Saturday, February 02, 2013
Its February already?! Where has the time gone?
I've never really felt like I was "in mourning" before. Sure, many people in my life have died-friends, classmates, family. I went to a Catholic school, so any time a member of the student body died, we had a funeral at school. Cheery, huh? While I was close to some of those, I was so depressed in those years that I was more thinking that I should be dead instead of them. Now, I may have mentioned in previous blogs about my uncle who was too young to have been diagnosed with colon cancer early enough to survive. He had been on a very steep downward slope for the last month. His last round of chemo almost killed him. So, he was out of options and off chemo. We had a "Celebration of Life" party for him. It was like a going away party. All the people that knew him in his life were there, telling stories of his past. We had plenty of cards for everyone to write memories of him, arranged in an album. He was yellow from liver failure the whole time but seemed to enjoy himself. A week later, my dad called me to tell me my uncle was on his way out, not expected to live 2 days. Our family had over a year to prepare, so all the arrangements had been made. I still couldn't even believe this happened. He lived 12 more days before he died. Its been the hardest loss I've ever dealt with. He was a big part of my life, being my mom's youngest brother. He lived in the same small town his entire life, and I never went more than a month without seeing him. I skipped the visitation because I knew the funeral would be hard enough, but I had no idea how much I would cry! I couldn't help it, it must have been nearly 2 hours straight. It was hardest on his brother, I think. They were so close that they would talk for hours every day, on the phone and in person both. Its been so rough for me, though, and I am doing pretty well in not turning to food for comfort. As for alcohol, though, I would've been drinking more if I hadn't had strep all week. Or if I could afford it. All I can say is that I've been enduring, no more, no less. I guess I can hope that the grief suppresses my appetite. Anyway, that's how things have been going for me. In case any of my SparkFriend were feeling neglected or wondering why I haven't been as active on my SparkTeams lately. I'm working back up to it.
As for my goals, I've exceeded my weight-loss goals for January and am very proud of myself! I'm pretty sure I lost at least 4 pounds, double my goal of 2! As for my other goals, I don't even care. They're just icing on the cake. I met a few but not others. My most important one is always the weight-loss. It feels great to have met it for once! My highly active job is surely to thank for much of that, since I've been burning between 4 & 5K calories a week and walking 20 miles weekly. And thank you to my wonderful FitBit tracking all these things for me!!! Surely they would have gone untracked otherwise. Onward and upward to a new month
Thursday, January 03, 2013
I did it! I reached Level 14! My progress on here was kind of slow, because I slacked off on here frequently for the first few years...some of my excuses were good, some of them not. However, an excuse is just an excuse for not trying harder! A reason, such as injury, is different. Of course, you should try to reduce your risk-I digress.
As some of you may know, I am dealing with depression. I have taken, what I consider, to be a violently proactive defense. I am a realist, but I have taken to the practice of refusing to dwell on the negative & only considering the positive. Any of you who have spent a week or more languishing about the bad in your life/the world will understand what I mean. For me, I have been dealing for about 19 of my 28 years. If you spend too long in the darkness, you will claw your way to the light. I don't know, I think its the human spirit/fight for survival and all that jazz...So, I deal by refusing to waste any more time focusing on the negative, being overly conscience of my thoughts and refusing the negative. Furthermore, why not?! Is life not more enjoyable by focusing on the positive? Whoa, whoa-almost broke into sermon there, let me climb down off the soapbox before I fall
Anyway, my uncle has been dying from colon cancer for a year and half or so now. He was underage for a routine colonoscopy, as well as lacking in symptoms, until it had metastasized and caused problems with his brain. Then, he discovered he had a genetic marker that made 90% of chemotherapy ineffective. Save, of course, the ones with the harshest side effects...He's spent over a year battling, but his liver is over 95% cancer and is his last round [of chemo] nearly killed him via liver failure. *I suppose here I insert that from all the testing we found that this is NOT a genetic cancer and was most likely caused by environmental factors. It matters some to me for screening purposes, but he's still dying Anyway, he's only 47, and its been rough on the whole family. Well, I found out late yesterday that they're discontinuing chemotherapy, there's no other treatment options, and we're having a "celebration of life" party Sunday to say goodbye. I imagine with his liver failing, he'll die sooner rather than later. This is my mom's youngest brother, and it makes me sad to think that he'll be gone...I'm sure its harder on her. its sad but we new it was coming when they diagnosed him. Or at least, I did, because it had already spread before they found it...I feel like I've been dealing with death most of my life, so to me, I feel its a part of life. I really feel loss here, though, because I was pretty close with him.
More to my point, last night I went to work with this on my mind. My coworkers asked me the courteous, "how are you?' I always think before I reply, but tonight, I said, "Good." Even though, he is going earlier than I think he should, I am exceeding my fitness minutes and calories burned goals. I have lost 25 pounds and will lose more this year. It all depends on how much strength I can muster over what goes in my mouth. I'm in control. I really feel like I've embraced my new lifestyle, I love my FitBit in so many ways, and my life is improving. Sure, I still have hours, maybe even a day when feel that deep, dark, painful sadness, but it is so much a relief and improvement to not feel it for weeks any more. You know how I found it? Exercise. A good sweat makes it all better
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
My goal is a strong start this month! I'm tired of being a PROcrastinator (as is in, I'm really good at it!) I'm waiting to start the January Jumpstart Challenge until the 6th, since I'm in it for the prizes! LOL Yesterday, I posted my goals for the year. I have certainly broken these down, to be tackled by month. Of course, some of my goals can't be put into steps any more than they are. There you have it. I'm trying to gear my monthly goals this year toward supporting my year goals, something I vaguely did last year. I'm making a point of it this year. I think, the more specific you are about your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
1) lose 2# by 1/30 (a rate of 0.5#/week)
2) prepare 8 recipes, 4 from SparkPeople cookbook, 4 from other collections
3) contribute at least $60 to my emergency fund
4) read 31 chapters of my books
5) earn 800 SparkPoints
6) all laundry & dishes cleaned & stored
Onward to a healthier lifestyle!
