Saturday, February 27, 2010
This morning our local team had a spa day. I wasn't sure what to expect but between the facials, hand and feet massages, heat packs, snacks, relaxation breathing and laughter, we all had a great time. One of our members said she thought she'd go to sleep right on the couch!
Many times we get so busy that we tend to race from thing to thing. Our own needs get put to the bottom of the list. The needs may never see the light of day unless we address them directly with purpose. Spa day was all about relaxing, sharing and feeling good. We had healthy snacks and great conversation. I actually hated for it to be over. So, before we each went on our separate ways, we decided to do it again on May 22. Perhaps we'll have time to enlist a few volunteer professionals to come and participate in our pampering session. The best part was that I didn't even feel guilty for taking a big 3 hour block of time out of my day to pamper and relax and I feel great!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This year I decided that I would give up negative self talk/actions (and replace it with loving myself as I am now) for Lent. I have been working on this concept for about a year and a half now, but I want to ramp it up and work on being more consistent. For those of us who have areas of low self extreme and who have been abused, it seems to be a constant inner struggle. So I'm going to take that struggle and make it my personal project for Lent. Lent is supposed to be all about struggle and this fits in well. For one of my Spark teams, we focused on Loving Yourself as our February Challenge. As I was in the process of doing this challenge, I discovered that although I'm very supportive of others, I'm not as supportive of myself as I could be. I tend to be very self critical and have very high expectations for my own achievement and actions. In short, I'm undermining my own happiness and success by not accepting me as I am now! I should be my own biggest cheerleader and right now, I'm not.
How did this happen? I was doing really well with positive self talk/actions and then I got busy, sick and stressed out. The first things to go were many of the positive self talk/actions habits that I was trying to form. Yes, the very ones that I was in the process of developing. I'm not going to beat myself up over it because that would put me on a downward spiral and be counterproductive. Instead, I'm going to increase my own awareness of what I'm doing to myself. The first thing I need to do is counter every negative thought about myself with a positive thought about myself. Example: I fell down during a walk in the park. Instead of telling myself, " What a klutz I am, I should have paid closer attention to what I'm doing. It was stupid, stupid, stupid!", I should have said something to the effect, "I was so focused in the beauty of nature that I didn't see that tree root. I feel good out here looking at all the birds. It's great that I'm taking care of my body by doing a long walk. Aerobic activities are good for me. Yea me!" Of course hindsight is always 20/20 and my improved version of positive self talk/actions looks great on paper but what about the reality of it? I need to map out a plan to help turn it around.
I decided to create an upcoming challenge for March (on a different team that I help to lead) as an exercise in learning to love yourself as you are now. Over the past year I have noticed that many members (myself included) have discussed the idea of low self extreme and self image issues. Even those of us who have lost a large amount of weight still have some of these same issues. What better way to start the process of making positive self talk/actions into a new habits than to do a challenge for a whole month. As I was designing the daily activities, I felt myself starting to get excited about the whole idea. Hopefully the team members will do the challenge too. Since the team is a local one, we can help to support one another when we get together for four upcoming team events. We will be kicking off our challenge with a team Spa Day. The focus will be on relaxations and taking care of your body.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I had an interesting doctor's appointment this morning. My doctor didn't like the fact that I still have a persistent cough. She heard wheezing when she listened to my chest but my lungs are clear. This is good news, kind of. She told me that I need to go on steroids (again) in order to clear up the wheezing and congestion. I explained to her that every time I go on steroids, I gain 10-15 pounds. Since May 2009, I've had 18 steroid shots for orthopedic and allergy reasons. She told me that if I can't breathe, that is serious; especially with asthma. If you can't breathe, you can't exercise. She told me to take the prescription and not to fill it if I didn't want to. Just then, I had a horrible coughing attack that made my eyes water. She raised her eyebrow and said she'd meet me at the front desk. I took my prescriptions and went to the lab for blood work. Thank goodness I had the foresight to fast because steroids really mess up my numbers.
Next, I went to physical therapy for my lower back. For some reason my spine is pulling to the left. My therapist and his student therapist spent 40 minutes stretching and manipulating my lower spine. Finally, my back released and straightened a bit. Success at last! Of course my back and hips are really sore but we're making progress. He really wants me to get back into doing my water aerobics as soon as possible. I joked with my therapist that taking the steroids for my cough would probably help my back and he agreed. He just smiled that smile.
Finally, I went to the pharmacy to see if my doctor called in my prescription. This is one prescription that she didn't hand me on the way out of her office. Instead, she called it into the drug store. Persistent wasn't she? Of course she was right. I've taken my first dose and I feel much better. It's funny how taking a step back for one issue can help me to take a step forward for another. Ah-hh well, two steps forward and one step back.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Hubby took me out for breakfast this morning and I noticed something great! We went to a place where we go fairly often and usually have the same server. When she came to take our order she looked at me and said, "You'd like the veggie omelette with egg whites, fresh fruit and a bagel, right?" What's amazing is that this is the way I now eat when I go out! Sometimes I order whole wheat toast instead of a bagel (many fewer calories with the toast) but I'm liking the better choices!
On Valentine's Day we went out for a steak dinner. I automatically made sure that I cut the steak (7-9 ounces) in half before I started eating and saved it to take home. I ordered sparkling water, lots of veggies and a baked potato with only margarine. I took half of the potato home too!
The best part of all of this is that I'm full with what I'm eating. I try to fill my plate 3/4 full with veggies/fruit and the remaining 1/4 with protein and carbs. I've done a good job eating 5+ fruits/veggies every day and if I get behind, my body craves them. Our refrigerator is loaded with fruits and veggies, non-fat dairy, lean protein and whole grains. Hubby still has his moments when he opens the refrigerator and groans, as he looks for "real" food but his habits have improved too.
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