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5% Assignment Number 3

Friday, December 03, 2010

(Countdown to New Year's: 28 Days Left!)

The third assignment in the ď2010 Winter 5% Challenge CommunityĒ is to list all the reasons I want to lose weight. That's a pretty tall order, and I'll confess right now that I won't meet it. To list ALL of the reasons could take me quite some time. But here goes. Not a definitive list, or in any particular order; itís more like a stream of consciousness thing, I guess.

I want to be a living example for my son
I want him to see that even if life tosses us a lemon now and then, we can overcome it. Most of his memory involves me battling cancer, first thyroid and then breast cancer. He doesnít remember me being active or physically strong. We havenít been biking together since he was about two. Weíve never skated the length of the canal together. I want him to see that side of me.

I want my friends and family to be confident in my strength and endurance
I want them to know they can rely on me, that they are not an encumbrance, that helping or supporting them for whatever they need is not Ďtoo muchí for me.

I want to be spontaneous again
There was a time that I didnít hesitate to take off alone to explore the biking paths around Ottawa, when going to Gatineau Park in the middle of the night with my husband was a usual occurrence, when volunteering to help others out was done without a second thought. Now, I worry about fatigue, a sore back, the next day I will lose to exhaustion... I want to be fearless and spontaneous again!

I want to improve my health
Regular pulse, blood pressure, cholesterol levels. Better complexion. No rash from rubbing thighs. Better digestion.

I want to fit comfortably
I donít want the first thought in my mind to be Ďwill I fit?Ē Airplane seats, restaurant booths, back seats of vehicles, amusement park rides, my husbandís lap. I want to just go ahead and sit, without worrying about whether I will fit!

There are many, many other reasons I couldnít hope to make a comprehensive list. I find a lot of encouragement and inspiration on SparkPeople, something Iíve never had before. I see myself so often when I read your blogs, and reading how so many of you have overcome difficulties far greater than mine is very inspirational. It convinces me that it can be done, and if it can be done than I can do it too!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 12/8/2010 11:05AM

    You have great reasons!

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JUSTYNA7 12/4/2010 11:51AM

    You are definitely on the road to recovery! To recovery and beyond! emoticon

I wanted a rocket ship but I suppose a race car will do! Woop!

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KARENE10 12/4/2010 9:12AM

    What a great list! emoticon

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MBOURKE8 12/4/2010 8:39AM

    An admirable list! With that motivation I know you will be successful !!

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JMCADE 12/3/2010 8:14PM

    Wow what a list. I hope that this challenge helps you to make a dent in some of these items.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/3/2010 5:58PM

    way to go emoticon! great reasons. and, yeah, i could probably never list ALL the reasons, because I feel like i find new reasons everyday.

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PSFITMOMMY413 12/3/2010 1:31PM

    All great reasons- you can do this!

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KELPIE57 12/3/2010 1:28PM

    You are an inspiration.....we should all make that list!

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MONAMOM 12/3/2010 1:26PM

    Great list!!

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MELTING2SVELTE 12/3/2010 1:17PM

    Great list!

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December Already!?!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 30 days left to 2010!)

A new month brings an opportunity for a fresh start, and a renewal of commitment to better health. My December is looking like this:

ē At least 10 minutes of exercise every day in December:
My vision board is a magnetic whiteboard. My own challenge is to do at least 10 minutes of exercise every day in December, and reward myself with a set of magnetic poetry for my vision board. Synchronicity: the Frugalists and Simple Living Teamís ďDecember's JUST MOVE IT ChallengeĒ

ē Have music in every day!
I love music, it really gets me energized, and I donít know why I havenít taken more advantage of that.

ē Review today/Plan tomorrow
Each and every day. I already have my reward Ė I bought a Moleskine agenda for 2011 on sale!

ē Starfish 2010 Winter 5% Challenge
This is the first team challenge Iíve signed up for since finishing treatments. Iím committing to 10 minutes of exercise and checking in with my team daily, and following the SP dietary guidelines. Iím also tracking everything in a HealthMinder journal, so I can discuss with my doctor at the end of the month (my annual physical).

