Sunday, August 17, 2014
It rained twice today – short downpours! We don’t get much rain here so color me happy! I love rain!
Last week I turned in my final paper and rec'd final grade for that last course to complete my Master's Degree in Human Services with a cognate in Marriage & Family from Liberty University. Yay!!! It’ll be wonderful to receive the diploma one of these days, frame it, and put on my office wall. I am already using what I learned and, by the end of the year, should be in training for another dream fulfillment! Looking forward to it. I recognize my limitations. I did stop working out for 6 mos. I did not gain, but I have lost muscle tone, I know it and I feel it.
This morning, my husband said, “You alluded to feeling badly about your struggle with your weight.” Then asked, “What do you mean?” He seemed genuinely interested.
Oh boy, how do I keep this short? “Okay, let me tell you. I do not have this figured out yet. I’ve been a SparkPerson since 2006. From 2006-2008, I changed my ways, mostly slowly and a lot of things; I lost 40 lbs. going from size 20-22 to 12-14. I was in heaven! But we travelled, were away from home for some months, and I made too many bad decisions gaining back half that weight. I did not get the support I needed...”
Hubby: “So let me get this straight. You believe I caused your weight gain?”
“Not exactly. But you were not helpful and, as you have done for most of our life together, you did not make it easy for me. I had to decide often whether I would fight for what I needed or choose what looked like the lesser of the evils and not make sure I took care of my needs which included food choices.”
He listened on. “Back home, once again, I fell back on my help-Vicki principles of (1) don’t spend money on pro-help (nutritionist, coach, trainer, whoever), (2) buy a few pieces of equipment for home (hand weights, good shoes, bands, etc. and even an elliptical trainer when someone gave us a large gift of money to use on personal things), (3) move more, sit less, and (4) never, ever purposely starve myself again, never. I have sortof followed that plan for these 8+ years.”
“Thinking I’d get that comeback weight off, and as you [hubby] know, I walked, I walked a LOT, and then I began to train for marathon walking – did 3 marathons!” Wow, never in my life did I ever once dream I would be able to do that! Amazing! Amazed! “But alas, I gained more weight! When I complained about it, those who were supposed to be in the know told me I had done something wrong. They asked me what I ate. I told them and they did not seem to believe me. But I have proof because I tracked it all and stayed within what was reasonable for that amount of walking. It’s all on the SP charts. I only ‘overate’ when recouping after the long walks and intense home exercises with weights, etc. And, sadly, I gained more. I now have held my weight to between 195-198 lbs. for nearly 3 years, so I now am certain that I can keep the weight off, BUT I do not know the secret to getting it off!” That was our conversation.
For 6 months or so, I consulted an acupuncturist who gave me lots of good advice and helped me with what was lacking. When I asked about help for weight loss, he told me that I might need to get used to the idea that my problem has to do with my genes. It took me several months to stop ruminating about that! I don’t think that I can accept that as my fate. All along these 8 years with SP I have worked with the dragons in my head, trying to get out the garbage, think more positively, and understand my situation better as well as myself. For at least 3 of those years, I learned how to give myself permission to take care of myself. That in itself is a huge victory!
I admit to being frustrated that I have not been able to get those 40 lbs. back off. I eat nutrition dense food. I have occasional whole grain cookies, bread, a kind of crepe made from mandioch starch, and perhaps twice a month, I have some whole wheat pasta. I eat vegetarian with fish and eggs at least once a week. The reason for that is I cannot find a good source for B12 here. But I just rec’d some methylcobalamin a friend brought from the states and started it today, which means I can drop those food items for several months and feel comfortable eating more like a vegan. Maybe that will make a diff. and I’ll lose some. Hoping. This week I will be exercising and I am looking for a Pilate’s studio. Maybe that will make the diff. No idea, but it will be a fun addition.
Oh, I did not mention that after the marathons I decided to try some other things. I do not experiment for a week or two. I give it three to six months. So far, none of the things I have tried since then have helped me lose the weight. I won’t go through them all – lots of different things. So, I hope to do Pilates for long enough to show me if it will help me with weight loss or not. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to ask the trainer how long he or she thinks it might take for me to know. Do you think I can trust them to honestly answer me, because, after all, they want my money, right?! Of course weight loss is not the only outcome I am looking for; I also want to strengthen my core and tone muscles, which I know will take place.
Here’s a bit about what I’ve been doing besides the things I mentioned above:
* I am writing a 12 lesson Bible study for our ladies’ group and presenting it to them once a month; we should finish in Jan. or Feb. 2015.
* My older dog has had a terrible infection for months and I have finally managed to help her by daily washing and medicating with cider vinegar. Looks like it is probably fungal and clearing. I’m also giving her a TB of virgin coconut oil and a packet of probiotic daily on her food.
