Friday, November 22, 2013
So I read a blog recently by a Spark friend that got me thinking about the ways you can reduce your stress level and increase your health, simply by remembering what you are grateful for.
I am currently participating in a challenge on the Positively Yours team to pause daily and find something to be thankful for. I did this last year too so I thought it would be fun to go back and find the thread, and compile everything into a summary.
Thankful for my children, husband, an extra hour in the day with the time change, my faith and the loving community where I practice it, a walk I got to take on a busy day....Thankful for our military service men who do more for us than we even know, away from their families. A new grocery store that just opened up close to where I work...for healthier lunch choices. Some days off work, to live my life!!! But also Thankful for my job...even the rough days are worth it. For my health. Very thankful. My home. Feelings of rest, recuperation and re-focus. For a strong, positive, and lasting memory of something very good happening in my life about one year ago this time.
For a little sunshine, a nice trip into Pittsburgh, and a good lunch. I also had a good chat with my mom on the phone. For the opportunity to go see a movie with a friend and my sister later!
I am thankful for Spark every day, but there are some days I am just really glad to come on to the message boards and balance out my thoughts. You can say things here that you can't just say anywhere...you know?
Thankful for a day to stay home...no appointments, no last minute trips to the store for things we are out of, nothing that can't wait until another day. I had a great nap...and guess what. While I was catching up on sleep I wasn't snacking so I am well on track to meet my calorie range for the day. Optimism about my goals.
The BASICS--safe clean water to drink, food to eat, and a roof over my head. My safety every day on the job. I pray for it every day.
Thankful for those inspirational little quotes and sayings that keep me moving...
Thankful to have sunshine on a day off so the kids and I can play outside. I was also thankful that my brother was happy to have us stay over at his home last Thanksgiving. Truly thankful for how everything in my life worked out...taking my little family to visit our extended family members.
For some time with my sister. She moved out of state and I miss her dearly. She came to town for the holiday and managed to fit us in. But Thankful to finally get exercise again after days of scrambling around and not having any time for myself.
Thankful for modern conveniences...from washing machines to cell phone apps. The amount of technology that can be used in any given situation is overwhelming sometimes...but if you get in a groove it makes life easier so that we can keep freeing up time to exercise and pre-cook healthy food!
Thankful today for everything I KNOW about how to stay healthy, and how to raise my children in that way. Of course SP has played a huge role in this.
Thankful for music...it is good company in workouts, a car ride alone, during any type of work. It can be healing, invigorating, emotional in a helpful way...just glad to have it in my life.
Thankful to the City workers who put so much effort into hanging Christmas lights in the town..it is dark when I leave work and it is so much more peaceful and pleasant to see something bright at the end of a long day.
Thankful for my dentist...and for that matter the skills of all doctors and nurses who are trained medically to take care of us when we cannot.
Last but not least...I am thankful for all the ways the (Postively yours) team helped me stay on track this month. From helping me keep my calories in line again for the first time in months, to challenging me to fit in cardio minutes when I think I can't, and of course the pleasant goodies that we share along the way to make it fun.
For when I find true peace and calm. Beautiful leaves outside...
Thankful for a day when my littlest one wakes us up since we had an early morning appointment and slept through alarms! What a guy.
Thankful for the music I found during a walk, keeping me moving while keeping my mind from wandering too far into the places it shouldn't go during my exercise time.
Thankful for my job. It gets challenging but ultimately it is exactly what I want to be doing.
On the rough days I am thankful for the very basic things that matter most at the end of the day. My children, my husband, my home.
Thankful to find just enough time to work on a task that I wasn't sure I could finish in time.
Thankful that I have good reliable transportation, and a fun evening that hubby and I had with the kids, going to the YMCA to for a movie night.
Thankful for all the little things that my husband does to help me when he knows I am tired and need a rest.
A nice visit with friends and being able to get everything ready before they arrived so I could just enjoy hosting the visit.
For the Freedoms fought for by the Veterans.
Tthankful that I was able to get some outside work done, before the snow came.
For a nice quiet day at work, to regroup and progress.
For my health and for everything about the spark community that helps me to maintain it.
