Sunday, April 29, 2012
As I said in an earlier blog, I joined the Biggest Loser Challenge when it started on Wednesday, April 25th and I have been doing okay with it. Actually better than okay as I have walked every day ( ), am tracking my food , am playing with my doggies and and am spending a lot of time with my dear husband and my good friend Judy.
I am sleeping better now as well and plan to start aquafit this week - all part of my mission to knock depression to the curb where I hope it will be totally thrashed by the garbage compactor!!!!
But seriously, I do hope that the small changes I am making do help me mentally as well as physically. Yes, I know I will always have some sort of depression BUT a healthy body will surely help, right?
Today, the weather was pretty typical for Newfoundland in Spring. It was sunny, very chilly and we did have some snowflakes floating by. Mind you, that didn't stop us from walking nor did it stop Louisa from jumping into the river to swim. Brrrr.....
I am planning a pretty quiet night at home with my posse (John, Maddy and Louisa) and am hoping my day in the fresh air lulls me to sleep like a baby!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
As most of you know I used to be a fairly active member of SparkPeople since I joined in August 2010. And, if you've been following my journey you will realize that while I have not been successful with weight loss (I started out at 222 pounds, went down to 206 and now am back at 222) Spark has played a tremendous role in my life.
I life with clinical depression and had an equally depressing lifestyle. I didn't loathed exercise in any form, I ate poorly and water was something to wash my face in! I am proud to say I now am a walker, I am aware of what I eat and I love to drink my water! I also have made some wonderful SparkFriends and they have seen me through my many detours off the journey's path.
I am now recommitting to doing my best. I have joined up with the Biggest Loser Team and I will remain faithful to my previous teams because they are the ones who got me as far as I now.
I have to get some of this weight off because I remember how good it felt last summer to weight almost 20 pounds lighter! I will get there again and then some! Today was the first day of my "summer" holiday and I don't go back to work until early September so no excuses! I got up this morning and walked my dogs and I was truly thankful to share that time with them. Louisa though nothing of jumping into the river and going for a swim despite this being much too early in the season for the water to be much above 0 degrees! Silly thing but she had fun and I had fun laughing at her! Maddy was not impressed but managed to get his toes wet which is basically all he will ever do.
The rest of the day I spent on errands and then I ran into Walmart where I bought myself a skipping rope! Yep, age 46 and I am going to take up skipping! I figured it is something I can do anywhere and every bit of exercise will help.
I also stopped at the grocery store (our Walmart does not have much of a grocery aisle) and stocked up on good foods. I balked at paying $12 for a bag of frozen fruit but then I figured it would last me a week and the Reese's Peanut Butter mini cups I was eating were almost $4 a bag and they would only last me one night. Gross, hey? At least the fruit is yummy and is good for me! That and popcorn will be my nightly snacks if I am hungry.
Okay, time to get off here and start making some changes.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Today's blog inspiration has been brought to you by two of my wonderful SparkFriends - Chloe453 and BrightPenny so I want to thank them both upfront!
Chloe wrote a blog just the other day about "natural highs" and I want to share some my own with you. Here is my list:
~ Waking up each morning and being on "this side of the sod" (my father's mantra before he died
~ My dogs and their antics
~ My husband and the way we connect over the silliest of things
~ Finding money in a coat pocket you haven't worn in a while
~ The contentment I feel during and after a relaxing walk
~ Hanging clothes on the clothesline and watching it blow gently in the breeze
~ The thrill of getting a package in the mail. Bonus thrill if it arrives from my brother
~ Hearing my mother's voice on the phone (when she isn't complaining about her health!)
~ Puddles are being dressed in rubber boots so I can jump in them!
~ Pansies and violas
~ The woods roads and trails surrounding my town - lots of places to explore
~ The warmth of the sun on my face and the smell of sunscreen
~ An outdoor fire (with the obligatory marshmallow on a stick)
~ Rain at night and waking up to hearing in and knowing you are comfortable where you are
~ My SparkFriends
~ My little house with the white sheer curtains blowing in the breeze
~ Berry picking (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!)
~ Cold, yet sunny winters
~ All of the seasons except Spring but appreciating the first robin of spring, the first dandelion etc
~ Knowing that at the end of each day life is good
Okay, and the reason BrightPenny has touched me is, well, despite a great loss in her life, she has managed to be on of the most pleasant people I have met and most successful. She has lost over 60 pounds in 8 months and has done it all with a smile.
I wrote in a SparkMail message to her about my personal journey. This is what I said to her "I have to be careful to use SparkPeople as a tool along my journey and not to let it become my journey".
Her response was basically to make sure I used SparkPeople as a tool but a tool for what. If I wanted to use it for social engagement primarily or did I want to get serious about my physical health. I know the social aspect of SparkPeople has indeed helped my mental growth but there is a fine line between going with the flow and deciding to focus my efforts on my nutrition and exercise.
It is time for me to realize that until I put as much effort into my nutrition and exercise as I do with the social aspects of SparkPeople, my weight is probably going to remain the same. Only I can do this!!!! And I just might do it! Scratch that last sentence ....I AM GOING to do this!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Hello fellow Sparkers!