* I have found some organic veggies – parsley, collards, spinach and mustard. A couple of times, I have found fresh mushrooms! Have been wishing for organic tomatoes and may try again to plant them. We have battled with ants for years. Once in awhile army ants come in and strip my plants! They are so numerous that we only manage to hold them back not actually get rid of them.
* I had two teeth pulled and am going through the waiting for implants – long process. My dentist recommended a new toothbrush that does a better job and wondrously has helped me grow back my receding gums! It’s called Curaprox and can be ordered through Amazon.com. I was surprised to find that the Wal-Mart affiliate here in town has them!!! Costs more but so worth it!
* Got my haircut at the fanciest salon in town and regretted it! The cut is fine but, although I had an appt., I had to wait 50 minutes while the beautician helped two other people! I won’t be going back there! I need to apologize to my regular beautician and tell her I just didn’t know what I was thinking!!!
* I am looking forward to reaching 2015 and seeing what’s in store for me! Have a few things in mind to do before the end of the year to clear the way for reaching my goals. I am pacing myself to take one step at a time in the direction of those goals.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
I am refocusing on my eating plan. I have heard about food combining before but never truly understood what it is all about. A girlfriend recently said she has purchased materials with a plan and will be implementing it, so I decided to take a look. Not wanting to spend money, I spent a few hours last week checking websites and Amazon.com books. I found two inexpensive kindle books that are helping me. My friend is using the "Great Taste No Pain" plan by Sherry Brescia who has a dedicated website. I discovered that the idea was actually implemented by Dr. William Howard Hay in the 1920s who separated eating acid forming foods from alkaline forming foods. Dr. Hay cured himself with the diet when his health was compromised by nephritis. Many others have benefitted from this plan over the years.
I am reading The Food Combining 2-Day Detox by Kathryn Marsden and Food Combining Recipes for Vegetarians by Alice Lilley. I am starting to understand and began the eating plan Friday, April 18. Not too difficult, have had to change my thinking a bit, grocery list will change a little, and it will be a challenge when eating out, which I do not do often. Actually the first author suggests only working the plan several days a week. I will make it a commitment for a while, first, to be certain it works for me, and secondly, if it does, I will want to adopt it for good.
It goes like this:
A - Proteins: cheese, eggs, dried beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, yogurt
B - Neutral Foods: most vegies, all raw salads, seeds, nuts, herbs, cream, butter, oils
C – Starches: biscuits, bread, cakes, crackers, oats pasta, potatoes, rice, sweets
All fruits are to be ingested before meals or, preferably, between meals
Can mix A & B or B & C; never mix A & C
The best thing I have noticed thus far is that I do not feel hunger even at mealtime! Hope that feeling lasts. Supposedly, this plan helps the body eliminate toxins, improve digestion, protect health, and lose weight. Losing weight is NOT the priority, which I find amazing and good. I do not want to focus on that altho it would be a wonderful benefit because I have not found a sure-fire plan that helps me keep the weight off, which has been frustrating!
So my life is busy, yet I have tried to set aside anti-stress time during the day. I will complete my degree by the end of August. Before taking the next step, I hope to take a good break – maybe a dream vacation, if hubby agrees. And, I will need to take a few pre-training interviews. After that, I can sign up for the Coaching Training and be on my way to fulfilling another dream!!!
Besides my degree program, I have taken on a 12-study (once a month) teaching presentation with our ladies group. After two sessions (and three leadership sessions), we have increased the number of attendees to ten. We are now extending the personal invitations to acquaintances outside our group. I have received positive feedback and offered to do this program at another church; have not heard from them yet. One other group is interested but I said I would not consider the invitation until June or so. Even though not pursued, I see these opportunities as networking as possible openings for future personal coaching.
My exercise program has pretty much ceased for the time being. I have had a few other interferences that limit my time. I know this is an excuse. I take innumerable breaks from studies and correspondence to walk around the yard and go up and down our flights of stairs nine or more times a day. I have also been careful to park my car (it is such a blessing to have a car!) far from entrances so I get in more walking when I am out and about. I go downtown once a month and to the mall once a week where I walk the full inside parameter before getting groceries.
I can manage to get sunburnt here if I don’t get up to walk early. In NE Brazil, the sun is at ten o’clock in the sky at 7 a.m.!!! And since I’ve been getting to bed rather late (but before midnight most of the time) and have to be alert for studies, I have set aside those early hours for the time being. I do not like this and my body is telling me in various ways that I need to get going again. However, it is just for the time being as I complete these studies. I have already looked into a Pilates’ program and think that is what I’d like to do in 2015, if at all possible – it would be super nice to have a coach and someone helping me to get it right!
So for Easter Sunday, I began with Bible reading and prayer, decided to write this blog, then will get back to studies. I plan to have no-crust no-meat spinach quiche for lunch. Later, I will have half a large glass of cranberry juice (so excited to have found it!) with tonic water. Will also enjoy church and perhaps an online movie later. I am looking forward to a wonderful week of studies and speaking prep, meeting with the ladies’ leadership group, and then, gospel evangelistic singing team practice something I am thoroughly enjoying.
