Monday, October 03, 2011
Janet fought a hard battle with pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed the end of Sept. 2010 and passed away last Sunday October 2, 2011 at 4 a.m. She died peacefully, with her husband and her son by her side.
She dealt with her illness with bravery, dignity and grace. She was so much more than a sister to me and my whole world has changed. She will always be alive in my heart. I love her so much and will miss her sweet smile and gentle laughter all the rest of the days of my life.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I haven't been using the site much lately. I haven't made dropping weight a priority and that's the honest truth. The good news is that I've been maintaining for the last 2 months. The bad news is that I'm maintaining at 190. I'm not sure what it'll take for me to get my mojo back. I know I haven't given up.
The biggest positive, and the thing that I believe has kept me from gaining, is my decision to try out the Zumba classes held in my town. I've been curious about it for some time. I wasn't sure if someone as heavy and I am could do such an intense workout.
One Tuesday afternoon I just make a choice. I walked over to the fitness center (5 minutes away) and just showed up. All by myself. I didn't know a soul there or what to expect and I have to tell you I was scared and nervous! I was lost a lot of the time while everyone around me seemed to know the steps. It started at 7 pm and goes for an hour. I felt exhausted and looked at the clock....7:15!! OMG how will I make it to 8:00! I thought I'd better pace myself and didn't do all of the high impact jumping. At 5 to 8 when the cool down music started, I was relieved. Drenched insweat, I felt great. And I felt proud. I did it! I felt the fear and did it anyway.
After the class, my instructor commented on how brave I was because rarely does someone come the first time alone. And she said that she loved looking back at me because I was smiling the whole time. I'm hooked now and there's no turning back.
I'm lucky that I have always loved exercise. I've never been athletic or sports-minded, but I always did calesthentics, aerobics, and walking throughout most of my life. I love music also, and listening to my ipod is one of the main motivators for me when I go out walking. The Zumba music is fantastic! One of the first things I did was search for all the songs on iTunes and download them on my ipod. Now I walk to them too and probably look like a fool because I'm walking with extra spring in my step and a lot more swagger! I smile the entire time I'm walking too.
Exercise is the easy part for me. I don't have to force myself to do it. I even look forward to it. One of the most important lessons I learned in life is how to tune into the flow. If I have to push too hard, or if something feels extremely difficult to me, I'm going against the flow and headed in the wrong direction. When it's right, it feels easy and things gentle fall into place.
For me, dieting and measuring out my food and counting calories-points-fat grams-etc. has never felt good. I've pushed myself to do it numerous times and have succeeded in losing weight numerous times. Yet, here I am still overweight. I'd kid myself into thinking "this time I'm making a lifestyle change" while all the time doubting I could keep it up forever. There's something wrong with this picture.
Each and every time I dropped weight, there was one single factor that I attribute to me success: my mental attitude. I always felt like I would succeed and nothing was going to stand in my way. I felt positive and proud about the changes I was making. As the weight started to drop, those feelings increased to the point that food did not control me anymore. I wasn't even tempted to overeat and it became easy.
So why am I still overweight? Because always there was something in my life that changed my mental attitude. It was either job stress, relationship problems, major changes in my life, different kinds of emotional turmoil. Once I gave into emotional eating, it started a downward spiral that I felt powerless to control.
As I contemplate my past history, it's clear to me that I haven't dealt with the mental side enough. The link between comfort and food needs to be broken before I can ever begin to hope that the yo-yo cycle will end for good. There's nothing wrong with enjoying food; in fact, I believe that being mindful enough to enjoy good food helps me to eat less overall. The problem with emotional overeating is that I don't actually taste the food. It's merely a means to numb out. If I would pause and stop to think about it....really think about it...I would possibly realize that the food won't make me feel better. I'll feel even lousier after I've eaten it. No amount of food can ever fill the void. My biggest problem is that I don't usually stop to think about the consequences. I go into automatic mode and it's too late when I feel guilty afterwards. That's when I vow to never do that again....until the next time.
This coming Saturday, October 1, it will be one year since I got the call from my sister that she had jaundice and had to go to the hospital for a CAT scan. That day changed my life. I've learned a lot about myself this past year. Through many days of failing to cope, I learned how to cope. Emotionally, I feel as though I've been repeatedly been dragged across a mountainside of jagged rocks. They gave Janet 6-9 months and it's been 12. She's been through so much and her will to live has remained strong. But lately she's been suffering. I can see it in her eyes that she's growing tired of all of it. She's back in the hospital this week. I have had to learn how to detach myself somewhat and not absorb all of the pain and suffering onto myself. All I can do is pray for her and release it. This past year has blessed us with many precious moments together and has given me time to process the whole idea that I am losing my sister. I know and accept that we may not have years ahead, and even the time we now have is oh so different than it used to be. I've already grieved over the loss of things we used to do together. My heart is broken into so many pieces and it'll take a while to put them back together again. So I'm giving myself a break on the weightloss front. If I can stay active, do the best I can with eating, and keep at least maintaining; well, that's all I can ask of myself right now.