Well, it appears that some of you seem to think that I can write which I find quite funny because I tend to just write whatever pops into my head and I don't spend hours figuring out what I am going to say. It somehow just comes out of me which my brother claims is a great characteristic because reading my e-mails is like having me there in person. (His words and not mine). Whenever I tell him a funny story I always lead up to it by warning him to put down any hot beverages because I don't want to be responsible for his spitting it out on his clothes and/or burning his privates. He gets a real kick out of that and (according to him) has saved him from scalding himself many times.
So, speaking of which, did I tell you these stories I wonder? Just recently, my groomer (well, she is actually our DOGS groomer and not mine) was dogsitting for her sister's dog. The dog has always been quite good do my friend didn't think anything of leaving her at home unattended. She also didn't give a second thought to setting up her Roomba to vac her floors when she was gone. Well, when she returned home that evening she found out the dog had several accidents throughout the house which the Roomba (a robotic type of vacuum) took and dragged everywhere!!! Honest to goodness!
Then there is the dog my cousin knows who was in the basement where several young chicks were hatched in an incubator. As each one hatched the dog reaches in and takes the chick in his mouth and gently cleans it off. Then when the chicks make a sound he goes to the incubator and takes them out and nestles them into his fur. This is a huge German Sheppard that has half the town terrorized just by its looks!!
My final story is about a good friend of my brothers who lives outside of Sydney, Australia. Fran was dogsitting her mom's elderly, half-blind, half-deaf, ancient poodle when she decided walk her off leash. Without warning the poodle took off down the block and turned into a church garden which apparently was having a BBQ for the area's homeless. Before she knew what was happening the dog stole a bunch of sausages and was quite proud of herself while Fran arrived trying to make excuses and apologies!
Oh, and before I forget I promised a friend of mine that I would start to eat better. That is why I am turning over a new leaf. This is the same friend who last year was eating herself sick and who ended up in ICU over Christmas with what turned out to be Type 1 (!) diabetes at age 55! She has gone from living on chocolate for breakfast to salads, cut out diet coke completely, and is losing a lot of excess weight. Last summer I wrote about how I felt she was sabotaging my efforts and now she is the one encouraging me to log my food! Wow! So, I am going to do it.....look out!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Yes, today is my birthday and I am really, really fighting to stave off a pity party. And it has nothing to do with turning 46 as I know I am in a better place in my life than I have ever been before. No, my depression suddenly didn't disappear off the face of the earth, nor did the sun decide to take up full time occupancy over our island and, yes, we are still undergoing a financial hardship. As of next week, we will be living on my unemployment insurance which isn't much as my job is only seasonal and part-time at that.
No doubt my special day is going to be different this year. I don't think there will be any presents and I am fine with that, really, I am. I know I have far too many physical possessions to enjoy as it is so anything else would be a waste. I am being taken out to a nice restaurant both tonight and tomorrow - today by my mom and tomorrow by close friends.
I think what I am sad about is that I miss my dad. Huh? Yep, I miss the way he always made me feel special everyday but even more so on my birthday. He would always make the special effort to call me as soon as he knew I would be up and would devote the whole day to doing whatever I wanted to do. Okay, now I sound like a child but I hope you all know what I mean.
I need to feel Dad in my life right now and that would be a perfect present for me. A few hours before he died he promised me he would live on in my heart and I know that deep within he is here with me. I am hoping some of you know what is like to have that closeness with their parents and that you don't think I'm gone off the deep end.
Anyway, I have to cheer myself up and stop this is in its tracks before Dad himself pops out of nowhere and smacks me up the side of the head. Ha! I got my sense of humour from him so he did give me a special gift!
So, where am I in my journey? Well, I'm not really sure. This has been the longest I have ever gone without blogging and I kind of missed it. Do you ever go back and read your past blogs? It is an eye-opener for me when I do. Somethings I have written make me squirm while other stuff makes me quite proud that I am honest. Yes, I have a mental illness but that doesn't make me who I am.
Speaking of mental illnesses, I had an interesting appointment with my psychiatrist earlier in the week. She "thinks" I am a completely different person than when I began seeing her about 8 years ago. You know me and my humour so don't be surprised that I piped up and said "okay, whom I am and what have I done with the real Susan." Thankfully she has a great sense of humour as well so I wasn't locked away!
According to her, I am at the stage where I am accepting of my illness and moving on. I am not letting depression (oh, and a slight tendency to be Bi-Polar - who knew?) dictate where my life takes me. I am not using it as a shield but rather to explain who I am and the role it plays in my life. She says I am much stronger than I think I am and am much more saner than anybody she has ever met?! Who me? Sane? Wow? You see, I have always thought I was slightly crazy and was only one forgotten pill away from being put into a straight jacket. But no, apparently a professional thinks I have an inner strength that I don't know about.
So, who is the real Susan? The real Susan is finally emerging and I am finding out that she might actually be likeable and a nice friend to have in my back pocket. So the birthday present I am giving myself this year is permission to accept and love who I am right now and not worry about who I was or who I might turn out to be.
Oh, and a piece of birthday cake wouldn't go astray
P.S. I think I just hear Dad clapping and cheering me on!
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