Monday, September 29, 2014
Today, I polished the furniture, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, vacuumed the carpet, cleaned the non carpet floor areas and washed/changed the sheets on our bed. Later, I went to the grocery store. (Actually two different stores.) I was so proud of myself because I used coupons and took advantage of store specials to the tune of saving $30! I must admit that I am super tired but the refrigerator is full of healthy food, the house is clean and everything smells fresh. It was a productive day!
Saturday, September 27, 2014
As many of you may already know, I am coming off a long illness which required at least two months of steroids. Since I am also hypothyroid, the steroids really do a number on my weight and metabolism. I have been alternately stressed out and depressed by the number on the scale and my cravings for all things that are carbohydrates. Sigh, one of the listed side effects of steroids is weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels, which includes carb cravings. " What can you do when things are out of your control?" I ask myself repeatedly.
Today, I decided that changing my own perception of what success is, was in order. Is success purely hinged upon the number on the scale? Only partly! Is success the ability to continue to eat healthy despite outside factors? Yes! Is success determined by consistently being as active as physically possible? Yes! Is success measured by how I feel physically? Partly, when not associated with illness. Is success measured by how I feel about my own success? It should be, if I am reasonable and not looking for perfection. Ouch, I can feel the pinch on that one. Okay, rather than putting the focus on the number on the scale, on my carb cravings and what I can't control, let's look at some positives.
Despite the increasing climb on the scale over the past few weeks, I experienced a drop of two pounds this week. A positive
I have paced myself to control pain. A positive
I have started back to water exercise after an eight week hiatus. A positive
I have followed my doctor's instructions even when my impulse is to push harder. A positive
I have rested after exercise even when I didn't want to, and listened to my body. A positive
I have eaten for nutrition, mainly, and not beaten myself up too badly when I slipped. A positive
I have worn clothing that is figure flattering so I like my appearance despite some weight gain. A positive
I have kept track of what I have put into my body regardless of what the item was. A positive
I have kept active on Spark People. A positive
I have allowed myself to vent my frustration over my illness in a healthy way. A positive
I have made an effort to accept help with household chores from hubby, rather than trying to do everything myself. A positive
I have allowed myself to be less than perfect, even though at times it was frustrating. A positive
I have found ways, outside of water exercise, to stay active and get some exercise. A positive
I have adjusted my thinking about what constitutes success. A big positive
I am pleased with the way I have handled what could have been a disastrous situation and turned it to my own advantage. A big positive
I believe that if I practice a healthy lifestyle, for life, I will become more healthy. Believing in the program will yield results eventually if I stay the course. A big positive
I have looked back at the changes I have made and realize that I am better off now than I used to be. A big positive
I have changed the way I handled frustration and depression at my situation to be more appropriate. A big positive
My goodness! There are a lot of positive things listed! Who knew? By changing my own perception of what constitutes success, I have taken the focus off the scale, off the less than perfect, off the negatives and put it back where it belongs. By looking at the big picture, I can see that my plan isn't just about weight but about my total physical and mental health. I can now see that am successful. Yes, I have hit some bumps in the road on my journey. They have made me grow and change in a positive fashion. They have forced me to look at success in a different, more healthy way. Perhaps the bumps in the road serve a purpose too. They make me a stronger person as I continue my journey.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Yesterday, my doctor rechecked my lungs and overall recovery. I am still doing a bit of wheezing but am so much better than I was at the beginning of September. I am only occasionally hoarse now, usually when I talk a lot late in the day or when I am exhausted. The wheezing will hopefully abate within the next few weeks. I still have nine more days of steroids left. Perhaps it will help the wheezing, however after being on them for such a long time, I do not look forward to the process of withdrawal that I am currently starting. It makes breathing is little harder and creates sore muscles and joints. It is temporary but still uncomfortable. I will use my nebulizer machine, warm showers and rest to cope. The fatigue will take time to go away since I have been sick for so long. The doctor said that the fatigue is a side effect of the length of my illness.
The good news is that I am now allowed to return to deep water aerobics three times per week. I will be limited to one hour per session, which is fine with me. I did my first class today. I did very little with the water weights because I am protecting my muscles and joints due to having been out of the water since the end of July and due to steroid withdrawal. I also wore a belt for the same reasons. Surprisingly enough, I was able to keep up the pace with the exception of one of the highly aerobic laps that left me out of breath. I simply slowed down the following laps until I could breath normally again. I took time to do some serious stretching after the class was over followed by a warm shower. I kept hydrated too. When I got home, I had a healthy lunch. After lunch I tried to nap but instead ended up reading. The doctor warned me that my fatigue level may increase initially, which was certainly accurate today. I am pacing myself and paying attention to my body's needs.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I have my follow up appointment this afternoon for a lung check. If I am well enough, we may start pulmonary testing and a possible referral to a specialist. I can't wait until I am well enough to get back to my regular workout routine!
Monday, September 22, 2014
I have mixed feelings today. I have a friend who passed away because she didn't take care of herself, physically, spiritually, emotionally, you name it. Her family was supposedly going to pull her off life support yesterday. Someone was supposed to call us but we haven't heard anything today. It makes me sad just to think about the fact that if she had only paid closer attention to herself, some of her suffering might have been preventable. I said my good byes to her this past week. She wasn't able to communicate with me, but I know that she knew I was there. The first day, I massaged her hands and feet with lotion and she sighed. I talked to her as I did this and caught her up on everything that was going on since the last time I saw her. The second time I just sat with her and held her hand. I could tell by the strength of her grip on my fingers that she knew I was there. When I felt tears coming, I kissed her on the forehead and left. I didn't expect to return but a mutual friend called DH and I on Friday and asked if we would go with him to the hospital, which we did. The staff told us that since we weren't family, we couldn't visit. I felt bad for our friend who had traveled from Tampa to see her. There was apparently some sort of mix up with the staff and the family was upset that we were turned away. If we had gone on Saturday, we would have gotten in to see her. I made peace with the fact that the essence of her is just no longer on this earth. What I am having trouble with, is how much of her illness could have been prevented if she had paid more attention to diet, overall health, exercise and rest.
If nothing else, her illness has made me stop and take stock of my own life and how I am living it. A wake up call to me of sorts, it is her last gift to me, whether she realized it or not. I can get lost in "what ifs" or I can pay closer attention to my own personal choices and make my life better. That is how I choose to honor her; by taking better care of myself, by paying attention. Make your choices count because they affect your future outcome. Take care of business now, don't put it off until some later date.
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