Sunday, February 24, 2013
There is hour lost!! I had finished a post that was nearly 1000 words but before I could hi enter it disappeared. I'm going to TRY to recreate it.
During the past five years I have so much to be thankful about that I journal in my Gratitude Journal. First of all, I found Spark People and joined. I decided it was time to have a healthy lifestyle and lost a whole person in weight while going on my journey. Then with my cancers, they were not my biggest threat. The poisoning after my treatments was. But they finally found what was causing it and with one treatment of antibiotics I was fine again. With the breast cancer it was found early - in stage 1.3 - and my genetic markers were such that I could have my chemo by pill. With the tonsil cancer, it was contained to the one spot on the one tonsil and was in stage 1. If I had to have it, and obviously I did, things couldn't have been better for me. Through all the radiation and chemo, I was able to keep on getting exercise and eating properly 70% of the time. I was so very fortunate.
Sure I have some bad times in my life, but I've had a lot more good ones. I have had all the encouragement and support from my Spark Buds I've had my wonderful husband, I've had my family, and I've had my faith. That's a lot for which to be thankful! My brother and his children would call and leave messages for me in email or on facebook. My husband supported me with my lifestyle change. He also did all the driving, cleaning, waited during my radiation and chemo treatments, When I was in the hospital, he would update my journal to let all my Spark Buds know what was happening. He also did what I like to call, "held my hair" when i could not keep anything down. He stayed with me in my hospital room, helping me walk from the bed to where I needed to go including walking the halls to keep me walking. He would only go home long enough to tend the dogs, take a shower, and change clothes then would be back. Whenever I would get down, he'd read all of the wonderful message of caring and faith my Spark Buds left for me. They always cheered me and made me smile. They were my prayer warriors! I know all of their prayers, good thoughts, and light, helped me through all of this rough time. He also made sure I had my Bible, prayer book, and rosary. When I had my feeding tube, he would keep it flushed, change my dressing, set up the bag and made sure it was filled so I could get enough nourishment. Now how blessed was I?
Along with all of that, I also have my family, how our parents taught us, my Spark Buds with whom I feel closer than most of the in person friends, and my faith. All of those things I have journaled about in my Gratitude Journal. If I even start to get down, I get it out and always feel better because I am reminded of how blessed I have been.
Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Are you thankful for all your blessings or do you have a negative attitude ? When you post about your problems in your blog or in your teams, do you take the advise of those who have had similar experiences or do you make excuses and say, "I can't"? Do you know how worthy you are of having a healthy lifestyle?
Most of the Buds you make here at Spark are encouraging and supportive, even if you have a bad day of eating or not getting the exercise you need if only for 5 minutes at a time. They truly care for you and want you to succeed. Most are willing to share and help in any way they can. Try to take advantage of that. if your family isn't supportive and make fun of you, bring you candy, sweets, and fried food, keep a tiny bit for a treat and give the rest away. Refuse to eat the fried stuff by pushing it aside on your plate or leave it in it's container. After a while they may see how serious you are and stop doing all of this. You are so worth getting a healthy lifestyle so you can lead a longer, healthier, and more active life. You have already started by signing up for this sight and take part in it. But the fact remains, it is all up to you. No one else can eat properly for nor can they do the exercising you need. I started my journey at 60 and attained goal at 65. I continue to come here and track everything. It keeps me accountable plus I enjoy it. You will need to stay positive rather than negative. You must be grateful for all your accomplishments and the goodness in your life. Most of all you need to believe in yourself and know you CAN do this. If not you, who will? Try to remove negative words from your vocabulary and eventually your life.
Most of the people here on Spark want to help however they can. All you must do is ask. Try to take advantage of their personal experiences. Keep in mind what works for one may not work for you. But then again it might. If one doesn't ask someone else and try their tips. Eventually you will find the proper combination that makes you happy and motivates you. Try to keep in mind how much better you will feel when you reach your goal. Think of how you'll feel when you'll continue on your life long journey. You are special and beautiful and deserving.
Have a terrific time of being positive and working for an attitude of gratitude.
Peace Love Thankfulness
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Today was one of "those"days. You know the kind I mean. From when I got up to the end of the day, nothing went right!! Our DSL was out again. When it goes out, we lose our phone, too, as they are linked. It went out sometime early this morning and wasn't back on until late afternoon. This seems to becoming more and more often. We have been getting dropped from our networks for wireless a lot lately, too. This evening it was happening about every 20 minutes. I'm sure Bob knows what is happening with that, but it is only frustrating me. *sigh* Tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning.
