Thursday, December 31, 2009
Well here I am with only 1 hour left to 2009 as I sit here & write this in Barrie, Ontario. It's been a while since I've written. It's not because I didn't want to because I have. I've been so busy lately that it seems when it comes to writing I either don't have time or I'm too tired. I've been making small notes in a side journal to keep myself reminded of what I wanna blog about next time, but by the time I get around to blogging, I'm not sure half of it is relevant anymore! I'll have to sort my notes and thoughts and get caught up in my updates. After that I have to work harder at trying to blog (& journal) more often.
As I look back on the past year I am amazed at how far I've come. When I go back and read my old blogs from the beginning of last year and see where I was compared to where I am now I can hardly believe it. This year has been an emotional roller coaster for me but overall it's been very good.
This year I reached my goal weight. I had to drop my goal amount by 10 lbs (because my doctor thought my original goal weight was too much) and change my goal date by only 2 months further. I think, overall, that's a pretty good hit close to the original target I was aiming for. So many don't get anywhere near their original time frame.
This year I also stepped WAYYYYYY out of my comfort zone and joined the church that I had waited 3 years to join. It meant stepping out and socializing. Something that had me paralyzed for many years. I've been taking part in church activities and making new friends. I've become a member of the church and as such they are now my family! It's the best church for me because they aren't like most churches that are just 'Sunday' churches. This church has people involved all week long in activities and has a point of making sure that we become good friends and take part in each others lives like regular families. They have a reputation of being all about love, and it's true! They really are like that. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before in a church and I know now why God led me there. I need that kind of overwhelming support in my life.
But this year I've also been out on a few dates. I've made some mistakes, had some hard times and experienced loss; but I had fun too! I did it, and that's what counts! I got out and I've started rebuilding my life again. I've come to the end of this year realizing that I have more strength and determination that I ever dreamed that I had! My faith in God and in myself, and even in other people, has grown by leaps and bounds!
None of this I could have done without the help and support of my SparkFriends... especially some of my teams like:
• the Red Bra Philosophy (this one is a Private team)
• Christan Women with Depression
• Christian Living
There are other teams too that have helped me so much but these are the ones that I think deserve a very special mention in my life. Thank you guys SOOOOOOOO much! I love you all SOOOOOO much! LOL
I actually ended this year looking forward to Christmas, for the first time in many years. Thank you God and thank you SP friends for helping me get to this point! Now I have goals & dreams, and I believe... no, I KNOW... that I will accomplish them! This is so far from where I had been in the past.
At one time I was paralyzed with fear of socializing and because of severe depression episodes that would last for weeks and months at a time. So much so that I couldn't even care for myself properly at times. Other times I had memory gaps; and there were times when I didn't recognize my surroundings or those around me for an instant. This is incredibly scary! The times that were my best moments in those years, are now my worst moments! It's almost a complete turn around. My depression is all but gone. There is no cure, so I'm not cured; but I am doing very well again. I am capable of thinking clearly like normal people. I can make decisions again, have dreams and I'm able to focus and work toward those goals. My healthy lifestyle is a huge part of this. Not only because of the weight loss, which in turn, I believe to help my state of mind in a number of ways; but also because my brain is healthier because I'm no longer putting poison into my body. I'm trying very hard to stay away from processed foods, which I know now to be one of the biggest culprits to making me have severe and out of control episodes to the point I wanted to die! I've cut out the bad stuff and I'm putting the best healthy food I can afford into my body which is feeding not only my body but my brain. My brain is literally healing from all the damage done to it from bad foods and unhealthy living. I now believe that only half my problem was the disease of depression. The other half was just damage from bad foods and medications. I've been medication free for the whole of 2009! I am SOOOO proud to say that! I intend on staying drug free for the rest of my life!
I truly believe that 2010 will be my best year yet. I really believe that it will be THE year that everything finally all comes together and I can see the fruits of my labor and suffering. This year I will do the following things, and maybe more!
Goals for 2010:
• To put my workouts back on track
• To reach out and socialize with others more to make some new friends
• To reconnect with old friends (Treneta, Charlene, and John & Daphne)
• To get a part time job
• To meet and get close to my ‘Mr. Right’
• To find some volunteer work that I like doing
• To pay my debt load
• Say NO more often - and not feel guilty - because if I don't I am really saying NO to me.