Thatís it. Thatís all.

I usually have a list as long as my arm. Then Iím distracted by prioritizing, feel stress and pressure to do it all, and disappointed in myself when I donít get absolutely everything done. Iím taking a different approach this month. My one healthy thing is exercise. My one fun thing is music. My one thing to improve life for the family is the planning. And my one Ďteam sportí is the winter challenge. My daily planning will certainly include a list of things to get done, but it will be more like a running list. Iíll identify five non-negotiables for the day, and anything extra I get done will be icing on the cake! Iím keeping it simple and attainable, so that I start this cancer-free lifestyle on the right foot.

Happy December everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANLEEW 12/1/2010 9:48PM

    Remember to add small rewards! Keep moving, keep tracking!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/1/2010 6:59PM

    emoticonI'm a starfish too! We can do this!!

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JUSTYNA7 12/1/2010 11:34AM

    I love it! emoticon

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KELPIE57 12/1/2010 9:10AM

    I like your idea of simplifying goals.....I need to try that

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Things are Looking Up...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 34 days left!)

Well, the radiation burns are finally healing, and I can move around more comfortably. Of course, that means Iím getting right back on that exercise horse to get back into shape!

I tend to be a collector, and many of the SP concepts seem to be geared to me (or maybe thatís just how Iím reading it LOL!). With the Spark Streaks concept, Iíll goad myself into doing things on a daily basis, trying to increase the length of my streaks. I also think the minute-tracking for the exercise will help me, as I challenge myself to do more minutes per day/week/month. Iíve joined the ď2010 Winter 5% ChallengeĒ, an 8-week challenge to lose 5% of my body weight. It begins in mid-December, just in time to bring me through the Holidays.

Speaking of the Holidays, my finger nails are nearly back to normal, so I can start practicing Christmas songs on the piano. I havenít played in 25 years, but I have time on my hands so why not? Iíve also begun to plan my Christmas baking. My SIL canít eat gluten, and I seem to be the only one who understands what that means baking-wise, so Iím doing a couple of special things for her in addition to stuff for everyone else! Itís a bit of an odd feeling as last year there wasnít much being done Ė I had been having problems since mid-August, and the breast cancer was diagnosed December 16th. It seems like itís been a long time since weíve really celebrated the Holidays, and this year is going to be quite a party. Suffice it to say itís in town, but weíre bringing sleeping bags!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 12/1/2010 11:37AM

    I hope to do some baking for my gluten free family members too! Right now I am still in a brace so avoiding much kitchen stuff unless I have to. The stitches come out in another week (I had thought this week so was disappointed this am) and I'll have time then. This week I have guests so the priority is cleaning!

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KELPIE57 11/28/2010 9:03AM

    Celebrate every moment!

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Still Hanging in There...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(Countdown to New Yearís Ė only 37 days left!)

Radiation burns are starting to heal, new skin is starting to come through Ė finally! Itís still difficult to move much because of the friction, but Iím looking forward to getting back on the exercise track. Things are so slow right now, though. Iím appreciating the extra time that I to meditate and really explore the Ďnew meí.

If anything, having breast cancer hasnít illuminated anything in particular, but it has served to confirm some of my core values and life decisions.

First and foremost, when DH and I married 22 years ago, after having gotten engaged two weeks after we started going out together... yeah, that was the right decision. I donít have the words to express how much I love and appreciate him Ė wonít even try, because it wouldnít do him justice.

One thing that I have always held to be true is that every person is a treasure because of what they are inside. That wonderful husband that I mentioned above, he has confirmed that he agrees with me. I will never wear the standard female body ever again. I will not be doing reconstruction and donít care to wear foobies. When I told my husband of my decision, he said whatís important is whatís inside, and the look in my eyes when I look at him. I cannot express how reassuring that is, after the assault of media images that try to convince me that thin and curvy is where itís at. No, where itís at is right here where I am, with him.

