Sunday, January 09, 2011
Today was a productive day and I feel pretty satisfied about this first week of January and my efforts in reaching my goals. I have had a good week and have done all of the things I planned to do.
Today, I stayed on my eating plan--even after having a wonderful lunch with my best friend. I had a great salad at the restaurant, which is not always my choice but it looked so good and tasted that way too. It was a Chinese salad with water chestnuts and bean sprouts along with a couple of slices of chopped bacon and chow mein noodles. I didn't eat the dressing, so it stayed right in my plan.
I had an extra long workout today. My teacher son came along with me to the fitness center. He ran and worked out for quite a while, but eventually joined me in the pool. I had time to increase my reps and try some back stroke and back crawl with only one arm. It worked with a significant amount of effort--and left me comfortably fatigued. We enjoyed about ten minutes in the hot tub as well. My daughter was working, so she helped me with some of the intricacies of getting dressed without the use of my right arm, and that made things easier on me as well.
I went from the pool to school and spent about 4 hours working on my National Boards renewal. I have a few questions and am going to contact my original mentor on National Boards for some support. However, I feel more engaged int he activity having focused on it. It was a bit tricky because when I got to school, my first instinct was to work in my room and I stopped myself and did what I went for. I did bring homework with me, and I hope to do some of the work here tomorrow.
My family had dinner before I got home, so I had a nice fruit plate for my meal that was pretty satisfying. I am finally getting my SP activities in, but some days are like this.
It has been a busy week this week with a lot of disruptions to our regular schedule. Adding physical therapy and multiple doctor appointments to my schedule has taken quite a bit of time, but I have managed to stick with things my first week. (I was thinking today how I had teachers when I was in elementary school who referred to me as an "over-achiever." I think this week might have been a bit of evidence of that.) I appreciate the help from my Spark Friends and my co-leaders on Spark Teams who have jumped in and done extra because of my time restrictions. It means a lot to me to not have to choose between my activities here and my very important goals.
Life is good!!
Friday, January 07, 2011
About all I can say is I mentioned to some of you--or everyone, I don't quite remember, that I decided to go back to Weight Watchers for a while because I need the accountability right now of having someone else weigh me in. I was pretty unhappy at that first meeting a week ago today because I had gained 6 pounds since my weigh in before my surgery. A 6 pound gain over 3 weeks during the holidays while I was dealing with my post-op issues...hmm, I could see how that might have happened, but I didn't have to like it.
My daughter (JAZZTHEATRE88, not really active on SP these days--but feel free to leave her messages because maybe with enough emails from others, she will feel a need to come back, lol) joined along with me. She had to work tonight so we decided to go on Wednesday for our next meeting. It was crazy there--we got there 15 minutes early and ended up being in line during the entire meeting and got weighed in as the leader was dismissing everyone. I cannot believe we hung out, but I was determined to weigh in. I don't touch the scale between weigh ins because I can get crazy obsessed with the scale and weigh myself some 20 times a day.
Anyway, I was tickled silly to have lost 7.0 pounds--most of you have seen my feed so you know that and a few of you have asked how could a post-op person do such a feat... Good question, I asked it myself and I have a couple of theories. FIRST of all, I have been tracking my food relentlessly--both here and on the WW tracker and I bought one of their cute little calculator things for about $5.00. (A gadget--how clever those marketing folks at WW are!!) I am back to really looking at labels again and I had gotten a bit sloppy with that. SECONDLY, I am working out and working hard. I joined the Boot camp challenge again this year--and again, I find I cannot do several of the activities, but I am doing some things in their place. I also have faithfully gone to the pool each night and now that I am able to submerge my shoulder again, I am also aqua jogging again. (Swimming except for back stroke and back crawl are impossible one-handed.) I am going to physical therapy 3 times a week and we are also doing some exercises there--and I went back to work this week after a two week break. I had a big change in my roster, some 15 new students and I have had a lot of walking and physical activity as I am setting up everything for these children. THIRDLY, I have a suspicion that I was holding a lot of water weight due to some strange eating and being post-op. I had not quit tracking my food and my nutrition records didn't really justify that big 6 pound gain, even with the nibbles that didn't make it on there.
However, it did my heart good to see that scale show that loss. Any loss is motivating--and my daughter also lost 2.4 pounds and she was wearing her heavy jeans, so she was really happy. It is nice to be successful at whatever we are working at. SO--that is my story and I hope it answers your thoughtful and friendly questions.
