Friday, February 12, 2010
I love the Winter Games. I love the snow and the cold and the shining hope on all the athletes' faces and in their performances.
Several years ago I took an assignment in Truckee, CA, where snow-sport athletes abound. The Emergency Room there has a "Wrist Fracture Hall of Fame" banner on the wall, and by the time the season ends for winter sports, there is no more space for folks to sign their names. I saw kids taking pictures and camcorder videos of each other, and for a long time I felt like they were some of the most stupid people on earth. Why do they celebrate accidents?
But time has a way of changing the mind, especially when the mind is being foolish.
It occured to me that whenever I brought one of those injured over for xrays, I rarely heard a whimper or a whine or a complaint or someone saying "I can't" when I needed them to position the injured part a certain way. They took these injuries in stride, par for the course, this is what happens in the Sport. Now, I am full of nothing but admiration and respect for all those young people who taught me something about the nature of humans, and about myself. I'm glad for the lesson of humility. I'm glad I had the chance to learn and to change for the better. These kids made me a better person. There were some who had very serious injuries - spinal fractures for instance, and yet... and yet.
So I watch the Winter Games with glee, with awe, and with the knowledge that these are not wimps, nor are they silly. When tragedy strikes, I mourn with the rest of the athletes for a fallen brethren, because I know what they feel. You buys the ticket, you takes the chance. There's the brass ring, grab it if you can, if you dare.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I resolve to not count calories or portion out the food that I eat. I resolve to eat when I am hungry and to eat what I want to eat, and to eat as much of it as I feel like eating. I resolve to give myself permission to eat. I resolve to feel good about eating.
I resolve to cook food with love. I resolve to love what I cook. I resolve to love what I eat, and to eat with love also.
I resolve to follow my natural diet, with common sense, knowledge, and courage. I resolve to continue to eliminate foods from my life that contain MSG, high levels of sodium, refined sugars of any kind, refined flours, refined anything. I resolve to eat as if I have been given gifts, because the earth gives me these gifts of nourishing foods, and I resolve to eat with thanksgiving and gratitude and with grace and blessing.
These things I resolve to do, every day.
Monday, February 08, 2010
I had a lovely weekend, mainly because I feel like it was a long one, and it was! Friday I drove down to Sacramento, met two old coworker friends, had supper and then we went to a production of "The Threepenny Opera". It was LONG, 3 hours, and started late, and I was awfully tired... but the parts I was conscious through I did enjoy quite a bit. The cast is talented and energetic and as is always the case with a community theatre were outstanding in their performances.
Saturday was a one-day seminar on the newest technologies designed to pinpoint earlier and earlier stages of breast cancer, plus information in other areas that were of great interest. What a wonderful day! There is something about a gathering of mammographers that always builds up the spirit, and reinforces the ideal of serving the greater good. The sad part is, we can't save a woman who won't get regular physicals and screenings.
If you are a woman and you are reading this, I don't care how young or old you are, do the monthly tit checks! Soapy fingers = sensitive fingers so do it in the shower or bath. However you do it, do it the same way every month or every few weeks. All you're doing is feeling what "normal" for you is, and if by chance something happens that is not "normal", you will feel it like you're feeling an iceberg in the water. It will jump up and shout at you.
More important than that, TRUST YOUR GUT. If you feel that something in one breast is "off" or "wierd" or "just not quite right" or "probably nothing, but...", GET IT CHECKED OUT. Some cancers don't come with lumps, or they might come with lumps that don't show up on a mammogram. Trust the message your body is sending you. It could save your life, or at least your quality of life!
I spent yesterday mildly busy with things like laundry and sleep. There's always housework to be done, but I have to have more motivation than a day off with no obligations to be anywhere at all. I also finished the leftover pizza I made last week, some rice with frozen meatless patties, and made a wonderful apple breakfast goodie that's something like apple pandowdy. Or apple upside-down cake.
My big dog is exhibiting behavior issues, namely aggression and bullying tendencies toward the little disabled dog. This is not good. There is no room at all for this, because the little disabled dog is the alpha female and I am the pack leader, so the big dog needs to learn that she is last in all things, at all times. She's got a habit of blocking a person and then going onto her back and using her paws to demand attention. I've got the unsavory task of ignoring her when she asks for or demands attention, so that she only gets attention when I decide to give it to her. I also have to step up to the plate and start taking her for daily walks by herself, so that we have together time that isn't part of the rest of the family together time. I believe that there are no bad dogs, only irresponsible or ignorant owners, and I am one of those owners. I have to be a better dog-ma if I want a better-behaved dog.