Dieting will never be on the agenda for me again. Pushing hard and forcing myself to do something that doesn't feel right is no longer an option. I will continue to flood my mind with positive thoughts and images. When the time is right, it's all going to fall into place. Easily. Gently. Permanently. This, I know.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Things are finally back to normal! It's a beautiful sunny day today and it's hard to imagine things were so bad last Thursday a.m. after the torrential rains all day Wednesday and throughout the night.
After 3 days of pumping, all of the water is finally out of the cellar. We had lots of help from family on Sunday and the cellar is now all cleaned up, the wood all restacked, and most everything in place. It gave us a chance to really hoe out and clean up - not the way we would have wanted it to happen, but at least it's done and now the cellar looks even better than before.
This is what our cellar looked like on Friday, 9-9. (the water had receded somewhat - notice the water line on the wall)
DH's power drill is toast!
Our upright freezer was tipped over by the water and we lost a ton of meat and frozen food.
I'm standing on the 1st step, and on 9-8 the water was up to the 4th step.
All's well that ends well. Before pics were taken Thursday morning 9-8 and after pics taken Sunday 9-11.
wood in the cellar before
wood now all nicely stacked again!
back yard before
perrenial garden before
even amidst all the mud, my roses are blooming!
our pond before
back to normal
our furnace sitting in water
fan drying out the furnace
There are so many people and local businesses that were affected so much worse than we were. I pray that they will be able to recover soon.
No matter what the tragedy, we always rebound, rebuild, and continue on. I was touched to tears watching the remembrances of 9-11-2001. The sorrow never completely goes away, but there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow. There's always a rainbow after a storm.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
In switching my diet to plant-based after almost 60 years of the Standard American Diet, one thing I've learned is that you can't just eliminate and you mustn't think about things you are "giving up". The secret to success is finding healthy substitutes that offer the same pleasures in taste and texture. I have this book on order and think it will be another great resource:
I just finished reading the book "Unprocessed" by Chef AJ. The first 52 pages do an excellent job of talking about what foods are unhealthy as well as explaining why. She also gives extremely helpful tips in making the transition to an unprocessed vegan eating style and makes a great case to debunk what she calls the "YABBIT's". The rest of the book is full of recipes that I am looking forward to making. I have lots of books on this subject, and each one comes at it from a different angle but they all say basically the same thing. I am always inspired and motivated by reading them.
Last night my husband scooped out Perry's ice cream into a big waffle cone. At first, I sighed and thought about how much I enjoyed ice cream. Then I prepared the most amazing sorbet in my Vita-Mix. The ingredients: one fresh peach I had frozen, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 3 dates, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. It's the same consistency as ice cream, was so delicious, and there was another advantage I realized. Whenever I would eat ice cream, it only left me longing for more when I finished the last bit. The sorbet contains all of the fiber of the fruit and leaves me full and satisfied. I can make all sorts of varieties of the same recipe using frozen strawberries, blueberries, black cherries, mango, banana, etc. I can put some chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut on top for added satisfaction.
This morning my husband was cooking bacon and eggs with toast. The smell of bacon always drove me crazy with hunger and still does. I whipped up a smoothie in my Vita-Mix: fresh frozen peach, frozen banana, frozen fresh pineapple, fresh mango, 1/2 fresh orange, and a couple handfuls fresh spinach. It was delicious and satisfying.
BTW, I don't say a word to DH about his food choices. Unfortunately, he has a lot to say about mine and I do my best to let it roll off me and keep doing what I'm doing. In the past, I'd let it get to me and eventually cave in. I hope to stay committed and show him by example all of the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. I don't have any hopes of converting him, but even if he makes a few small changes, I think it would be a great improvement for him.
It's important to me that food taste good as well as being healthy. Otherwise, I know I won't stick to it. Right now, my kitchen is under construction. We're redoing the entire room from top to bottom, including all new appliances. I have quite a collection of healthy cookbooks that I haven't really delved into yet. The kitchen should be finished by Oct/Nov and I can't wait to learn how to be an excellent natural foods vegan chef!
I LOVE pizza and would definitely find it hard to give it up. Take a look at this vegan chickpea pizza.... ...that's definitely one I want to try.
Last summer, I was into cupcakes and felt proud of the yummy creations I had produced. Now I want to channel my passion for cooking and baking into making healthy food taste superb. Like this pictorial, I'm going to skip the cupcakes and go for the veggies, lol.
Initially, I was going to treat myself to a KitchenAid mixer for my birthday in October (my 60th!). Now I'm thinking instead I may get a really good juicer. My thought was mainly using it for making homemade fresh juices to use in soups and other recipes that call for broth. At some point, I may want to do a 1-2 day juice fast to further detox.
Once I've been on this paln for 30 days, I'm pretty certain those old foods won't be calling to me anymore.
I'm at the peak of motivation at the present time and I plan to keep feeding the fire to stay on top of my commitment. I may fall short at times s, but the important thing is continuing forward and making improvements one meal at a time. I feel a progression into a brand new lifestyle coming on!
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