Hope your week is the best ever!
Friday, January 31, 2014
I read a blog this morning that pushed me into writing a version of my own. For years, I've been struggling with food focus! This has improved a great deal as I come to terms with understanding what I need to do in my personal life to maintain a sort of mindset equilibrium that does not focus on food.
Face it! Society is food-focused! Every event, every get-together, every meeting has food, and generally, it is not on my menu!!! It is salt-laden, sugar or sugar substitute added. GMOs, altered, not natural ingredients, MSG, artificially colored and "like" the real thing! And sometimes the hour just does not fit with the eating plan.
I try; I really do try not to go overboard and not to get preachy about my choices. I do not want to make enemies; I do not want to be ostracized and talked about behind my back.
But, golly gee! When the food is served or others pressure you to have just a little and you know you should not or cannot, there really is no place to hide! Usually, if I am unprepared, I find nothing that I can eat or drink! I have, on occasion, taken my own food and drink to restaurants, but then I feel uncomfortable pulling it out and eating my homemade things alongside others. I hate drawing attention to myself.
If I don't take food and don't order anything, what can I do while everyone else is enjoying their food? Um, stare at them, stare at the ceiling, the floor, out the window? I could excuse myself to the bathroom which takes only a few minutes and if I extend my visit, I arrive just in time for dessert! Dessert I graciously decline. My last blog mentions the idea of going for a walk, but that will only work when the entire get-together does not revolve around eating, like when there is a presentation of some sort.
Converse, that's a good suggestion and that's what I try to do. But then, between bites and swallows, the others are talking about the food. And I say: "Oh, yes, it is lovely." "No thank you." "Waiter, please take my place setting away; I will not be eating." "It does look appealing." "No, I am fine." Though I tell no one, I am not fine.
I also recognize that usually others are uncomfortable with my presence when they really do want me to have a good time - eating like everyone else. They let me know by their questioning and pressuring me to eat. I have excused myself from participating in many social events because it has become terribly uncomfortable to sit through. Rarely, I've found a couple of people (perhaps 2%) that do not partake, like me. If we manage to get close, we compare notes on how we handle situations that involve food and where we get our food supplies. It is nice to know I am not the only one!
Why do I do this to myself? Well, because I have read too much, gone after scientific info, want better health, and want to live longer and more energetically. As I see it, the pay off is greater than the losses. It's not like I have no friends! I do have friends. And my genuine friends understand, don't pressure me or gluttonize in my face, and are careful to find ways to be WITH me to enjoy our relationship rather than to focus on the food!
If you truly desire to be my friend, accept that I cannot enjoy going where the activity and the pleasure is in watching everyone eating and drinking what I will not eat or drink. Rather than being fun for me, it is torturous! Although I want to be with the group, if I have a choice between being alone or watching others indulge, I choose alone.
I realize that not everyone who eats healthier chooses to go to the extreme that I have. I was on this path years ago, but it was too difficult for me to maintain. At this point in my life, I know it was my food choices and lack of exercise that took me to such deteriorating health that I became more and more immobile. I know because with SparkPeople and the changes I gradually made, I improved so much that I was able to do 2 marathon walks. I plan to continue learning healthier ways so that if at all possible, I will maintain what I have gained health wise.
I choose to be as physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy, active, and productive as possible for the next 30 years of my earthly life!
This is the blog I read that provoked my writing this morning:
Sunday, January 05, 2014
I shared this with the Thanksgiving Team and then thought it would be good to share on my blog. So team members, if you read it there, this is the same.
The Party. Why does it always have to be around food!
I am grateful for some good conversation, for finding out that the Dr. I will see in two weeks is a good one, and I think that I got through the evening without embarrassing myself or anyone else.
I esp. enjoyed the conversation with the birthday girl (16th) and her best friend - they were very responsive to my interjections about spiritual living. But, and however, I did not like the eating part. Kindly, the hostess made sure I had a tall freshly squeezed, nothing added o.j. and offered me more, which I gently declined, while EVERYONE else was enjoying slice after slice of pizza (smelled "wickedly divine") and glass after glass of Coke (which I have come to dislike, no prob. there). Glad I ate before I went.
Following singing two rounds of Happy Birthday came the absolute worst part for me and, boy, did I struggle. We were all standing and talking while the birthday girl sliced BIG pieces of a beautiful, large, two-layer, golden cake. I tried my best to imagine all the ingredients that I did not want to ingest and what it would do to me - it was an ugly imaginary picture! Hope my face was not that look of horror!