Thankful for friends and fun times with family, even though it takes a lot of planning and effort to get together.
Thankful to have found a little time to take a walk and catch up on my flea market stuff.
For how well both my boys behave in church.I gave my hubby the blessing to go spend some time with his cousins he never sees, so I was a little nervous about taking them by myself. It worked out just fine though! Truly blessed.
Thankful that I made it to where I needed to go...my front tire had a nail in it and I had lots of errands to run that would have been complicated to re-schedule so I'm glad it held up. Then Thankful that my car was all fixed up! For the first time in 2 weeks I could get in my car and drive without worrying about being stranded with a flat tire.
For my friend at work who is so great to talk to when I get stressed!
Thankful that I got to the Dentist in time for them to fix something before it becomes a bigger problem.
Thankful to have the day off with my kids. I love them so much.
SO...Some things I am thankful for remain the same from year to year, but seeing the new things to be thankful for each day, it is a reminder to keep looking for the good.
Last but not least, THANK YOU for reading.
Monday, October 14, 2013
So I am now almost at a month into a "Re-Commitment" effort I started when I came back from vacation...this blog will cover the 3rd week.
This past week definitely was not as "Peaceful" as the 1st week. It was a lot like Week 2, only with my stress level turned up even louder.
So I'm going to post a few highlights and lessons so that I can focus on moving ahead!!!
I went into last week having overdone it a bit on a "Special Day"... giving myself a little leeway while celebrating my wedding anniversary on Monday. I had already slipped a lot the weekend before...after all...my husband and I rarely get to go out without the kids so I ate and drank some favorites.
Never thought about emotional eating while HAPPY
...but I think this is what happened.
There is something cool to mention here though--I took some time to watch the DVD of my wedding day. I had never done this before, since we had some loved ones pass away it wasn't something we were ready to do. But there were a lot of little things I loved about watching it. Like seeing myself, 20 pounds lighter
Is this motivation? I don't know. For years I have been "trying to go back there" to when I was lighter and younger, but it hasn't worked out that way. I know that a large part of it is due to a temporary situation I am in right now, so I have been continuing to do what I can.
With that in mind,
I took a couple nice FALL walks
My spark challenges have been really helping out with this! There was a night I only planned to go for 10 minutes, but actually got in a full 40 which is rare!! I also got my husband out there too. That was my favorite part of the week.
I still was on the roller coaster, at times, because Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday were not so great. I had the high stress factor going at work..to the point I was building the nerve to take a step in a serious direction.
I had a day where I really had to stand up for myself and considered taking it to a higher level of management...but as I was trying to build my nerve I came to an important realization
...I just have to plow through it. Enough damage has been done...I have to just get my work done and move on, whatever it takes.
So I gave myself some credit for trying things a different way for a minute this week, but went back to using my stress techniques to avoid and alter in the way that I KNEW would help. Now in the week ahead, I can work toward making this realization a reality.
All in all...I don't think I made a lot of progress toward losing, but my good habits were definitely present.
* I worked hard to make some healthy food for my family to eat
* I got some things straightened out with my Fiber supplements and drank lots of water.
* I made a lot of progress toward getting back on track with avoiding soda. Every time I had a little sip, I stopped because I am at the point where I just don't like it anymore!!!
As a bonus, I made a lot of nice things happen for a lot of people...Stepped up my participation at church, and also coordinated a nice visit for my mom to come here and be with us for a little while.
For too long I had a hard time looking past the most stressful part of the week, but as I type this blog I realize I have tons of strength to keep moving ahead. Plowing through it.
My good wishes for you are to
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
So going into Week two of “Re-commitment” I was not doing so well. Impressively I did OK keeping my calories in control on a Saturday, but then Sunday and Monday I crept back into the “2300 daily calorie intake” zone where I unfortunately have become so comfortable!
I managed to fix this on Tuesday even with having eaten an unexpected fast food lunch AND pizza for dinner…and kept up with this better progress on Wednesday, but then Thursday I went to a retirement party for a Co-worker, ate a Fried food lunch Friday, drank soda a couple times, and Saturday celebrated my wedding anniversary complete with dinner, dessert, alcohol and late night snacking.
