Tuesday, February 23, 2010
As I continue to battle a headache that has bugged me since last Friday, I still find myself considering all of the ways that I feel blessed. I think SP owns part of my feelings--not this dumb headache. It is playing with my vision a bit and I am wondering if it is getting time for an eye exam. Maybe it is vision causing the headache. Oh my, I'll certainly solve this and the nausea that it is causing, but it is my blessings that I want to talk about.
Blessings...what an awesome gift. I want to start out with my family. They can drive me crazy, especially when they are in their lackadasical moods and won't help me with household chores--or won't put much effort into them if they try. The blessings come from what they do. They do help me with so many things--it is important for me to explain that I cannot navigate our house very well, even when I'm at my best because our house is small and my walker gets hung up on things and in corners, etc... That means I need help getting things and getting around--and lots of help with showers. I get frustrated when I have to repeat my requests, but on the other hand, they do help me out with the very mundane which includes putting on my socks because I cannot bend enough to do so. I have several people who are willing to help me, especially my 25 year old son--who takes me to work, assembles my wheelchair, packs my walker, takes me to the pool and to therapy, and runs errands that I need. I am blessed.
The arthritis that has caused a major part of my trouble haunts me regularly. Fibromyalgia takes up where the arthritis stops. I have pain in my knees (which are the result of 3 total replacements), my left shoulder, my thumbs and wrists, my hips, legs, and the biggest issue of all, my back. However, I decided that the way to get relief would come from losing weight and exercise. I am in physical therapy--3 times a week in the warm pool and twice a week in the gym. I left the gym today feeling pretty beat up, but I did over half of my exercises STANDING UP!! My back got pretty testy, but my PT let me sit down and rest when I needed to--and I did them. I can tell that I am getting better in so many ways, and even though I am not able to do what my friends and colleagues and family can do--I am getting better each day. I cannot think of a time in my life when I was so aware of getting better at anything.
I have had a tough time at work this entire year, but after the last big meeting, things have been very calm. I made a good decision to cut back my case load to one more manageable and I am seeing some good things happening for some kids who deserve it. I have also had the time available to make parent contacts that wasn't available when I was seeing over twice the number I am now. Things are better--I am only working half days, but I have a job that I have always loved and the big issues are not on the front burner right now. I get to help give kids the power of reading and I love doing that. I am blessed.
I have had time to spend on things I like as well. I get to read daily. I started crocheting again, after reading about crafts that several of my SparkFriends are involved in. I had to quit crocheting when I had the first surgery on my left wrist...and then I had the two big surgeries on my wrists where the doctor removed a bone, pinned the remaining parts, casted me for what seemed like forever, and then treated me with physical therapy. Doing my left arm first and then my right arm, that took away most things I could do with my hands for the best part of a year. My friends gave me the idea and I ran with it and am working on a great blue, gold and cream afghan that will be given to one of my kids. I've learned how to do SuDoKu, although I am not fast with the difficult levels--it is a fun way to keep my brain on top of things. I am blessed.
I also have my church and that has been a constant for me. I am so lucky to belong to a very active church that cares for members, the community, and the needy everywhere. I have had training in working on social justice issues ad have many good friends who are like-minded. With the Lenten Season upon us, I am really focused on what I have and what I can share with others. Giving the gift of time and caring to others is so important and it comes back to me a thousandfold. For those of you who read my late January blog with my devotional story, the book has been published and I am using it daily to reflect on who I am and who I want to be. I am so glad to be a part of something this powerful. I am blessed.
SPARK PEOPLE...So amny of the blessings that I am thankful for right now come right back here. I learned a lot about the value of goals by reading "The Spark" and I keep them in my daily focus. My biggest goals right now are to improve my health through weight loss and increased fitness. I am now averaging over an hour a day on exercise activities, and even though I end up tired, it is a good feeling and I am getting stronger. I have lost over 75 pounds now and am expecting to reach my goal by August. I am expecting these changes to impact the problems in my body and give me a break in pain levels. I am currently off of all but two of the twenty some prescritpions I used to take and my blood pressure and heart seem to be in working in "normal and expected" ways. Most of all, I have so much support and positive feedback here. If something is a bit off in any area, I have so many good friends who are there to help me get back on my feet. When I am successful, I have the best cheerleaders in the whole world. I have good friends who notice my fitness minutes and weight loss and everything. I cannot imagine having the kind of success I have been having without all of the caring people I have in my corner here. SparkFriends are awesome. I am blessed.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
It's been busy, but gentle and uneventful in so many ways here today. I loved going to church and coming home to get daily chores done quickly and without complaints. (YAY) When my husband got off of work, 3 of our kids joined us for our quiet time at Borders--they scrambled and after sharing some quiet time looking at books, we enjoyed a pot of chamomile tea and private conversation.