I've also figured out that I don't think I'll be able to jump to Level 20 by this year. If I progress more than 1 level, I'll be super-stoked! I'm just trying to be reasonable.
So, my other part of my plan is my workout plan. My work schedule has increased to 5 nights/week approximately 7 hours of cleaning & walking. In spite of this, I'm challenging myself for the January Jumpstart Challenge, so I'm aiming for at least 10 minutes cardio 5 days/week, plus the ST videos. With the help of my handy-dandy FitBit, I'm tracking at least 4 days of 30 minutes of cardio just doing my job, so I've got that covered. Plus, extra cleaning for my parents, grandpa & myself, I've got it covered. I just gotta do those ST videos daily! I'm ready! I can do this!
Monday, December 31, 2012
Wow! The year is OVER! I can't believe it
I didn't really reach my goals for 2012-any of them. However, I did keep trying all year. I didn't give up or quit, even though I stumbled. I think a more modest approach for 2013 is in order, especially since I need to develop my patience anyway. Compassion for myself-at least as much as I have for others-is also in order. I was inspired by The Slowest Loser's blog about how he stopped the Mayan Apocalypse and decided to set my own slow weight loss goal for this new year.
Goals for 2013
1) Lose 26# As of what I weight 1/1/13. That's 0.5#/week. I'm working on my consistency! Its also to remind myself that I am more than a number on a scale and focus on getting healthy. My specific steps to accomplish this include 30 minutes of cardio 4 days/week, Coach Nicole's ST videos of each major muscle group 2 times/week, walk 10K steps/day, and stay within my calorie range 5 days/week.
2) Prepare 2 recipes from my vast untried collection/week: I want to eat less processed foods and cook more myself. I have several cookbooks I haven't tried as well as an electronic database of email and SparkRecipes. I will prepare 1 from my SparkPeople Cookbook, starting with the staple recipe list, and one from my other collections. I also intend to have treats I've made on hand (chocolate, especially!) so I can control the nutritional value more. I'm also thinking that if I have them all the time, I will not feel the need to overindulge. Something about knowing they'll be there tomorrow, I feel like that might work. Plus, its cheaper cooking at home!
3) Complete the first three baby steps of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I'm trying to get my finances in order after a year of underemployment and legal expenses. I'm designating 10% of each check to each step in order until completed. I can do it!
4) Read all of my books at least once! I have so many books I haven't read, including the free ones that came loaded on my ebook reader. I'm going to read one chapter a day from these until I finally read them all!
5) Reach SparkPeople Level 17: earn 2K SparkPoints every month by completing the daily SparkPoint Challenges and possibly buying The Spark
6) Begin working to complete Associate's Degree via free online courses: some kind of grant to help people earn their degree. Several colleges are offering free online courses to help you earn your Associate's degree. I already have 31 credits, its time to finish up! I have found a list of the colleges, now I just need to pick and program and get it all set up so I can begin as soon as possible when I return from helping my friend move to Austin at the end of March.
7) organize house & rummage sale suprlus by the end of Summer: My place is cluttered and in general disaray. I'd like to catch up on all my housework and organize everything. Additionally, I need to get ride of all the stuff I don't use & get as much money as I can from it. I have already created a detailed list of cleaning assigned to each day, so I just need to stick to it!
8) Learn more about investing: I have a dream to live off my investments one day, but I need to learn more about it! This year I will read at least three books about it, one of which will be Total Money Makeover. I also intend to take advantage of my credit unions free meeting with a financial adviser.
9) This one concerns my religious beliefs and being more religiously observant. I believe religion stays in the home, so I will not elaborate here.
I have a plan & I will stick with it! Its not as aggressive, so I feel more like its practical. I plan to update my blog frequently with progress!
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wow! Can you say user friendly?! It was so simple to get going, I couldn't believe it. Plus, I totally love that it tracks for me! I've started this overnight cleaning job, which translates to about 7 hours of cleaning/walking time. I'd been trying (not too hard, though) to figure out how to track this exercise. Enter FitBit. It tracks more calories burned for me than SparkPeople, but I'm sticking with my SparkPeople calories burned. By the way, thank you SparkPeople for linking with FitBit! You have helped simplify my life!!! Although I don't know the formula used to calculate, I ended up with cardio minutes and certainly my 10K step goal before the day is through. I was a befuddled when it reset itself at midnight (who else noticed?) I didn't realize that was why for a few minutes-why did my numbers reset when there's no reset button like with a pedometer? But I figured it out (cuz that's what I do!)
That's all for now, since its nearly my bedtime. I just wanted to say my FitBit Zip is awesome, and exceeded my expectations
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