Thursday, January 13, 2011
January is half-way through, my motivation is back, and all sorts of elements are aligning to support my activities in this next phase.
It began when I joined the Winter 5% Challenge (Iím a Starfish!). Unfortunately, this coincided with starting Tamoxifen, and I will be no where near losing any weight. In fact, Iíll be lucky if I can finish at the same weight I began. Ugh.
However, thatís all just a hiccup in the road. With the New Year, Iím determined to aggressively attack any residual issues following 2010ís chemo/surgery/radiation, and Iíve lined up appointments as required. Iíve been to one appointment already with the chiropodist, and it has helped tremendously with the toes, although I still canít wear shoes :-(
The basics with regard to nutrition and exercise have been haphazard at best in 2010, so Iím starting with a clean slate, keeping to the basics. I began the year by joining the ďOfficial 10-Minute Daily Exercise Streak ChallengeĒ. I know 10 minutes is minimal, but I am feeling a difference and it encourages me to work harder.
I also said I was going to rediscover my passions, and one thing Iíve rediscovered is the piano. I havenít played in 25 years, but my husband challenged me to play for 2 minutes (yep, only 2 minutes) one day. Once I started I couldnít stop. I played for about an hour! Muscle memory is a wonderous thing, and my fingering and the music is just coming back to me.
Two other groups are contributing to this synergy. Justyna7 over in the ďPeople in OttawaĒ group has started another 100-Day Countdown Challenge, which weíre starting on January 15th. Iíve made 8 commitments to the team.
1. Drink 8X8 oz water/day
2. Exercise 10 min/day
3. Eat within my recommended calorie range
4. Eat within my recommended low sodium range
5. Use my slow cooker or rice cooker at least once per day
6. 15-min Zone work per day (inspired by flylady.com)
7. My average weight will decrease weekly
8. Daily reports to the mini-team!
These marry well with the two other challenges, and Iím aiming to keep motivated by identifying mini-rewards.
Lastly, I began a ďLiving Well Beyond CancerĒ course last night with the Canadian Cancer Society. It lasts six weeks. They have asked that we establish a goal for the week and that we report back to the group next week. Weíll be doing this on a weekly basis. Well, Iíve already got my goals, so no problem there. But reporting back to that group, face-to-face, will be an accountability I havenít had before and gives added encouragement.
So, the stars are aligning for me to get on top of my health this year, and return to an active lifestyle. This is going to be MY YEAR!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
A new year provides an occasion to serenely find my footing for the rest of my life. The past year has been dedicated to treating breast cancer, with the diagnosis having come mid-Dec 2009, and the first chemo treatments in mid-January 2010. Radiation burns finally healed in mid-December 2010. I still have a few residual issues, with the toenails being the one that most affects me Ė I still canít wear shoes (or boots!), a great problem for being active outside in our Canadian winters!
However, the library has a wonderful collection of DVDs for yoga, indoor walking, and various other exercises. SparkPeopleís collection of exercise demos and videos is astounding! And, cherry on the top, my husband wants to exercise with me! So 2011 is going to be my year for returning to an active lifestyle. By the time spring comes, I will be ready for hiking and biking.
The other part of this is discovering (or rediscovering) my hobbies and passions. My tastes are expanding, and to me everything is a possibility right now. My strategy is to take small steps each day that put me closer to exploding the cocoon Iíve been in and freeing the active, beautiful butterfly inside.
ē Complete ďOfficial 10-Minute Daily Exercise Streak ChallengeĒ Ė Earn That Trophy!
ē Finish painting 1/2 bath reno
ē Keep home-made soup on hand for lunches, snacks
ē Learn one piece on the piano (I havenít played in 25 years!)
ē Bake at least once per week
ē Really experiment with breakfasts, and find some healthier choices that the family loves
ē Improve our money management
Happy New Year everyone!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Iíve been on pause from SP for a couple of weeks Ė unexpected, but intentional as I adjust my expectations with regard to returning to work, and my body to taking Tamoxifen. I expected to return to work in January, but the onco says not until May-August. Tamoxifen was also a surprise. This has all come at Christmas time, when people keep asking me what I want for Christmas. I canít think of one material thing that I want. Huh.
Gifts Iíve been unintentionally given lately, though, have been numerous.
My 17 y-o son declared that he was eating healthier lately, and that was because of changes my DH and I have made to our meals. And he likes it!