• Try hard not to be judgmental and pass judgment on others
• Make a budget and stick to it!
• Read more
• Get my morning routine back on track (devotionals, meditations, positive affirmation times, workouts)
• Write more blogs & share with my SP friends more!
Well, that's it for this year. It's a memory and an important stepping stone in my journey. Thank you for your help, influence, and guidance throughout this year. It will not be forgotten.
Oh... and check out the new SparkPage design! The wild side of me is reemerging! I love it! Woo Hoo!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
A few days ago when I was under an overwhelming stress load, I was waiting for a couple of phone calls. Well, the phone rang, and it was one of the 2 calls I was waiting for. I needed some counseling that day and this was the call. I answered the phone and as I did I walked into my living room to sit on the couch. Well, the first thing I saw was a wonderful pile of shredded rag! My beautiful little puppy had gotten hold of the disposable cleaning rags that I had been cleaning with and shredded the lot into a nice pile on the couch. I picked up the pile as I talked on the phone, not saying anything about it to my friend on the phone. Later in the conversation (about 20 minutes later), the call was coming close to an end. I turned around to look at the other end of my big sectional couch and there’s my beautiful puppy, once again chewing on some leaves he’d ripped from one of the houseplants! Well, as I finished telling my counsellor about the big issues in my life that he just helped me through, I ended the topic of the moment with “and the other thing that I’m having a problem with is that I have this doggie that eats everything”. My intent was to toss some humor into my conversation, but I was serious and sarcastic at the same time.
Well, my friend says that he didn’t understand why I’d want another dog in the first place. He doesn’t understand why I’d want any animals in the house. He just doesn’t grasp the concept of pets or why anyone would want them. I tried to explain the whole idea that they need love, I love them, and they are my babies, etc. But I didn’t get through to him. Well, as is his custom, he ended our conversation with a prayer. When he was done he says “and you notice that I didn’t pray for the dogs”. Well, this made me laugh because I know he was teasing me yet he’s serious too!
When I hung up the phone, I thought “I need to pray for him. He needs a dog in his life!” So, I prayed and began my own little campaign with God to get this man a dog! So if you’re reading this please pray for my friend that God opens a space in his heart to let in a beautiful dog; and that special space that can only be filled by a dog, gets filled! Doggie owners will know what I mean here.
Anyway, this got me to thinking about all the awesome qualities about dogs and why my life has always been so very blessed by having dogs around me. Here’s what I came up with so far... there’s a reason why the word DOG is also the word GOD spelled backwards!
• Dogs need to be talked to... to create the bond. Yep, just like God, if you want to create that special bond you got to talk to Him every day!
• Dogs are loyal without failure. Just like God, a dog will be loyal to his dying breath! He won’t EVER fail you!
• Dogs will love you no matter what, even when you’re angry with him. Even when he’s angry with you, it is very short lived and he’ll always run to greet you when you get home like there was never a problem in the first place. So, again, just like God, who will love you and want to be close to you, and He’ll never leave your side no matter what!
• Your Dog will always protect you! Granted some little dogs have no clue that they are little! They think they can take on a big dog with no problem! I had a Pomeranian like that once... he picked a fight with a German Sheppard! But in the end, your doggie will try to protect you when you need it! Again, just like God, He will do everything in His power to protect you!
• To make your Dog completely happy all you have to do is come home! Again, just like God, all you have to do to make Him happy is just be there, Love Him, want to see Him, and believe in Him. Anyone who’s ever owned a dog will tell you that one of the most awesome things in life is to open that door at the end of a long day and see that little tail wagging at its fastest!
• Dogs are real! Yep, just like God, what you see is what you get! Unlike people there is nothing hidden, no secrets, no hidden agendas, and no hidden feelings.
• Dogs are truthful. Yep, just like God, who will always let you know when you’ve messed up! He’ll try to set you straight and show you who the master is!
• Dogs are beautiful! Just like God, who is absolutely beautiful!
• Dogs are dependable... just like God. He will never let you down.
• Dogs are forgiving. Just like God, there will never be a problem that He won’t forgive you for!
• Dogs are faithful. Again, just like God who is faithful to you always.
• Your Dog is your friend. Just like God who is your best friend. He will listen to you when you talk. He will let you cry and not complain. He will let you scream and yell and not dump you from His life. He will listen to your laughter; and He will sit with you and not say a word, yet still have a great time doing it!
