Thursday, August 16, 2012
For most of my working life I worked shifts, weekends, holidays, etc. Weekend choices haven't been a big deal for me because of this. Where I seemed to run into the most problems was when we were really busy and I couldn't get to what i brought. Those times, it was easier to get something from the machines. You can imagine how healthy that was. At least I would always chose the diet soda!!
If I didn't take anything, I always asked one of the officers to bring me a salad from where ever they would eat. Sometimes I could eat it, sometimes I couldn't get to it and would take it home and eat it as soon as i got home. For about a year I dated a fellow who loved to cook and when I worked afternoons - 5PM - 3AM, he would bring me a steak, pork chop, ham, etc, a baked potato, and veggie - usually brussel sprouts as they are one of my very favorites. It was always good, but I didn't know about portions then. That meant that I always ate too much as far as calories are concerned. The biggest thing is I always tried to make healthy choices. i liked most of my food either baked, grilled, broiled or fresh. My veggies have always been important, too. As much as I love a lot of fruits, I have never had that much with my meals until Spark. Now I try to have at least one fruit for lunch and one for dinner.
Since I was single at both departments where I worked, I always traded with whoever had to work on holidays so they could be with their families. Sadly, most of the time they thanked me with cookies, breads, dips, etc. Those times were my most difficult to chose wisely!! And the chief or one of the officers wives would bring turkey with all the trimmings at Christmas and ham or lamb at Easter. They would bring both hamburgers and hot dogs on the picnic holidays. One time our one chief brought in a slab of ribs. I was good then as I have never cared for ribs.
The thing is, sometimes with the way I worked, I was there on weekends, too. I would have one weekend a month off. I can say that it makes healthy choices a lot easier for me now. Bob worked shifts at the mine, too, so he's the same way. Even with holidays, we often will not have traditional meals unless we have my brother here or we are with him. Strangely enough turkey is our meal of choice. Bob loves to make turkey and does really, really well. He uses wine to help flavor and keep moist rather than butter. He does rub it with a light coat of olive oil, but not too much.
Since we have both been using Spark and he was diagnosed with diabetes, we really follow suggestions from the recipe section or articles on exchanging the higher for the fewer calories. I have also learned portion sizes really well and that has really, really helped our choices all week long. Bob's sugar has been under control for 6 months now! I'm so proud of him. My biggest downfall is dairy. i love cheese, butter, milk, and sour cream. i must really watch those. But that's ok. I know what it is and can watch amounts.
I was wondering if it is harder for you on weekends or if you don't even think about it and go on as the rest of the week. Do you have a plan to help you make those better choices? How about tips? Are there any you care to share?
Your opinions and ideas always interest me. What about your families? Are they with you on the wise choices?
Peace, love, and hope to all of my Spark Buddies. I love all of you!!
Monday, August 13, 2012
Do you ever write, just for yourself because you have something you want to tell or get out of your system? This is something I enjoy doing. Some of you know I teach a class about keeping a journal. That is something I do just for me. I enjoy the writing process, but when I write in my journal, I just write. I don't worry about spelling, grammar, format, etc. I just free flow whatever is on my mind.
Sometimes I'll write poetry or make some remarks about a story that is swimming around in my head. I don't want to forget or not remember! I'll admit it - besides chemo brain, I have plenty of senior moments. Back to my journal....sometimes i'll even draw pictures or tape in pictures of outfits or shoes or accessories or hair cuts or........ well you get the idea. But mainly it is writing and it is for me.
As I was going through my cancer journeys, I tried to write how everything made me feel from my first visit to the surgeon, to the appointment when he told me the results were positive for cancer. Then I turned around and did it all over for the next cancer journey. It really helped me, too. I could express fears, when I was feeling really tired and sick, and the times I was so down I wanted to die than go through anymore. The best part - I didn't have to share any of it if I didn't want to. A lot of what I wrote is very private and no one else's business.
For my journey to a healthier life style I have a journal of goals. Now I keep goals for lots of different things in my life. I'll also write little phrases that help - like take baby steps! Remember, you didn't get out of shape and gain weight overnight and it isn't going to change over night. This journey has taught me that life is very fragile and too short to not be the best you possible. Part of that for me has to been positive and get rid of negativity, including people. I have found with my journaling how I feel about certain places, things or people and why I need to remove myself from them. Again, it is all private and just for me.
I try not to go back and read anything for at least a month, but in some cases I do. Once in awhile I'll need a reminder about things and that's when I go back to see why I feel the way I do.
