminds of why I fell in love with him.  He is a keeper.  My 3 AM hero.

Fast forward to today.  I had made a point of keeping the clothing for a donation.  I have a friend that re-purposes clothing into other useful, beautiful things.  Like messenger bags.  It is a source of income for her family, and being a creative person myself, I wanted to give the two and a half bags of clothing to her.  She may find some gems to wear, and that is OK too, although most of my clothing would be the wrong size.

We had decided to go to a movie tonight.  We have seen a few movies together over the years, it is something we both enjoy.  After we delivered 50% of the clothing I used to have in my closet and in piles around the bedroom, it felt good.  There was a little twinge when I saw them one last time, but I’m never going to fit into the black and white polka dot dress I got for my sweet sixteenth birthday again.  So I passed it on, and decided a movie on cheap night was a fitting reward.

Since we had planned ahead, he made supper so we wouldn’t have to eat out.  We made the donation delivery, then rushed home to eat.  I puttered around for a couple of minutes getting ready and he went out to start the car.  That is when irony decided to rear its ugly head.  I got my coat, turned off the lights, locked the door, climbed into the car and that is when it happened.  Another pair of jeans died tonight.  On the left inside thigh, not a little hole, they are no longer fit to be worn in public.

So I sat in the car long enough to realize that I had to go change my pants.  After that fiasco, we went to the movie.  We missed the first of the trailers, but still had time to enjoy the show. (We both enjoyed Rogue 1).   Now we are home again, and I have to start a new donation pile.  Oh, the irony.

Something else came to mind in light of this unfortunate event.  A person with a thigh gap never has this problem, and I am a little jealous of that.  I am overweight, and even when I was not, this thigh gap phenomenon has never been something I have experienced.  Year after year I wear through the inner thighs of my pants.  Mostly jeans, because I love a comfy pair of jeans.  Until I walk my way through them.  It’s not like a seam tear that can be fixed.  The fabric actually wears down to the point where it is almost see through, and then they blow out.  It’s not even a size issue, because they fit comfortably, it is just where they are worn out from being a favourite pair of jeans.

As hard as it was to give away the treasured pieces of my wardrobe by choice, another pair of jeans going down was far more traumatic.  There are times when I notice the fabric is starting to look worn, and I can prepare myself for the inevitable tragedy.  Today was not one of those days.  At least it happened at home, in my driveway, and a change of pants was not a big deal. It could have been worse.  What is the silver lining here?  I have to go shopping for new jeans.  I guess it is time for a new pair.  Time to start looking for a good sale.  One or two pairs of new jeans would be a treat too.

 

 

Prep Cooking for Two

That is a picture of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole.  It is one of my favourite Trim Healthy Mama recipes.  Last year I stumbled across this plan, and thought I’d give it a whirl.  I can say it works, as long as you work at it.  I have been bouncing between fifteen and twenty pounds lost in the last year.  From playing with it.  I am never 100% on plan.  But I have made some changes, and feel better when I try hard.  So this is one of the reasons I am working harder at it this year.

I need to plan ahead for grocery shopping and cooking meals to stay on track.  I have started prep cooking on weekends.  Prep cooking for two doesn’t have to be complicated, unless the other person doesn’t want to eat what you have made.  At first, I was disappointed with my husband for not wanting to do this with me.  I had to take a step back, and think about how to progress with it,  and keep us both happy.

There was a point when I realized that I was merely existing and not really living my life to its fullest potential.  I came to that conclusion for myself, about myself.  Not for him.  So he will have to deal with his choices, like I am dealing with mine.  I am choosing to try harder.  Which means sometimes I cook his and hers lasagna.  Other times we make spaghetti sauce and he makes pasta, while I have spaghetti squash with mine.  Sometimes we eat the same thing.  Sometimes I eat things that are not on plan, with him.  Other times I make what I want and he has to feed himself.  We manage.

Adapting the grocery list and budget for this was challenging.  We use coupons when we have them.  We circle what we want in the flyers before making our grocery list.  And when I am on top of things, I pick a couple of recipes and add missing ingredients to my grocery list.  That is work too.  Not hard work, but it is time consuming.  So it helps to have a time set aside for this.  We like to go get the groceries together.  One reason is that we are on a budget, and if I go alone, a sale could cause me to “forget” the budget.  He keeps me within the guidelines of the budget.  Also, it is good to have help getting it all in the house and put away.

Storage is another issue we have.  Living in a mini home, we have to maximize the space we have.  That is an ongoing struggle.  It is part of the reason I am involved with the cleaning and organizational challenges.  There would be more prep cooking done if I had the space and money for more storage containers.  Also time.  I would love to cook all weekend, but then, there is the cleanup.  So that slows me down sometimes.

