OAKSHAVEN   15,381
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Finding a balance

Saturday, August 04, 2012

It is always hard for me to find a balance. Enough time with friends and family and enough "me" time. Time enough for the work I need to do around the house, and time for fitness and cooking and eating right.

Then there is today. Did a little housework this morning (and just realized the sheets are still in the dryer), but sat down to relax this afternoon, and immediately got the munchies. At least I realized what was happening--that I wasn't at all hungry, but just wanted the feel and taste of something in my mouth. What to do. I could do more housework, but I didn't wanna. I could do some sewing, but didn't feel like dragging out one of my (multiple) projects and fighting the cats off while trying to do it. Got a new printer for the computer yesterday, could set it up---Nah. So I came on-line, thinking I would track for yesterday and today, and keep my hands to busy to shove food in my mouth at the same time. The keeping my hands busy worked, but I got tied up in reading my Friend's Feed, and haven't gotten to the tracking yet. And that has been at least two hours ago!! Now, I really am hungry, and it really is time for dinner, so I guess I will have to leave the tracking for later. And I still haven't gotten through my entire Friend's Feed!! I think this computer must eat time. I don't know where it goes when I get on here.

Talk to all of you later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 8/4/2012 10:57PM

    Nice job! I, too, am always seeking that balance.

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NORASPAT 8/4/2012 10:02PM

    Oak that is me too. I spend hours on this some days and midnight has become my bed time.
I try to go faster I just like to talk. Somehow i never had a friend feed now i do but I forget it is there
I do not think about food very ften and I rarely feel hungry but I feel like I am crazy for yard work. I cut more bushes and trees.
It might help if you have put snacks somewhere , find something you like and it takes a lot of chewing. I find chewy is better than crispy. You will find a way for yourself . HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon You can do it we can help. Make it accountabe every day. TOP Prority, HUGS again Pat emoticon

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NDTEACHER1 8/4/2012 9:08PM

    I know that feeling too well to satisfy that desire to have a certain texture and taste in your mouth. It is such a battle. I also understand talking myself out of things I could/should be doing. Hang in there dear.

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BEARGODDESS 8/4/2012 8:46PM

    I do the same thing all the time Oak! I can get on my friend feed and be on it easily for 2 hours, but I get so much from talking to my Spark friends that I can't resist. It does keep me from snacking, but sometimes it almost keeps me from exercising too. I think we both need to learn balance! It's great that you chose us over snacking though! (And flattering too!)

Hope you get your tracking done. I get on here too and get so involved reading blogs and visiting and then I log off and realize I should have done some tracking.


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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/4/2012 7:44PM

    That's actually what I've been doing today to keep myself from shoving food into my gullet and it's worked. Yay for us! I know what you mean about the balace though. I don't know if I'll ever get content about it, but I'll keep trying.

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FEMISLIM 8/4/2012 7:35PM

    That is what I would call a good distraction. You have just discovered a way to stop binging. If you are not really hungry, rather than eating get online and read your friends' Feeds!!!
Good idea, I will be using this too.

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My first anniversary

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Yesterday was my one year anniversary since really setting out to "do" SparkPeople. I am annoyed with myself that I have not only lost more weight, but have actually regained about 10 pounds that I had lost by last winter. That is really the only downside, though.

The good news:
1. I have found I actually enjoy exercising when I can play on the machines at the gym, and I am not feeling intimidated by the other people at the gym. Part of that is that a lot of them are my age and shape, and part of it is that I did the three sessions with a personal trainer so I now know how to use the machines correctly and what a "program" really looks like. An unexpected bonus: Even the "jocks" recognize me and speak, like they recognize me as someone who shares their value of a healthy body.
2. My arthritis isn't gone, but it certainly bothers me and restricts me less than it did a year ago. That means I can do a lot of things that I couldn't just a year ago. Yeah!!
3. Eating continues to be a major challenge, but even when I am overeating now, I eat less than I have in the past. My "binges" are one bag of Cheetos or one candy bar, not everything in the house. And, since I am watching the calories and fat content on foods, many things I would have bought in the past stay on the store shelf.
4. Having other people say, "You've lost weight, haven't you?" feels really, really good.
5. My A1C (a measurement of blood glucose over the last three months) has dropped significantly in the last year. It has dropped from an average of about 145 to an average of about 130 (normal for a non-diabetic is between 80 and 110 at this particular lab). That means that I am at significantly less risk of diabetic complications (blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, loss of a foot or leg, unremitting pain in the feet.... and on and on). It also means that I will probably not need insulin in the near future, and if I can get myself to control the food and lose more weight---I might meet my goal of getting off my diabetic pills completely for a least a few years.
6. And perhaps the best news of all: I am still here a year later. I don't think I have ever made it on a diet more than three or four months in the past. A lot of the reason I am still here is all of you. For the first time, I feel as if there are other people out there with the same bad habits I have and have been ashamed of for years, and are also working on them openly and honestly. That means that I can be open and honest about what I am really doing. When I go on a binge, I can admit it, and admit that I feel badly about it, and about my own lack of will-power. The trackers also help. I find that I am proud of my fitness tracker building up the minutes, and the "trophies" each month are an open announcement of my committment to changing this time. The food trackers help, too. It is hard to tell myself I haven't really over eaten by all that much when it is right there in black and white.