My other updates are about my physical health and work, both things I mentioned above. Tuesday turned out to be a day of teacher prep for me. I am a horrible task-master when I am putting work on myself and I overdid it awfully. Taking so many new students--and I did also discontinue a few--puts me at 50 students a day. It was like the beginning f the school year all over again, only without the several days we have to get going. I carried, walked. lifted, bent over moved things, made copies, organized and simply pushed myself. I went the entire day with out my lunch time or any break at all. Then, I had to go from school to physical therapy. I could barely stand up and my back was having multiple spasms. At PT, she had me lie on the table as she worked my shoulder over and when it was time to get up, my poor back had me doubled over in pain for about 5 minutes. I will say this out loud: I KNOW BETTER THAN DOING THINGS LIKE THIS. I DO, I REALLY DO. Why did I abuse myself? I did it so I wouldn't have to go back to school or take work home. Geesh.... For my friends who have chronic pain issues, I hope you understand my need to live my life and not have this health stuff meddle every moment of every day with what I do. It seems like I have some strange need to check and see if it is still going to hurt to do "normal" things like everyone else. For myself and everyone, the reality is that I am simply my hardest task-master and I tend to work now and forget that I pay consequences later.
That's enough for now! I hope that everyone is staying focused on their January goals because that feeling of success in sticking with your plans will keep you going in the right direction.
Monday, January 03, 2011
This is how our day went...
We were late in taking our daughter to work because of a tire problem on the car.
I went to PT and she made me truly miserable today--but she is sure it is getting better and the range of motion measurements showed some nice gains.
There was nobody at the desk to give me my pain prescription both times we went to the hospital pain clinic.
We bought a new tire (which we needed) but it turned out the rim was damaged too.
We went to the store and bought some good food for lunch and some milk and so on, but I forgot part of what I needed for dinner.
We went back to get the tire fixed, but they had trouble getting the wheel off and needed my husband's permission to do something harsh to the thing.
We went to pay a bill and the office was closed for no reason I am aware of.
When we went to pick my daughter up from work, one of her friends showed up at the same time and they went to a movie.
We went to get our son for work and he and my other son argued needlessly for the entire car ride.
We went so my son could apply for a job we heard was open and after driving all of the way there, we found out it was online.
We picked my husband up from work and I simply was in pain with my shoulder and my need to go to the restroom.
I got home after the entire day in the car at the same time as my kids' bus pulled down our road. I didn't get to spend any time on myself during my last day of winter break.
And, after all of that--the guys took care of that dumb tire problem, my son cooked dinner with what was here, I went to the potty and took my pain meds, and I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out why my spark mails aren't all coming to me--I get the ones about team threads and my friends' pages, but none of the daily emails. I'm glad we can access them online. I am about to go to the pool will look up my day one bootcamp video when I get home.
I think I wasted this chilly, but sunshiny day.
Oh my, some days are like this.
Monday, January 03, 2011
I have really gotten myself focused on my eating this past couple of days and am doing better. I like the new Weight Watchers plan just because it is making me look at foods and labels more closely again. There is something comfortable in familiarity, but we can become a bit complacent. I noticed that about myself as a Reading Recovery teacher. We select a new book for the students each day as a vital part of the lesson, but as I became more experienced with the books, I let up on looking hard for that "perfect" book each day and relied on my experiences. That really isn't the plan--there is no prescribed program in Reading Recover--we simply facilitate student growth on what they know and what seems to be emerging int heir repertoire of reading acquisition. I figured out the thing with books when we had a year and I got several boxes of new materials. I had to start fresh with them and I realized that I needed that focus to do my best work. Anyway, I tell this story because it seems that I am the same with eating and tracking foods. It is a good observation about myself. Anyway, I am tracking my foods here and on my WW tracker for now, so my eyes are clearly open about what I am doing and every bite is working its way onto the lists.
I had a good workout int he pool today after a lovely Epiphany/ Communion service at church. I have to admit that I offered the kids a chance to join me at the fitness center or to work on the mountain of dirty laundry that didn't get done the past couple of days. I was surprised that 2 of the kids along with my husband volunteered for laundry duty while 2 of the other kids came with me. (The others were at work or unavailable for other reasons.) Anyway, I turned out the "winner" because I had a good workout and the laundry is all done, not quite all put away yet, but done just the same.