Meanwhile, another challenge is to take my vitamins daily. Eating well is part of the solution to mild chronic depression, and exercise is another part, but an important part is making sure I take my vitamins. That way, whatever I don't get in my food will not affect my mood. There's a rhyme there. I'm a poet. Yee haw.
And that's it for today.
Friday, February 05, 2010
I don't need coffee. Every morning, I have a ritual of waking up: I put the water on to boil, heat up 4 oz soy milk (unsweetened, because to me sweetened coffee is an abomination), set up the carafe with the filter holder, put in the paper filter and the grounds. When the water is boiling, I take a few minutes to pour it into the grounds and wait for that lovely rich liquid to fill the carafe. Then I pour what I want into my special mug (I'm the only one who drinks out of it, and coffee is the only thing I drink from this mug), and then sit for a little while and sip. Thus my day begins.
I know when I'm sick, because then I don't want my morning coffee.
Generally I don't have time to make breakfast right now, so I have my food bag all ready with snacks (dried fruit trail mix for carbs and nuts for protein/fat), usually cheese slices with Triscuits for a quick, nutritious and filling breakfast, and lunch plus dessert or afternoon snack.
I don't feel the need for all that food, but I make every effort to eat everything, because it's when I feel hungry that I get crazy with desire. When I've eaten everything I packed for the day, I come home ready for a small supper. Thank goodness I have never been a midnight foodie; early morning was always the devil's time, and the afternoon hours were the most stressful and dangerous.
I like to start my day slowly, and as long as I can, I will continue to do so.
Dreams journal. I have a small notebook that I write down my dreams in. I've gotten out of the habit in the last couple of years but the journal is next to my bed now, with the pencil at the ready. I know from experience that nightmares don't necessarily scare, but they are themed, and recurrent. All of the dreams that stick with me upon waking have meaning, but almost never the literal one.
The importance of journal keeping is that we always forget those small feelings and sensations, and even thoughts, but they can have a lot of influence in our lives. They can help us decide a path to take, a course of action, even how we are going to say something to someone.
I think that, as a person with OCD where food is concerned, remembering those things can help prevent a binge coming on. I overeat a lot, still, but I haven't actually binged on anything for some weeks. Maybe journaling helps me stay conscious while I'm eating.
Monday, February 01, 2010
So, my deal is, I don't do diets. I don't count calories, I don't log calories I've burned with activity or exercise, and most of all I DO NOT control portions. It's a big step for me just to pack two nutritious snacks for my break times at work, something that's rich in protein for breakfast, and a lunch that won't make me need a nap real bad afterward.
All I'm working toward right now is eating more often. Part of perpetual hunger is that stress triggers will bring on a hunger attack. Because of my work environment, there are plenty of stress triggers! It doesn't matter whether the hunger is for the support of a friend, the feeling of having nowhere to turn to when I really really need to decompress, etc. What matters is that all those triggers add up to hunger pangs, and hunger pangs will not go away unless I stuff food into my mouth!
Nutritionally, having snacks and eating more often means I get less of the hypoglycemic responses, and I also feel the need to drink more water more often.
Eating throughout the day means that I don't feel starved in the evening, and if I don't finish my lunch food, I eat that for supper and that's pretty much a good thing.
Waking up in the middle of the night with food cravings is something that never happens to me, so that's a plus.
I did a little snowshoeing yesterday. The pack was kind of ideal and also kind of slushy-sinky, but it was all good. Dorian struggled along, and I had to eventually turn around and come back because it was tiring her out way too much. It doesn't take much for her to get a good work-out, and I am always worried that if she pushes herself too far, she'll wrench her back and spend the next few hours dealing with leg spasms. For myself, I'm feeling pretty good with my (ahem) skill so far ... as in I haven't done a face plant yet. If I had a carrier backpack, I'd just walk to the big park and snowshoe there, and take Blaze, the big dog, with me. Lazy me would prefer to drive, but parking is kind of non-existent because of the snowplow berms.
One of my frustrations, as I'm sure quite a few women understand, is that I can't seem to get out from under household chores and other demands on my time and energy in order to exercise on a routine basis. I can't ignore what needs to be done, and I already work full time in a physically demanding job. This is a huge depression trigger, unfortunately. I feel like I'm going in circles only now I am not actually doing anything along the way, just staring at all the work that needs to be done all of the time. I had a housekeeper before but I can't afford her anymore. Talk about feeling isolated!
Okay, that's about all I have to say for now.
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