My goals for next year:
1. Lose at least another 30 pounds. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I am starting to recognize my own limitations. I need to stay just below maintenance, or I just plain don't stick to it.
2. Continue to do at least some exercise at least five days a week. Time is still a big issue here. Oh, well. I can retire in a couple more years, and will be able to have more time for the things I need and want to do.
3. Speaking of work, I am going to find a way to NOT be stressed by this non-job I am doing. I have conceded that at my age nobody is going to hire me, even in-house. Doesn't make sense, since a younger person may well move on in the next two years, but that is obviously how it works. I will NOT spend time being depressed about something that can't be helped. I promise myself.

So, thanks to all of you for being here for me, and saying what needs to be said when I need to hear it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 8/3/2012 10:10PM

    Good Blog OAK, I like the way you tell t as it is.
Honesty is the best policy and it is the only way to go.
I have to get better with the fitness tracker. Today I walked 4 miles and I also spent more than 4 hours doing the trees in the back yard.
we have a 1/4 acre lot in town. Not very big but it had begun to look tiny since all the trees had encroached on the grass in the over 35 years we have lived in this house. Now i have opened it up it looks much more attractive and the lot really does look it's size. I am thinking if we ever go to sell it that is what would attract people to it. Most of our area has much smaller lots. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AAAACK 8/3/2012 8:16PM

    It sounds like you're doing great! What a lot of gains you've made in fitness over the last year. Keep going!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/2/2012 10:11PM

    Oak, this is one of the best blogs I've ever read, so beautifully articulated! You're definitely on the right track on many levels. Keep up the great work!

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UMUCGRAD 8/2/2012 9:45PM

    You're welcome. Stay connected. It helps!

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STARMIZER2000 8/2/2012 9:15PM

  Don't give up!!!!

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What a relief!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Have had a day of excellent news today. First, I went to the podiatrist. My doctor had thought I might need surgery on my right foot. The podiatrist says it isn't that bad yet, and all I need is different shoes. That I can live with. Instead of the neuroma my own doctor thought it might be, it is just a couple bone spurs from arthritis, which make it so my big toe doesn't bend enough on that side. He says it may need surgery in the future, but right now it can be handled conservatively.

Then: My job title is "community liaison nurse for geriatric psychiatry". Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Usually, it means I am a high-priced paper pusher, but today I actually got to liase!! One of the patients we see in a nursing home was admitted to the psychiatric hospital yesterday, so I went to her "staffing" (making a plan of care) and got a chance to work with her for a while. Most of the time, I sit in a room with the charts at the nursing facilities and type while the doctor sees the patients. It was so nice to get a chance to do something that actually felt like being a nurse!! I do answer pages and respond to patient problems by phone a lot, but I really miss the face-to-face. I do get "floated" to the inpatient units fairly often (about once a week), but this was actually what I signed on to do!! Yes!!

Then I had my job evaluation. I got an "exceeds expectations" on everything except one item that really doesn't apply to my current job, AND--my position has been fully funded again, primarily because I have been willing to "float" to other places and do whatever needed done, from charge nurse to medications nurse to acting as a spare nurses' aide. Whee!! What a relief!! It doesn't change the fact that I really don't have even 30 hours of work each week if I do the job efficiently (which I am concentrating on NOT doing), but at least I don't feel as if my job is hanging in the balance.

My DD, SIL and GD are going to go ahead on their cruise. Unfortunately, SIL isn't handling this all that well, and isn't willing to discuss the situation with DD or his parents. Part of that is job stress for him. He really wants to be a vice president with his company, and has been working toward that for 12 years. For the last year, he and another guy have been assigned to positions where they do some of that work, and are being evaluated to see which will get the official position. He has a major presentation tomorrow, and found out a couple days ago that one of the people he supervises had not carried through on his part of the project. Ouch!! So he is in panic mode about that, as well as dealing with the impending death of his last grandparent, and getting ready for the big trip.