I hope everyone was safe in the storms.
Peace Love Warmth
A cuppa always makes everything better!!
Love my gratitude journal I made! It works really well on days like today!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
This past week my new thing was to find a new place to walk. I was able to find a very nice area almost into the little town near where I live. While there, I saw this:
I mention this because finding new things to try each week helps to keep me motivated. There are more that have helped me these past few years on all the journeys I managed to be on at the same time! I had many days when I especially didn't feel like doing much of anything. Some days I would give into that and would feel yukie for the next day or two' I had to find new things to look forward to doing to keep me going. A comment made on my blog last week and my page today made me think about this. Some things were retreads of things I had been doing and some were very brand new to me.
So without further ado, here comes my list of motivators!
1. Music. Depending on whether I needed a lift or to ease some pain, the type would vary. If I was in pain, I would play a lot of Yanni or "Healing Harp" by Stella Bensen. If I needed a lift, Sixties on Six played on Sirus. It was always fun as the emcee knows the geography of the US better than anyone I've ever known. It seems most of my favorites have happy moments associated with them, so these tunes always managed to get me moving and feeling happy.
2. Journaling. I started to keep a new to me journal of writing each day about things for which I am grateful. I also kept lists of uplifting quotes and favorite scripture in this journal. I used one I had received as a gift from one of my sorority sisters. It has purple flowers all over the cover and cheered me simply picking it up. To get really motivated, I would often use purple ink pens and add some glitter. I tried to keep it light and girlie since these were such personal thoughts and I didn't want any of it to bring me down, but build me up. It worked!! It's very difficult to feel too bad when you are writing about blessings in a book that is "spring-y" with a purple pen and glitter! I also kept a journal for each treatment from when I was told I needed to have a biopsy, to being told the results, to preparing for radiation right through to when I "graduated". Knowing I was getting closer to the end was motivation itself.
3. Looking forward to meeting goals. I started looking forward to meeting Spark goals because i had given myself permission for a non-food reward. I did the same for getting to different stages in my treatments. I've continued doing so for every four months I maintain my weight goal. Listing those things really helped, because i knew as soon as I met certain things, there was something very special waiting. I kept track on my Spark Page so I was being accountable. There were other things, too. I got to look forward to seeing my brother and sister -in-law for their yearly visit. I decided to keep a page in my planner for everything. I already used it to keep track of all the treatment times and days, doctor appointments, birthdays, and anniversaries. So I used one of the extra pages for notes to keep track of my goals and when I met them and what my reward would be. My very favorites were when I went below 200, I got a Kindle and when I maintained for the first four months I bought new walking shoes. When I finished each set of treatments, I would treat myself to either a new Vera
Bradley piece. When i was cancer free for a year officially from the PET scan, I gave myself a day of beauty. Along the way, meeting smaller goals I would get new books for my Kindle or a DVD I had been wanting or perhaps a new pair of jeans in a new smaller size! Those were all good.
4. Creativity. Keeping up with writing my fiction, writing poetry, and making collages kept me on a path to reaching and obtaining what i so much desired - a healthier life style. I knew I had to follow this especially since i was being given not only a second chance, but a third chance, too!! When I would start to get down, I gave myself permission to cry for so long, then start creating. By the time I was finished doing whatever, I always felt so much better. Often I would even forget what had gotten me down in the first place! Not only that, but afterwards, I tried to do some exercise, if only for five minutes at a time!
5. Staying positive and smiling. These two things I work on daily as they have motivated me so much. There are plenty of days it would be easier to be a grump, but the end result doesn't go along with a health life style. So, I plaster on a smile and start doing a little more ridding myself and our home with a lot of the extra "stuff" I no longer need in my life. Within an hour, I'm on a natural high again. But that isn't the only reward. Keeping motivated with smiling and having a positive attitude attracts others with same positive ways rather than those who always complain about others and mange to drag one down with them. It sure is a wonderful way to stay as healthy and happy as possible.
All five of these motivators have worked their magic for me. Some more than others, that's true. But with wanting a new, healthier life style to be able to live a longer and happier life, they have worked for me. I'm not going to say that these things will help everyone or even help them in the same way, because that wouldn't be truthful. Each of us is different - not right or wrong - just different, and what works for me might not for you. But we all need to check out suggestions until we find what is best for us. Trying something new can be a terrific motivator itself, as it gives us fresh views and is the best way to discover what we like or don't like along our way. I sincerely hope that this blog may help at least one or even two Sparks to
stay motivated to continue on. Or as I love to say - keep on keeping on.