After drinking coffee with milk or cream for the past 40+ years, I have finally learned to enjoy it black. That means a special outing with DH is as simple as going for a cappuccino at our favourite coffee shop, and thatís a real spoil for me! So a simple reward for myself, and something DH enjoys as well.
My smaller pants are coming off without unbuttoning/unzipping. Huh. Perplexing, since I havenít lost weight lately (need to measure to see if Iíve lost inches!).
I received a $75 coupon from a clothing store I shop at, and expect to not be able to use it as Iím not buying any new clothes. Then I noticed it only expires in a year. WooHoo! Iíll be able to use it to buy new work clothes (which Iíll need by then because I will lose weight, and none of my clothes fit since the
My DH has agreed to exercise with me, so weíre getting set up for that at home space-wise.
My parents-in-law unexpectedly changed their plans and are in town for Christmas. WooHoo!
So things are already starting to look brighter, despite the ongoing irritations following chemo/radiation/Tamox. Iím already looking forward to the wonderful things that will happen in the New Year!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
First, I want to thank everyone who sent encouraging comments, goodies and e-mails following my blog a week ago. I appreciate your support as my brain took an unscheduled leave of absence. Youíre all so wonderful! Iím still battling a low morale, but itís not in the basement where it was.
In reviewing my blogs, I realized that I have been skirting around this issue for a while. I guess itís finally sunk in. Iíve been impatient to get back to an active lifestyle and have not been allowing myself the time to heal and recuperate. I wasnít expecting to be on Tamoxifen, and I wasnít expecting these rather quick and strong side effects. So Iíll do what I can, when I can.
Iím breaking my day up into thirds, so that if I have a bad morning I donít automatically write off the afternoon and evening. Hopefully, this will set me back on the path I was on in Sept-Oct-Nov, re-committed to a healthy way of eating and increased activity and exercise. The changes had already started happening; I had lost weight, was getting stronger and had more stamina, so I know I can do it!
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
This has not been a good week. Iíve been trying to keep on top of things, and get going, but itís just been blah. It feels like Iím never going to get past these health problems, and Iím becoming paralized by this crap. I do not want to be a victim.
I wonít go through my whole history, but letís just say that Iíve had health issues since a very young age. I had to quit school at 16 because I was missing too much, and completed my high school by correspondence. Despite the sedentary lifestyle that this brought on for most of my life, I was still active in between health crises. But it seems that for the last 18 or so years, itís just been one thing after another with little or no time in between to get back on top of things. Every time I think thereís a respite ahead and I plan for improvements, something else comes along. Like months in bed during pregnancy. Or thyroid cancer. Or inflammatory breast cancer.
Now Iím at the end of treatments for breast cancer, and I discovered SparkPeople in September. All I had left was radiation treatments, and then I was going to be tackling this thing and regaining control on my nutrition and exercise. I was going to be more active, do things I love to do, be healthier... I was going to have a wonderful life.
Well, radiation led to radiation burns, which kind of took me by surprise because they didnít come out until a couple of weeks after treatments were over. Ugh. Then as those were healing, I was told to take Tamoxifen to prevent recurrence. It has lots of wonderful side effects. Iíve been on it for a week, and Iíve gained five pounds, my sleep is completely trashed (so Iíve not been sleeping at night, but falling asleep during the day). Iíve now changed the time I take it to the evening so it will hopefully make me sleep at night instead of during the day.
Every good intention I had to get moving and start up my exercise again have been stalled. Cooking has been stalled, and DH has been bringing pizza and butter chicken home for supper. I hoped to go back to work in January, but the oncologist says I should be thinking along the lines of 6-9 months (so May-August timeline). Iím basically a shut in: I donít drive, the bus makes me sick, and I canít put on socks (let alone shoes or boots) because my toenails are growing into my toes (a chemo side-effect). Podiatrist isnít until mid-January.
Donít get me wrong. Iím still trying to push through all this and get on top of things. I guess I just needed to vent, and call out to my fellow Sparkers and see if anyone has any practical advice on how to deal with all this. Send me nudges, reminders, kicks in the a$$. I donít know. I really donít mean to dwell in negativity; Iím very well aware that so many people have it even worse than I do.
Still smiling, but itís a little forced these days. I'm posting before I chicken out. These aren't things I usually say out loud...
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