One of my favorite things is to write about story subjects and a basic description of what I want to write. Sometimes if I have an idea of some of the characters, I'll even write about them. Of course all of this is subject to change, but it is always a good start. I have used several when I write the novels each November for NaNoWriMo. Once more this is all free flow and something I love to do. Sometimes I write about other projects I would like to do or have thoughts about doing.
To me this is all fun. I often add some of my lists to my journals. Yes, that is plural as I often have several going at the same time. I do keep one for all I am thankful for. I try to list five things everyday. That one has really taught me how blessed I am. I knew I was fortunate to have the things in my life that I do, but it never occurred to me just how much I have had and still do. Writing for myself also helps me stay sane.
Does anyone of my buds do things like this, too? If you do has it helped you with anything special? Do you have a safe place to keep it so no one sees it but you? I always tell my students to file them under taxes and no one will bother to look.
Peace, love, and blessings to all. I'm so glad all of you are in my life.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Are you someone who sees list in the media and have to make them for yourself, too? Or do you make to-do lists, honey-do lists or project lists? We all should be making grocery lists to be sure we are buying the best for the least.
I guess you could say I'm a list maker. In a big way I am one, too. For example, I'll see a list of the best cars, favorite songs, best all time movies, actors, actresses, bands, etc. and there I am trying to make one of my own. I also make myself lists of things to accomplish for the day. I'm happy to get two or three of the most important done in a day. The others go on tomorrow's list. Often Bob will ask me to remember to remind him of something he has to do, so I'll make a list for him. For my projects lists, I'll write the projects I want to do, those that I am working on, and supplies I'll need for those.
Then there is the all time "Bucket List". I know some of the things I would add to make mine, but so far I haven't done so and that surprises me. With all of the goal setting I have been doing for the past 2 years or so, one would think I would have made one by now. Have you made your "bucket List" of things you want to do and/or see before you die? Do you think we need to share our lists? I also enjoy reading lists from others. Especially if it is the best of something like movies, books, music or art. I must limit my time on pinterest or I'd be checking others' lists all day long (when I'm not on Spark or exercising!).
Guess I need to add that list to my to-do list!!
Lots of peace, love, and health to all of my buds.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Along the way on this journey I have faced some really difficult (for me) challenges. When I started, I had been well on my way to 300 pounds. I was mostly in my power chair, walker, or cane - but mostly the chair. One of the first teams I joined was the Chair Exercise Team. There was so much info there including reviews of exercise DVD's. I found so much there that really helped me. One of the leaders, Ann, is so very helpful to all those exercising while in chairs. All I had to do was ask and she had an answer right away. She tells you if she doesn't know and then makes all out effort to find it for you. Today I rarely have to use the chair.
My next challenge was when I had my feeding tube to reach the 1200 calories a day. All I could handle was ensure in the tube. I would have to have 6 cans a day. Since I was attached to the feeding machine almost 24/7, I got out of doing my exercising. The good news was, I still got some in by working my legs while attached to the machine. Days I was really not feeling well - mostly chemo days, I still got some sort of exercise. The radiation doctor wanted me to have as much weight as I could. I was at 225.5 and ended up at 215. I think I did really well considering.
The third challenge came after my treatment was finished. I had to have several blood transfusions and was terribly ill afterwards. Did one have anything to do with the other? I suspect not. The night after my last transfusion was when I started to not feel very well. I kept vomiting until there was only bile. I truly thought I was dying and to be honest I think I wanted to I felt so bad. That was in Sept and it took until December to find the cause. I was in and out of the hospital so much, once more I was drained I couldn't do exercise. When this all started, I could eat fairly well. The tube was removed, but as time went on, I could eat less and less. I was right back where I started. I took the lessons I had already learned to do the best I could. Still I remained weak and was back in my chair once more. I couldn't even walk one room to another without having to rest. I can't remember how many times I fell. The end of December I started with 6 weeks of PT and OT. I grew stronger and stronger until I rarely had to use my chair again.
Today I still face the challenge with calories and eating. I do the very best with making my own soups (or rather Bob does) and salads. I have to have something "wet" to eat many things. I can eat tomatoes, but not tomato soup. Most things taste too spicy or salty. At least I can do water again. I do most of my exercising with floor or chair movements. When I walk I have to be constantly drinking water because of my dry mouth.
Those have been my big challenges, but the journey has been so worth it. With all the encouragement and prayer I have received from my Spark buddies. This is why this site and the members mean so very much to me.
Being at goal weight and maintaining successfully was difficult, but I made it through. I don't think I'll ever leave no matter how long I stay the same.
Peace, love, and hope to all my buds.
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