The best for all my Spark Buds for the days ahead. I love all of you.
Peace Love Life
Ev at target practice 01 Feb 2013.
I forgot to mention trying to continue doing hobbies or things I loved, helped motivate me to keep going forward to attain the joy I have always had in them.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Self Discovery question: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Yes, there was a time when I felt like giving up on life. It was before I was diagnosed as bipolar along with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). During one of my deep depressions on the down side of the bipolar, was when it happened. I'm guessing this was 2006. I had just started seeing a therapist that my hubby's VA doctor arranged for me. I had the sense to call her and tell her how i was feeling. There are lots of times when I wish i hadn't, as she had me admitted to a counseling center. There i went through treatments that didn't help me at all. As a matter of fact i lost about three months of any memories. It was right when we got Bruzer and I do not remember getting him. I'll ask Bob to tell me the story again and again.
This all came about because I was unhappy with my life starting with my weight. i had injured my knee at the gym and had surgery. it wasn't what the doctor thought it would be, so I had to stay in bed 24/7 for four straight months. When I was finally able to get rehab physical therapy, I was doing very well when a different therapist gave me the wrong exercises and doing them blew out the work the surgery had done and put me back. I wasn't able to do what i used to for years .I could no longer work at my trade (cosmetologist), I couldn't drive, i couldn't clean or cook. I was having a real pitty party. I knew if I could lose weight, I would feel better because it would be easier for me to get around. I believed i would be in my power chair for the rest of my days. I really didn't see much to life anymore. I wouldn't leave the house, I wouldn't talk on the phone - even with my brother, I quit all my activities, I wouldn't get dressed, brush my hair or do much of anything but sit in a recliner and cry a lot. I felt pretty worthless and useless. This was not the kind of life I wanted at all.
Then one day an amazing thing happened. I belong to a web site called my points. It is a site where you earn points for for various activities and then trade those points for rewards such as gift cards. On one particular day, I received an email from them from a place called Sparkpeople. If I visited the site after reading a little about it and signed up I would receive so many points. I think it may have been 25. Anyway, the email said the program was not a diet, but a lifestyle change and challenged the reader to give it a try. I figured, "what the heck. If nothing else I'd get those points". So I clicked through to the site and when I got there, I clicked "join". It was the very best thing I could have ever done for myself. I started slowly with chair exercises, perhaps five minutes at a time. I knew the information on the best way to eat was information I had been receiving all my life. I needed reminded and once I was, I started to give my grocery list a makeover. But it was very slow going. Finally I decided to get serious about it all. i could no longer go on the way I had been.
It was late summer when i returned everyday and got down to doing what i needed to to get healthy and stay that way. I signed up for more teams and started to make friends. The encouragement from others on this site was phenomenal! Most of you know my story of being diagnosed with breast cancer several months after returning and taking control back in my life. Now that control was being taken away again. This time, I wouldn't let it take total control. i didn't go into a depression. Sure, I was scared of the unknown, but decided what was to be would be. I trusted God's plan for me and knew His will would be done, no matter. Accepting that made things a lot easier for me. Between that and all of the support I got from my Spark Buds, I was able to continue following the program. I even managed to get some cardio in most days I was in treatment. i won't go into the second diagnosis right after finishing that treatment and all that happened after that. i want to talk about giving up on life.
Things changed inside me. I had a lot of time to think a lot. Bob would read me the comments on my blog when he would update my journeys with the cancer. I could feel the warmth and concern in those words left for me. I was able to continue taking my meds for the bipolar/PTSD. But i had three close calls with death. It really changes you. As soon as i got the OK, i was back on the Spark program and even joined my first challenge! I loved it. it was great, because i could increase exercise as I went along and was permitted to modify them if i had to do so. I also realized i needed to be positive no matter how I was feeling. I started to get the negativity out of my life. If I tried something and didn't like it after several times, I wouldn't do it anymore. There are too many things to try to tie yourself to one you don't care for. i started smiling all the time and found it brings positive people towards you. This time I chose life rather than giving up on it. I am a a religious person and feel this is why God spared me, to bring the positive and encouragement to others. I met my goal finally, going from my start of 270 to today's weight of 120 pounds. i exercise some nearly every day. i continue to eat properly and in the right portions with moderation. I never did "give up" anything. I did watch how much and how often.
In choosing life rather than giving up on it, has made me a better person. I could never have done it on my own, though. My faith, my wonderful hubby, and all of my Spark Buds made the difference. it feels so very good to live a life that seems more fulfilling than ever.
Thank all of you. Enjoy your Sunday!
Peace Love Life
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