I have learned that one or two casseroles a week gives me enough food for lunches all week, and for some suppers.  Which is reasonable.  Until he doesn’t want anything I made.  Which on the wrong day makes me angry.  But I am learning to let that go, it’s not me he doesn’t want, it’s the food I made.  Which by the way, is really tasty, the recipes rock!  He just misses potatoes and veggies and meat.  Together.  I do eat sweet potatoes more than white potatoes, now.  Sometimes we bake some of each.  He turns his nose up at spinach.  That’s why I make his and hers lasagna.  He eats traditional, and I eat Lazy Lasagna, which does have spinach and no noodles.  I have been teaching him to cook some things, so if he decides he wants something different, he has choices.

Ideally, there would be a way to cook enough for a whole month at a time, have containers to keep it in the freezer, and have him join me on this journey.  Reality is that he doesn’t like spinach.  So, in this like other aspects of our marriage, we choose to compromise.  Sometimes that is the only answer, until he realizes I am right.  Which he will, eventually, I have no doubt.  Seeing is believing, and we will be seeing results this year.  I plan on working hard at all of my goals for 2017.

 

My coffee is cold. Time to get a straw. Better make it a bendy one.

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Coffee in a pretty yellow cup and saucer.

I have been taking care of a friend’s coffee mug for about three years now.  She has moved out of the country for work.  So I have a few of her things in storage, some of them I have promised to use carefully, and one of them is an extra large coffee mug.  It holds more than 20 oz of coffee.  When I enjoy my coffee out of this mug, I tell people I am having a bucket of coffee.  It really is that big, much bigger than the pretty yellow one in the picture.

I am not the type of person that has to have the coffee piping hot to enjoy a cup.  I like it warm, not too hot, but with some heat left in it is optimal.  So when it gets cold, I have two choices.  Reheat it in the microwave and wait for it to be at that perfect temperature again, or go get a straw.  Today, I choose the straw.

I know, some people that read this will shudder, and think that cold coffee is disgusting.  When I drink coffee, I don’t put anything in it, I drink it black.  I used to dress it up, but I decided to go cold turkey a few years ago, and I convinced myself I would learn to like it.  I now enjoy it this way.

I have tried bulletproof coffee.  Who comes up with this stuff?  Maybe I just don’t know how to make it right, but I did not enjoy my only attempt at this creation.  I will stick to taking my coffee black and sometimes flavoured.  Some of the flavoured coffees work for me, and some don’t.  I like a good variety, and when I decide to splurge on K-cups, I try new flavours whenever I can.

I was talking to someone the other day, and he said I should drink Ethiopian coffee.  He said it will keep me up for nine days; and that I will save money because I won’t be running to Timmy’s all the time.  I live in Canada, Timmy’s is a reference to Tim Hortons Coffee and Donut restaurants.  When I was a child, I thought it was Important Donuts. They are the main Canadian preference for coffee shops, and a place a lot of people like to spend time, cafe style.  If you ask your friends if they want a Timmy’s, you usually get replies that include a double-double in them somewhere.  Now, I’m all for a good cup of coffee, but to me, being awake for 9 days sounds a little extreme.

Why the bendy straw?  Well, the bucket is fairly tall.  I like options, and bendy straws are more fun.  Why not?  I am sitting here getting ready for New Year’s Eve in my mind.  I have a lot on my to-do list for today.  I am invited to a house party, and it is a potluck.  My husband and I have gone to this party for several years now when the weather cooperated.  The forecast is good for tonight, so we plan to attend.  He will be working until I pick him up on my way to the party.  With a big list of things to do and only me here to do them, as much as I would have liked to drink a cup of coffee at that perfect temperature, it wasn’t in the cards today.  So a bendy straw it is.

I am feeling a little nostalgic today.  2016 was a difficult year in many ways.  A lot has happened.  I lost some weight, so that is something I would like to continue in 2017.  Living a healthier lifestyle is one of my resolutions this year.  It will be something I blog about, because it is important to me, and I want to share my successes.  Maybe it will help another person in their struggle, and it will do some good. I started this blogging adventure in November and decided that I need to write those books I have wanted to write my whole life.  So that is going to happen.  Writing the Fantasy Trilogy is another resolution.  I hope that the music world stops in to read my lyrics.  I dream of a collaboration with musicians to make my songs audible for the world, not just to be poetry in a blog.  I have had the pleasure of making new friends online through this project, and I am grateful for those who took the time to help me get this blog from an idea to a reality.  I thought I was only going to make the two resolutions for 2017, but something joined the ranks in the last 24 hours.  I have attempted to complete home cleaning and organization challenges for the last 2 years.  Last night I signed up again, and I am not committing to finishing it in 16 weeks, but I am committing to finishing it this year.  I joined two last year, as one is more for in-depth cleaning (16 weeks) and the other one is for quick organizing (31 days) so I will be working on both challenges in 2017.  My final resolution is to finish them within the year.

Well, I am now making that annoying noise through the bendy straw.  I have finished my coffee.  Time to walk away from the desk for a while, crank the tunes, and tackle my to do list.  However you ring in 2017, I wish you well and hope you accomplish what you need to do in 2017.  Happy New Year!