I started to wonder, after this weekend, do I need to re-commit to my re-commitment????
Exercise habits lapsed too toward the end of the week. I had to work HARD to manage some stress, which probably ate up all the time I could have spent PLANNING better. There were an unusually high number of factors of influence beyond my control, In a lot of ways I felt like the week just wasn’t “mine.”
I got very discouraged while feeling physically unhealthy from poor decisions, time passing too fast, and just overall stressed. So in posting this blog I am trying to make peace with it. Here are the GOOD things I managed to do—
Personal record—consumed my highest ever amount of water in one day!
Practiced “Avoiding” stress as I have recently learned to do. My plan didn’t go perfectly and some of the stress was unavoidable…but it was very important to stand up for myself and I am proud to have done it.
Took some time for myself to take a great walk on Friday. Even though I couldn’t finish the week strong at work, I finished it very strongly at home.
Over the weekend I worked on things around the house that I had been meaning to accomplish for MONTHS! Some of it was at a cost of exercise on some days, but I still met one of my basic goals for the week.
If I could go back to last week and make one key realization, it would have been to look toward the closest day when I knew things WOULD finally settle. I guess I couldn’t have known that it would be today…but lessoned learned.
If I can’t see a day where things will settle, then it has seriously become time to PLAN to make it happen.
Thanks for reading! I hope I have better things to write about here in this next week where I am now.
Friday, September 27, 2013
So, I had a little melt down last week after I came back from vacation and realized the mounting stress I had been away from! Who wouldn't...look how much fun I was having!
And of course since I was on a trip where the food is included in the cost, I ate my money's worth. Proud of myself for tracking every delicious bit of it though!!!
I had to work hard not to stress and worry this week about going back to work after 10 days off with my loved ones--but I think I licked that too. This was all thanks to working on a team challenge where I learned some tricks for stress relief.
And now the big celebration moment...
I managed to stay in my calorie range and burn off a little more than I took in every day so far this week!! This is a big deal. I don't think I have ever made it past 4 or 5 consecutive days, and now I am at DAY 6!!!!!
I think this weekend it should be easy to continue soaring and accomplishing...I don't have a lot of big exciting plans and I feel pretty good to take a nice run or walk.
I haven't been at peace like this for a long time, but remember to ask myself two questions any time I am:
1) What am I most looking forward to, right now?
A nice October to celebrate a , hosting a for the first time (It's for Pampered chef), and just having a little time off work...also hoping things settle down a bit there.
2) How will I prepare for a time when this may fade?
on my efforts to eat and feed my family with healthier foods, live in my space, and just trying to stay ahead of the game.
If you have taken the time to read this blog I wish you peace as well. Have a great weekend!
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Back in early July, I pledged to step out of the electronic world more often and "live in my space." I spilled my thoughts in my last blog on how I spend way too much time scrolling, tapping, clicking…on favorites apps or websites, and for that matter not even doing anything PRODUCTIVE with these devices like backing up hard drives, organizing digital photos, learning or reading something new…etc.
Reading over the last blog, I realized there were a lot of things that I said to encourage myself, that I FORGOT! It also helped to re-read the friendly, supportive comments…so this led to another thought that perhaps I should re-read some of my other, older blogs for more inspiration to
Long story short, my goals to spend 10 minutes in the kitchen, 10 minutes on paper clutter, AND 10 minutes on a wild card project each DAY were a bit too ambitious for all the demands on my time right now.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up. Organizing my thoughts to set those goals definitely helped conquer a few time and space takers, but I need to try a different way to get more this consistent!!!
So now I am going to make a point to rotate days on the kitchen, the paper clutter, and the wild card project. Since the “10 minutes” became more of a kick-start to get working and making progress in one of these areas, this readjustment will grant the freedom to not have to stop and start again with only 10 minutes to work with on something else.
I am also thinking of tracking the days where I can work on more than one of my 3 focus areas, finding some way to reward myself with a free pass day here and there, or a spark goody, or maybe even a small online shopping indulgence.
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