Thursday, January 14, 2010
I spent most of yesterday looking at two senior living communities near me, trying to find a place for my mother.
The first place was 25 min. away and sort of like an apartment building with elevators. I spoke with two of the residents there and they told me about some of the activities provided. I was pleased.
But the 2nd place I visited is the Jewel in the Crown! A beautiful place with 1-story duplex apartments spread out over beautifully landscaped gated grounds. They have a pool, hot tub, exercise room, library, computer room, communal dining room and really lovely apartments.
I'm ready to move in myself, but I'm not old enough, lol. I met some of the ladies who live there and they are a bunch of spunky, active, fun-loving oldsters. All really great. They have Bingo night and Bible Study morning. Social lunches twice a week and pot-luck suppers often. They provide 4 rides a month to Wal-Mart or HEB - our largest grocery store. There is a program so she can get 6 cab rides a month, or 3 round trip cab rides a month, free.
So now I must learn to wade through the web of State and Federal laws, rules and regs. My mother gets housing assistance and I have to speak with them. Help her meet some requirements to be able to live in this place.
Lots of work ahead, but I'm pretty amazed at the wonderful Senior communities available out there, no matter what your income. It makes the thought of getting really old much more fun!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I'm not a person who likes breakfast. I don't really care for most "breakfast foods" either. Like everyone else, I've read and listened to much advice from everywhere that says we SHOULD definitely eat breakfast.
Still, it always seemed to me to be rather silly to make myself eat when I'm not hungry as there are very few times in my day when I DON"T want food, lol.
Recently, I found some information that makes the case for breakfast so much more than anything I've heard before. I'm convinced.
This is a link to a short video from Dr. Oz, who consistently makes more sense than all the other "celebrity" health gurus I've heard. In it he talks about the GHRELIN HORMONE, how and when it is produced in our body and what it does in reference to hunger and certain fat storage, especially BELLY FAT.
This link is a more detailed scientific article on the same subject. These two links give you a pretty good idea of what your body does when it wakes up in the morning and how it affects your health and weight.
My breakfast of choice is Yoplait Lite Yogurt with 2 tablespoons of cold-milled ground flaxseed. I now know it's important for my body to do it's work during the day.
I hope this re-enforces your habit of eating breakfast, if you have one, or motivates you to eat breakfast from now on, if you haven't been.
Our body is so intricate and works so hard to function they way it is meant to. It asks very little from us, really, considering all it does for us, even through decades of neglect. The least we can do is help it out as much as we can. The reward is pretty awesome.
Friday, January 08, 2010
I really can eat less.
This first week was important to me because of a challenge I started on my Over 60's team. So I kept that challenge in mind constantly all week. All I have to do is lose. Not any certain amount, just lose something. To stay in the challenge, I have to do that every week! (Or at least stay the same.)
With this in mind, I had lots of realizations. First I realized that I haven't been very serious about actually losing weight since I got to Spark People. I didn't have that much to lose and I had some real issues with pain, so I didn't focus much on LOSING.
I also realized that I CAN be happy with less of the food I like. To achieve that end, I've been sure to buy everything in the smallest packages I can find. Single servings. I also divided everything I cooked into single servings.
I eat more slowly and focus on the eating and the enjoyment of it. This really makes a difference.
I have also made "presentation" important in my meals and try to serve myself as if I were serving a dinner guest. (Thank you, Marianna!)
I found a new dessert. SUGAR FREE GUM! I pop some in my mouth as soon as I'm done with my healthy portion of food! This has become a signal to me that I'M DONE EATING and there's no need to even give food another thought. I really think this is going to be a very important habit for me.
I try to make my last meal of the day a little higher in protein and without any white carbs. Those carbs my body really reacts to by wanting more, more, more. (Pasta, Potatoes, Hot Bread, Sugar, White Rice) If I eat any of those foods, I do it at lunch.
I have stopped thinking of eating out as a "time out" from healthy eating. I have a friend who has stayed at the same low weight for over 20 years and as I observe her eating out, I notice she chooses the same lower calorie, healthier meals at a restaurant as I do at home.