The good news from my daughter is that she got a B in the statistics course she just finished. She is normally a straight A student, but got a teacher who talks to the board instead of the class, and kept switching numbers in mid-stream. There was another honors student in the class, and they have talked to the administration about the situation, only to find that there have been previous complaints and the guy will probably not be re-hired for the next semester.

Got home, and went to log my A1C, only to realize that it wasn't 6.3 last year--it was 6.6!! So I have dropped it by 0.5 points in the last year, in spite of having eaten really badly lately. How's that for an affirming NSV? It is the first concrete thing I have seen that has changed, so I am feeling really good about that tonight, too.

In the meantime: ate well today, and am going to keep doing that. No exercise today, and I have GOT to get back to that. That may have to wait until I am back on track with food, maybe tomorrow, or maybe next week, but it will happen.

Go me!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELEDSHARON 7/26/2012 8:46AM

    Great job, Oak! Its wonderful to hear that you're being rewarded.
I have bone spurs in my toes too. I haven't bent them in a couple years. It's not ideal, but I can accept its limits. Big stiff toes unite!
My heart goes out to your sil. That's all too much at once. I hope he gets some peace soon.
Way to eat well, woo hoo!

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NORASPAT 7/25/2012 9:29PM

    There you are not doing nearly as bad as you thought so keep on doing what you are doing and add a bit more effort to it now you know your job is safe and funded. Go for it you can do it. I have slacked off to keep the Grands happy but they are eating very healthy and very little food. HUGS pat in Maine. Sorry about the cruise dilemma. emoticonPositive blog, Great Aic and definitely a positive Blog Way to go Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEARGODDESS 7/25/2012 9:16PM

    Hooray!!! I'm SO GLAD everything went so well for you! You must feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders to have so many worrisome things resolved all in one day. Fantastic about your job!

emoticon emoticon

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DEBBY4576 7/25/2012 9:07PM

    My goodness you had a good day! Guess we can't have everyday that good, or we wouldn't appreciate them when they do finally come. So much good news you had in one single day!!!!! Congrats

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MWHITE0527 7/25/2012 8:58PM

    Congrats on all accounts!

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my computer is well, and I'm back

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Turns out my computer had a virus. Only one, but it was a doozey. So, $50 later, I'm back on line. For reasons that escape me, they reset my home page to bing (I have now reset it to SparkPeople) and they changed my screen background to this very bright, difficult to read around background (also now reset). I've really missed all of you. It is obviously going to take a while to get caught up. Please be patient.

Got most of the carpets cleaned this last weekend. I hadn't gotten it done since before the construction, and...yuck!! I went over several places twice. Still have a piece of the living room (have to move furniture around, so it gets done in thirds) and my bedroom. Not going to happen tonight, though.

Went for my annual exam today, and told the doctor about all the bits and pieces of me that aren't working quite right, so now I have an appointment with a podiatrist tomorrow (both feet still not working the way they should), an appointment next week for my shoulder, which I injured last fall and which is still weak and occasionally gets "stuck" in spite of a couple months of physical therapy back then, and I'm going to have some more blood work done for my fatigue and lack of energy. I suspect a lot of that is still a combination of depression and the unremitting heat we are exeriencing, but it doesn't hurt to be sure. The doctor also wants to do a shave biopsy on a spot I have had for years, but which she says is beginning to look funny. Haven't got an appointment for that one yet. The good news: My A1C is 6.1 (down from 6.3 last year) and my liver enzymes are back down closer to where they belong. My mammogram is also normal, but I wasn't too worried about that to begin with. I'm only 63, way too early to be falling apart like this. The A1C was a pleasant surprise, though, given some of the stuff I've eaten lately. There is a good reason I am not only not losing, but am actually gaining a little again. OK, Oak, back on the program, like NOW!!

My job evaluation is also supposed to be tomorrow. I think I am doing a good job, but really, I spend most of my time at work pretending to do something constructive. This is where I should find out whether my job hours are going to be cut to four days a week. I would love to work only four days a week, but I really need to maximize my income this close to retirement, too. After I find out what is happening with work hours, I am going to make an appointment with the benefits office to figure out exactly where I am financially when I retire, given different scenarios. Down to two years and counting now--and I'm hoping it won't have to be that long.