• Dogs are good... just like God who is truly good by nature.
• Dogs are jealous. Just like God who is a jealous God.
• Dogs are loving... just like God who is all love. All He wants is love and to be loved.
• Dogs are reliable... just like God, who will NEVER let you down.
• Dogs are trustworthy... just like God, you can trust Him completely.
• Dogs are wholehearted... just like God, who does everything for you with His whole heart!
Here’s an article that I read that has much of the same idea behind it. I thought it was interesting.
OK, here’s some cool stuff about dogs! There’s Dog Rules (according to the one who makes the rules... the dog. LOL), a couple of great poems, and a funny story about a dog named Sex! LOL. Some of this stuff I've found online... other stuff I've just had saved on my computer forever & I have no clue where I originally got it! LOL. After is a list of photos of the dogs I’ve had and have!
1. The dog is not allowed in the house.
2. OK, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.
3. The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.
4. The dog can get on the old furniture only.
5. Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.
6. OK, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.
7. The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.
8. The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only.
9. The dog can sleep under the covers every night.
10. Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.
THINGS TO LEARN FROM A DOG
• Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
• Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
• When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
• When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
• Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
• Take naps and stretch before rising.
• Run, romp and play daily.
• Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
• Be loyal.
• Never pretend to be something you're not.
• If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
• When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
• Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
• Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
• On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
• When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
• No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.
• Bond with your pack.
• Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
THEIR MASTER’S VOICE
In loving memory of Chipper - Dec. 17, 1993 - March 20, 1996
Dogs just seem to take in stride
the passing of each day,
content to let the hours pass
whatever comes their way.
They seem to know a secret
which offers peach of mind
a secret dogs just seem to know
and humans seldom find.
They lead an unassuming life
and know their masters voice
a simple touch of their masters hand
will cause them to rejoice.
They listen for his footsteps
and wait beside the door
content to let the world go by
to serve him evermore
and when they’re taken from us
the pain is hard to bear
but happy memories linger on
to keep them ever near.
WHY GOD MADE DOGS
When God had made the Earth and Sky, the flowers and the trees,
He then made all the animals, and all the birds and bees.
And when His work was finished, not one was quite the same,
He said, "I'll walk the Earth of mine, and give each one a name."
And so He traveled land and sea, and everywhere He went,
a little creature followed Him, until it's strength was spent.
When all were named upon the Earth,
and in the sky and sea, the little creature said,
"Dear Lord, there's not one left for me."
The Father smiled and softly said, "I've left you 'til the end,
I've turned my name from back to front, and called you DOG, my friend."
FUN STORY: This is a story that my Uncle used to tell us when I was growing up! It always got a good laugh at a party. LOL
A DOG NAMED SEX
Usually everyone who has a dog either calls him Rover or Boy or something. I call mine “Sex”. Well, Sex is very embarrassing name. One day I took Sex for a walk and he ran away from me. I spend hours looking for that dog. A cop came along and asked me what I was doing in the alley at 4 o’clock in the morning. Is said “I’m looking for Sex”. My case comes up next Thursday.
One day I went to city hall to get a dog license for Sex. The clerk asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted a license for Sex. He said “I would like to have one too”. Then I asked “but this is a dog and he said he didn’t care how she looked. Then I said “you don’t understand. I’ve had Sex since I was two years old” and he replied “you must have been a very strong boy.”
When I decided to get married I told the minister that I wanted to have Sex at the wedding. He told me to wait until after the wedding. I said “but Sex has played a big part in my life and my whole lifestyle revolves around Sex”. The minister said he didn’t want to hear about my personal life and would not marry us in his church. I told him everyone coming to the wedding would enjoy having Sex there. The next day we were married in front of the justice of the peace. And my family is banned from the church!
My wife and I took the dog along with us on the honeymoon. When I checked into the motel I told the clerk and I wanted to room for my wife and me and a special room for Sex. The clerk said that every room in the motel is for Sex. Then I said “you don’t understand. Sex keeps me awake at night” and he said “me too”.
One day I told my friend that I had Sex on TV. He said “show off!” I told him it was a contest and he told me I should have sold tickets. When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog. I said “Your Honour, I had Sex before I was married”. And the judge said “me too”. Then I told him that after I was married Sex left me. And he said “me too.”