Mostly, I've made the connection that I'm not losing a few pounds so I can once again eat all I want. I'm losing a few pounds so I can be healthier, move better, look better, FEEL BETTER.
It's a full time job. And very rewarding when I accomplish it for an entire week.
When I eat healthy meals every time, my body feels so good. I don't need the calorie count or carb or fat or sugar count to know I've done well. My body tells me. And my body doesn't lie or fudge a little on the totals, lol. My body knows what I eat and it reflects what I eat. Can't get around it.
So this week, I feel great because my body feels great!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My first project for the new year is to find a place nearby for my Mother to live. She's about 3 hours from me now and there's no straight route to get there. It's one of those places that you can't get to from here - you have to go somewhere else first, lol.
She's a very independent soul and can't/won't live with anyone. In fact, she has never been able to live with anyone, not even my father who died long ago. Not even me as a child, really.
So she's been living alone all her life, although always very near her sisters and her brother. She was one of ten children and there are only 3 sisters left and one of them is far away in Oregon.
She's 87 and her health has always been good but there are limits once you pass 80. Things that have always been good become a problem, so now she has some diabetes, some high blood pressure, some high cholesterol, etc. etc. The biggest problem is macular degeneration which has left her legally blind. She sees the tv, mostly in black and white, and she can see far away so she can take a walk and go shopping, but the close up view is pretty much gone.
This makes it hard for her, impossible really, to read her mail and write her checks, and the 101 little things we do each day within an arms reach.
So I want to move her here close to me and my oldest son. I'm going to be researching and looking for a community like the one she is in now. She lives in a place run by Volunteers of America. It looks like a large sprawling motel with many units. She has a nice living room, kitchen/dining area, a large bedroom and bathroom. There are emergency pulls in all the rooms. It's not assisted living, you have to be over 65 and live independently to be eligible for housing there, but there is someone on duty at the little community center they have and there is a maintenance man that does all the little odd jobs for them. Rent is based on income and most of the people there live on their social security so rent is pretty low.
If you are looking for a place for your parent(s), Volunteers of America seems to have their act together. They have many potluck dinners and ice cream suppers at the community center and she goes to more Christmas parties than all the rest of us put together.
The best part for her is everyone there is over 65 and home all day. In other neighborhoods people work and there are no neighbors at home, but here she has many friends to talk to all the time. The first time I visited her there I said I couldn't wait until I was old enough to live there, lol. It's a fun place for old age to carry on.
But Volunteers of America doesn't have any communities near me, so I'll be investigating what other ones I can find. Once I've found a good one and put her on the waiting list, my son will help me figure out how to get her to decide she needs to move closer to us. It has to be her idea, you know, or she'll be against it on general principles, lol.
Mothers are always right, you know.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I was reading an article on CNN about healthcare, which everyone in America knows is a big issue in our government right now. But the article pointed out that the bottom line here is that we have very unhealthy habits.
As I thought about that, I realized how true it is. We overeat more often than not. We eat tons of sweets and foods high in fat. We don't move our body much. And on and on.
We do eventually get concerned about how we look, but it often takes a major health crisis or frightening warning from our doctor to think about what we're doing to the inside of our bodies.
THIS YEAR, I'm really going to try to focus on my entire body. When I put food in my mouth, it's going to be received by various organs and tissues and fluids in my body. Is it going to be premium fuel? Or is it going to be like putting sugar in the gas tank? I think a lot of sugar in the body has about the same effect. What about colas? They're good for cleaning battery acid, lol. What does that tell you?
We all want a major overhaul and we want it now. When really, it's not the overhaul but the LONG haul we should be thinking about. Our body is one whole entity and everything in it is affected by everything else.
My body tries to let me know when I eat the right thing. It feels so great! It also tries to let me know when what I've eaten has been pretty hard to handle. It complains. And when it complains, I complain right back, instead of seeing it as a tender warning that my body and I are not working together well. And who's fault is THAT?
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