I came home to have a surprise gift of a pretty flowering plant from myhusband and he prepared a really nice baked pork dinner for everyone. They are all watching a movie together and it is heavenly and peaceful here tonight. I haven't gotten to my clothing sort yet, but if not tonight, tomorrow will do!
I had a nice weight loss for the week and an even nicer non-scale victory with a giant chocolate chunk type cookie my husband bought us to chare. I had two bites and that was plenty. It is the first such food I have eaten in over 5 months and was pretty worried that when a dessert item came up, I would mess up. I didn't though--I enjoyed a little and didn't need or want any more. This is a big deal for me and I am proud of being in this place with that.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, President's Day Weekend, Chinese New Year, and Black History Month. I am impressed with the power of the shortest month of the year.!!
Friday, February 12, 2010
I am going to try this one more time. I am not sure that this is the best day or time for me to try something frustrating, because with a couple of exceptions, anything that can be a bit of a pain today has been--lol. The kids were all wound up today with anticipation for their Valentine's parties. My back is seriously out of whack. I have had to repeat things to my own children repeatedly. We are having trouble with the tires and rims on our little car and that makes me nervous--there are no Suzuki dealers arund here anymore and my husband had to go to a Ford dealer to get replacements ordered. The doggone potholes are killing everything around here.
OK. so back to the article I tried to share yesterday...
Is Clutter Making You Fat?
Picture this: stacks of old newspapers on your kitchen counter, mail piled high on your desk, mounds of clothes shoved under your bed and in your closet, and disarray everywhere you turn. Does this sound familiar? If so, you may have a clutter problem. And it could be making you fat.
Clutter has been called the fat of our homes and offices, and it may be why
You’re having trouble managing your weight. For most people, clutter leads
to stress, and stress causes the production of the hormone cortisol, which increases belly fat. Cortisol also elevates your blood sugar levels, which causes insulin to be produced to regulate your blood sugar, leaving you feeling hungry. If you're hungry, chances are you're not going to realize it's because of the stressor surrounding you - the clutter. Instead, you're going to eat, and you're probably not going to go for the fruits and vegetables hidden in the back of your refrigerator (that is, if you even have any).
Clutter can also affect your weight because it becomes an obstacle to eating healthfully and exercising. If you can't find your sneakers and gym clothes, you're not going to get to the gym. If the kitchen counters are covered with papers, and the pots and pans are hard to get to, you're more likely to eat out or order in than cook a meal for yourself. And we know that meals from restaurants and fast-food joints are higher in calories, fat, and sodium than food cooked at home - all of which can lead to weight gain.
So what can you do? Declutter your life! You'll feel the weight lifting from the everyday stress of living in a cluttered environment, and your body will lose weight, too! Here are some ways to get your life and weight under control:
* Clean out your fridge and pantry. Throw away items that have passed their expiration dates and that contain unhealthy ingredients (for example, partially hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup). "Trigger foods" must also go - these are the foods you typically turn to that can lead to binges and unhealthy eating patterns.
* Restock your kitchen with healthier food. Make a shopping list of items you need and know you will eat. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables in the front of the fridge for easy access.
* Organize your pots and pans. Make sure you know where everything is and that you can reach it all easily. Get rid of old cooking supplies you never use.
* Clear off the kitchen counters. The counters are meant for food prep, not storage of household items and newspapers. Get a newspaper and magazine holder for a separate area of the house, and keep newspapers from only one or two days at a time.
* Sort through your closets. Try on clothes you never wear and if they don't fit, give them away or put them in storage for when you lose weight (if it's something you love, it can give you motivation to fit into it again!).
* Keep a gym bag packed at all times. Make sure you always have a clean set of gym clothes and your sneakers packed and ready to take with you. You'll have no excuse to miss the gym.
Do the same at the office and you'll have clutter-free environments at all times!
I thought this was important enough to pass on--I don't have the source to share, but if I find it out from my friend, I'll edit this and add the information.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I have tried to post a blog and a great article half of this day...I am feeling a lot of frustration over this. I keep getting a weird error screen that says "No HTML." I took out all of the emoticons and retyped it and did everything and I just don't get it. My new plan is to try this...and then edit it. If this doesn't work, I will give up and try again tomorrow.
OK, so far so good!
I found this article in my email, from a very dear friend of mine. I wanted to share it with you here...and I sent it to some of my friends, but mostly my children. (I told them it was an additional justification for the early spring cleaning we are working on here--by the way, I am very happy with our family room. We are going to add some new paneling when it warms up some as well as some paint, but it is much more friendly for me and--I don't have the TV in my space anymore. I love that.
It turns out that it doesn't like the article I was going to share...I'll try something else and post a part 2 to this blog after I figure out how only printed words can be HTML. I recopied it, changed the font and size. Technology can make you either fat or poor, lol. I can see drowning my sorrows in something I really don't eat any more--or tossing the computer through the nearest window, lol.
I'll be back--this info is really worth passing along!
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