Tomorrow is our last day of winter break--Tuesday is a staff day and then we see students on Wednesday. I have physical therapy and I am going to help orchestrate a job search for my two sons. I sure wish they would get past this awful economy and high unemployment and find jobs. They have looked for entry level work, but there aren't even jobs in fast food here. Underemployed adults around here have taken all of those positions. It wuld help them, their self-esteem and our family budget as well. Anyway, I am also planning to meet one of my personal goal and spend time with my writing tomorrow and of course, I'll go to the pool to work out. I have left a message for the personal trainer at the fitness center and hope that I can meet her for an evaluation tomorrow. I don't know if she can work with someone with my physical needs, but I am trying to ramp things up a bit and having help would be nice.
I am focused and goal driven right now--that is a good thing and should help me to reach my very best in a healthy way. Life is good.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Happy New Year's Eve!!
Everyone focuses on something that they are planning or looking forward to in the New Year at this point of their life. That sure makes a lot of sense to me. Others focus on lists of things that happened int he year that is about to pass away--and that kind of thing makes sense to me as well. We learn from where we have been and what we have done. Looking forward to the future is always a help and all of the things that I have learned about goals here at SP and in the use of data folders and at data team training at work makes that alogical fit to me.
However, 2010 has been my friend and I am not sure that this is an idea that has been put into words by others. It hasn't been my easiest year by any stretch of the imagination. I started out the year quite ill and in a wheel chair. However, the physical therapy people were quite wise and got me into their aqua therapy program and I got back on my feet--and in the process learned both patience and the fine art of watching something (myself in this case) gradually get better and better, without the need for a big physical or emotional or financial drain. I learned that I really could persevere in the face of difficulty and I proved myself to me and to others around me. In this, the year of my 55th birthday, I think I may have learned one of the biggest lessons in my entire life. Thanks 2010!!
I also started refining a lot of my own personal behaviors. I owe a lot to SP for my improved eating choices and portion sizes--both things I "knew" before, but along with information and a lot of great recipes that were awaiting me each day--well, I started to practice that knowledge. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers--twice I think for losing over 100 pounds twice, so I knew I had it in me. However, I am just getting it differently now and it is internalized in my lifestyle. As my friends know, I had surgery 2 weeks ago today on my shoulder--repairing some damage that included a pretty torn rotator cuff. It seems that everyone knows a lot about this and how tricky it is. I found comfort eating to be quite easy and soothing in this holiday season with it's harvest of fudge and cookies and rich drinks. I was told that the pool was off limits because I couldn't get my shoulder wet as well. AS I sat here with a fair amount of pain and with lots of yummy, rich treats at my fingertips and little to do to work out, I caught myself falling into the habits of my entire life. I did something new to me--I went to the pool (with help from my oldest daughter) and without doing anything out of line to this shoulder that cannot be moved, I got my walking and exercise in. The comfort eating lasted a few more days, but I am back on target--yes, I gained (gulp) 6 pounds--but I haven't gained back 130+ pounds like I have done more than once in the past before I figured this out.
It's been a tough year financially for my family--I worked at less than hapf of my pay for 2/3 of the year due to my illness and along with this was a car accident my son was in that went beyond the limits of what our insurance would pay. Before all of the court time was over, our home was in jeopardy. We ended up filing a Chapter 13 debt consolidation and although things haven't been the easiest with 3 kids in college, we are doing okay. We have learned a lot about managing things well and doing what is important. I cannot say we have enjoyed any of this because the financial binds are really uncomfortable, but we are coming around and know that in just over 4 more years, we will be debt free. That is a nice thing to see in our futures, especially knowing that we have paid all of our obligations without hurting anyone in the process.
One of our grown children has moved away from home this year--hard for this mother, but certainly what grown children need to do and I have realized how strong our relationship really is. Our youngest child is now in junior high, also hard for this mother of eight to really accept, but again, it is what children do as they grow up. I have been such a parent for all of these years that it is just now occurring to me that along with work, church, my friends and my husband, I have been evolving and improving in a lot of ways right along with the kids. I don't know how this got by me before now--maybe because of how hectic our lives have been with 8 kids growing up and becoming their own persons. We have had years with 6 kids playing baseball. softball on 5 different teams during the same summer. We have had all 8 of them in the band with instruments to learn and how that has taken them into other hobbies and related interests (most of which didn't really make us feel the need for earplugs, lol.) We have spent time with other young people of all shapes, noise levels, maturity, faiths, and attitudes--and we have appreciated our kids even more. Yet, it has been this year that I have learned about how much I have changed with their milestones so obvious. (I am thinking that a wedding or at least wedding plans are coming for one of our kids in 2011--so that is opening a new set of doors. BTW, there is nothing official in that, call it "mother's intuition!!))
So I'm leaving 2010 with a big thank you for all of its gifts and my next blog will talk about those more traditional New Year's things!
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