My son-in-law's grandpa, who lives with his parents (SILs parents, that is, not GPs) is not doing at all well, and they don't expect him to live much longer. He lost his wife a couple years ago, moved here from Arizona, then had to have hip surgery almost immediately. He has just never really popped back. It think he is still in mourning. He is saying that he will be out of pain soon, that it won't matter how he feels soon, etc., and was worrying and worrying about his GD getting back from Europe because he wanted to see her again. She is back, and it looks as if that is what he was waiting for.

Daughter, SIL and GD are due to leave for a cruise next weekend, non-refundable of course, so they are worrying about whether they should leave or not. I hope they go ahead. I know they want to be here if it happens, but at the same time there is really nothing they can do. It isn't as if they haven't spent a lot of time with GP, which seems to me to be more important that turning up at the funeral, so I also hope that if they go and he passes while they are gone that they won't feel guilty about it.

In the meantime, do you know how bad the drought is here? It is so dry here that the even the poison ivy is wilting!! Noticed tonight when I stopped to get the mail. There is a patch I spend a lot of time fighting just across the lane from the mailbox. I was considering hitting it with Round Up. I don't usually do that unless I think it will rain in the next day or two, but it is so dry that maybe just the moisture from the Round Up would be enough to act as "watering", do you think?

OK, enough rambling. got to go put the clothes in the dryer. Yep, that's right. I'm blogging while doing laundry again. See ya' tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELEDSHARON 7/24/2012 9:49PM

    I hope all your test results come back squeaky clean or with results that are easily treatable. I need to have my annual too, no sense in putting that off. Good luck with your job eval. I hope Grandpa's passing is peaceful.
Here's a very clean welcome back mat!

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NORASPAT 7/24/2012 9:27PM

    I don't know about your computer I am just very glad that you are back.
Those are very tough decisions to be made for the family. Now you have had the Dr's appointment it is time to come back to tracking.
Your Social is the best of your working 10 years.
After my back injury i went to ask about my Social security and that was when i discovered. I only made a profit for 4 years the others were losses. I had a good time doing it and so we are not very well off in our retirement HUGS Talk to them soon and do not do as I did . PROCRASTINATED !!! NOT THE emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PINKNFITCARLA 7/24/2012 8:55PM

    Glad your computer is back!

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Maybe I should change my name to Sisyphus?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I just finished reading Deborah's (Lunadragon's) blog about being in neutral, and I got thinking about how hard it is to keep trying to push myself up the hill of health.

Remember Sisyphus? He was the guy in Greek mythology who was sentenced to push a big rock up a hill for eternity. Every time he got to the top, the rock would roll back down, and he would have to start again. What a great metaphor for what I have done with my health all of my life!! I just start to get myself together and then something gives me an excuse to stop, and I roll right back down the hill, and that big stone lands right on top of me again.

Well, you know, maybe I am going to have to keep pushing that same damn big stone up that same mountain of temptation for the rest of my life, but I am going to keep pushing this time. Perhaps if I push long enough, that mountain will begin to erode, and flatten out a little.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 7/12/2012 8:44PM

    Oh Sharon beat me to sending you the new Emoticon, Well guess what, you will get it again here it is. emoticon
You know why it is here?
It is here because you are worth it. You look great you have a great attitude but the only way to stop pushing is when all of your bodily systems are perfect, then you can give up. Unfortunately BMI is not yet cooperating so be accountable by blogging or sending messages to designated prodders till you have that rock on the straight and narrow path it has worn to the top. The rock has made it easier to see the way to go so remember that.
Make a plan.
I too am just holding my rock in place with so many issues around me.
Our Friends who encouraged us to come to Maine, who were our next door neighbours in our first home in Maine .They were our son's Godparents years ago. Passed away after a long illness. The call came in as I sat down to track dinner.
Cannot think too straight HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon

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MMRB7111 7/11/2012 8:48PM

    You have a great attitude about this journey. Hold on to that attitude and emoticon. I love this new emotion.

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AAAACK 7/10/2012 11:18PM

    Dang, we should start a group called Conquering Sisyphus because I feel the same way!
I like your idea of flattening out that mountain. Nice way to turn it around.

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BEARGODDESS 7/10/2012 10:24PM

    That's what they made this for: emoticon otherwise known as being over fifty! I don't think we'll ever be able to rest on our laurels like we did in our 20's.


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2WHEELEDSHARON 7/10/2012 10:13PM


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