Further, things are not as important as people. I learned this lesson in my mid-teens, after having lost dozens of people to illness and accidents. It was odd to realize that I had somewhat lost that focus and begun accumulating things. Ugh. Now Iím decluttering, and donating a lot of things to people who are in more need of them. Iím rediscovering my minimalist core, and it feels very liberating.

Iím about half way through my life (Iíll be 50 next year), but Iím still Ďunder developmentí. Iíll try to keep blogging, and would be happy if you joined me for the ride!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 11/24/2010 11:31AM

    Move over, and let me sit down! The start is good, and the voyage sounds interesting. Let's share some decluttering along the way.

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Sweeeeet Saturday

Saturday, November 13, 2010

(Countdown Ė 48 days until New Yearís)

So happy today. I started off the day early (woke up around 4:30), got up around 5:30 because I couldnít fall back asleep. I got some food in the slow cooker, so supper is ready. I had a nice, productive discussion with DH that clarified some things about how we can better work together, took a nap that turned into 4 hours of sleep, then helped DH paint the garage door/porch.

Although Iíve known Iím in a recovery period, I think I didnít quite realize what that meant in practical terms. The radiation is still burning, and I canít wait until that is over (soon, soon I remind myself!) This week I learned that for now, recovery means I do one thing, then I need a break or even a nap, then I can go on to another thing. My rational self is telling me duh, of course that makes sense; between the thyroid cancer and the breast cancer, I have been quite sedentary for about six years. If I donít take a break or nap, Iím useless for the rest of the day. ĎUselessí is so not where I want to be, so Iím taking my break/nap as my body calls for it. Worked out great today!

In reading through Justyna7ís blog today, the concept of thinking about warm fuzzy thoughts instead of warm comfort foods really resonated. I think this is something that would really be helpful to me. Instead of comfort foods, I could think of:

Snowshoeing up the mountain the morning of our wedding, and collecting pine boughs to decorate the chapel.

White water rafting on La Rouge Ė which was pushing myself way beyond my comfort zone. This also brings to mind how much wider my comfort zone is when DH is with me.

Enjoying biking around Ottawa, or walking around the market.

The jungle night walk in Costa Rica. Also in CR, foregoing the tourist shop in favour of checking out the noise in the tree across the street Ė hundreds of parrots settling in for the night, with the sunset filtering through the branches.

Gliding on the Rideau canal at night, right after theyíve watered it and itís sooo smooth, in that one section between Dowís Lake and Pretoria Bridge. You look up and see trees and stars. Beautiful and serene.

Get togethers with the family, dancing, laughing and just plain fun!

Hiking for hours and getting that perfect photo, after having waited patiently for how long? Donít know. Donít care. The rustling of the leaves, small animals racing about, waiting for that beaver to pop back out of its den, or that deer to turn just so, or the sun to just peek out from behind the clouds. Sweet.

Yes, they are all things of the past, but theyíre also things I look forward to being able to do again.

I feel like I got so much accomplished today, not only practical things but also in settling my mind. Feels wonderful!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURITA. 11/15/2010 2:15PM

    Very nice....very, very nice. Definitely take the sleep you need - your body needs to heal itself from the rads and this is natural. It's great that you are getting some things settled in your mind - also very important. Your future after treatments is just around the corner! Sounds like you are aligning yourself to really enjoy it!

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KELPIE57 11/14/2010 4:00AM

    I believe that by remembering these positive thoughts, you are telling your body that is it is in a good place, and you are helping your drift off to sleep for your nap or rest with these in your mind, you'll be speeeding up your recovery! emoticon

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JOCALAT 11/13/2010 7:12PM

    nice blog!!

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JUSTYNA7 11/13/2010 6:02PM

    emoticon I feel like a proud Mama, even shed a tear! Woo hoo is not even close. You grow girl!

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