The people all around me were served these huge slices of golden cake (maybe huge is an exaggeration) with two kinds of filling in each slice, and they slowly savored e-v-e-r-y bite. What could I do with myself during this time? Did not think of it then (I was not thinking clearly at that point), but right now, I'm thinking that I should have escaped to get "something" out of the car or take a little walk outside the restaurant.
I asked the lady standing in front of me not to tell me how good it tasted, so she proceeded to "yum, yum" and "mmm, mmm" each bite with an in-between smile of delight and "It tastes just awful, Vicki". (Just now, I am reminded of demons taunting humans pictures!) This went on for several minutes and then there were repeats along with all the compliments to the hostess (the cake was purchased) and conversation about the flavors, the kinds of fillings everyone loves, and so on.
When I heard about the ingredients, thinking it might help ME, I said, out loud, "Oh, I'm glad to know it contains sweetened-condensed milk because I don't care for desserts containing that and soo many desserts [here] contain it." Did not help, because the conversation turned to dessert recipes they ALL love that call for sweetened-condensed milk! I could just taste it coating my tongue - wanted to maniacally scream and run!!! Talk about AWKWARD!
When I got back home, I realized that the woman who makes cakes for all the special occasions in our little group not only asked me, "What WAS [my emphasis] your favorite filling BEFORE you stopped eating cake?" also asked about my birthdate (Jan. 7)! Putting those together in my mind, brought feelings of panic about the possibility that the ladies will surprise me with a little party and cake that they will ALL eat in front of me! Perhaps that's why I did not sleep enough last night - haunted by this nightmarish picture!
I did manage to kill the cake desire dragon!!! Breathing a deep slow inhale and exhale, and moving on…
Monday, December 30, 2013
For the New Year, I have changed my SparkName from Tazmomsgol to SlayingDragons. In March 2014, I will complete 8 years with SparkPeople. My worldview has not changed much, however, my focus and purpose have improved. By the grace of God, through interaction with SparkPeople, SparkFriends, many other individuals, my studies, and life experiences, I have come to a place where I can clearly see the steps for reaching my goals. I needed all of these in order to reach forward to where I am today. I have seen many of these steps accomplished and I expect to take more of them this year. If all goes as planned, I will complete my Masters in Human Services and move on to getting my Life Coaching license.
Why Slaying Dragons?
Although I have made a great deal of progress, a few things hold me back. These are the dragons in my life that still need to be conquered! Before SparkPeople, I was afraid to take the necessary steps to change. I knew that if I changed, some relationships in my life would be greatly inconvenienced and disturbed. After joining SparkPeople in 2006, it took me a full three years to give myself permission to take care of myself. For most of my adult life, I put my needs last to the point of not realizing I had incapacitated my ability to help others. I thought this was being unselfish and submissive. I did not realize nor did I have the kind of support needed to fix my situation. What I did not understand was that I had let others define me and decide how my life would be used.
My underlying belief that I was selfish when caring for my own needs had to change. To be capable of helping others, I must take care of myself. No one else is responsible for my life. It is entirely up to me. Although I now understand that fear comes and goes, I refuse to let it paralyze me like I did in the past! I do not want to be afraid of what others think of my choices and what they think of me any more. I take my freedom to act on what God tells me and to be who I was meant to be. Those who do not appreciate what God and I have partnered to do with the gift of this one life do not need to be included in this conversation. They can think what they want to think and take their defamations and negative criticisms to another quadrant!
2014 My Plan & Focus - Slaying dragon after dragon
* Daily Bible reading
* Sunday prayer time
* Devotional prep
* Build up to 1 hour a day of exercise
~ Increase away-from-home walking to at least 2 mi. 2 x /week (neighborhood, park, mall, dntn) by June
* Maintain eating healthy
~ Around 1500 calories/day
~ Drink 8-10 8 oz. glasses of liquid daily
~ At least 5 fruits & veggies/day
~ Ovo- pesce- vegetarian emphasis w/ occasional hard cheese
~ Limited snack foods (plain Doritos, whole grain cookies, pie & bread)
~ Nuts twice a day, including peanut butter when I have it
~ Weak cold-pressed coffee 2 x / day; tea 1-2 x / day
~ Rarely eating out
* At least, annual check-up at Dr. & dentist
* Occasional massage therapy / salon visit
* List my blessings daily
* August - Complete Master's in Human Services: Marriage & Family Cognate
* September or October - Start Life Coach Training
* Prep for speaking
* Continue simplifying by cleaning out something at least 1 x / week
* Sunday night service
* September - Something to do away from home 1-2 evenings / week (prayer meeting,
Advanced Portuguese or other University course, friend visit)
Other Things to work on:
* Self-sabotage eating
* Say "No" to things irrelevant to my goals
* Follow my beliefs & values not other's opinions or pressures
* Begin sentences with "I"
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7, KJV
"And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake [for what is right], you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled."
1 Peter 3:13-14, NKJV
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