Well now I’ve been thrown in jail, been married, divorced and had more darn trouble with that dog then I ever gambled for. Why just the other day when I went for my first visit to the psychiatrist and he asked me “what seems to be the trouble?” and I replied “well Sex died and left my life. It’s like losing a best friend and it is so lonely” the doctor said “look mister, you and I both know that sex isn’t man’s best friend, so get yourself a dog.”
PHOTOS OF MY DOGS:
Casey (1 of my 2 current dogs)
Taco (1 of my 2 current dogs)
Chipper (the poem above is dedicated to him)
Pipocas (Pronounced 'Pee-pock-ish'... is Portuguese for Popcorn) - Owned by my ex-MIL but little Pipocas would come and live with us for part of the year while my MIL & FIL were in Portugal.
Cracker Jack (Cracker for short) - Owned by my SIL, but Cracker lived with me for a long time so I could babysit her. Cracker's Mommy is a trucker and was on the road working.
Gertie (owned by my cousin, but lived with my family when I was a kid 'cause my cousin lived in a place that didn't allow dogs). I mean, look at those beautiful eyes! How can you turn that away?! LOL
OK... is there a chance that you may have figured out by now that I'm a doggie person?! LOL
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I got this idea partially from a blog I read a while back on SP where someone had a lot of their photos posted in a blog showing their various sizes throughout her weight loss journey. But partially because I made a photo journal of my own on FaceBook showing my journey, giving advice, tips, & more. The only thing it's on FaceBook & my SparkFriends can't see it there. So here's a very CONDENSED version of it. The FB version has 93 photos! Hope you enjoy it here anyway.... I've copied & pasted the captions & journal items from FB to here to avoid re-typing
Since I've lost all my weight, I've had a lot of people asking for before & after shots; and advice & tips on how I did it. Well, here's a story about where I was, where I went, & how I got where I am!
Please feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know. I'd love to help you if I can. I've included lots of tips in this album so read the captions & info under the photos in the food & exercise sections.
The SparkPeople.com Logo... the program that I used to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle which is why I lost 75 lbs! I did NOT go on a diet! I changed my life! There is no 'end', there is no going 'off it'. I changed my life! Diets do NOT work! You wanna lose weight & be healthy, you have to live healthy! Cut out processed foods is THE most important thing. Sparkpeople has all the tools you need, and the most AWESOME support system ever! I could NOT have done it without the support of SparkPeople friends & professionals.
Me...many years ago before I ever gained any weight the first time.
July 2008... I had lost about 25 lbs here... at this point just from quitting my meds that I had been on for many, many years. The meds were the main reason I gained weight.
January 2009 - Lost 49 lbs
In this pic I had lost 57 lbs
The bulk of my fat clothes all ready to go to charity. This wasn't the end of it though... later on I had another huge load that also went to charity.
All packed up & ready to go. Almost as tall as me!!!
My rebounder... came with a mini-tram workout video! Awesome... available at Canadian Tire!
My Swiss ball... only $7.00 at Canadian Tire (sale price). If you have to get one make sure you get the correct size according to your height!
My workout mat
My pedometer & my MP3 player (this is the old MP3... I have a new MP3 now since I took this pic. It's a Sony Walkman. Love it!). I accidentally 'toasted' the one here in this photo when I dropped it into the dog's water bowl! Oops... Oh crap! lol
I have a walking program on my MP3 that helps you learn to walk anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes; & up to 6.5 km. Walking... It's how I lost most of my weight! Great program. The pedometer (also at Canadian Tire) came with a CD with the walking program on it & a DVD with an indoor walking program. The indoor program is great on days when the weather doesn't allow you to go outside.
My stretch bands & jump rope (the stretch bands also came with a DVD workout)... available at... you guessed it... Canadian Tire. lol The jump rope I got at Winners for, I think, about $8.00 or so.
My hand weights... I'll add to them as I need them. I get them at Canadian Tire as well. They range in price from $1.50 each on sale to about $10.00 or so each for the largest ones that you don't see here. The wrist / ankle weights weigh 1.5 lbs each.
My heart rate monitor. Measures calories burned, heart rate, & a few other things. This one I got at Canadian Tire and is the model that Dr. Phil recommends for his own weight loss program.
My pedometers. The NexxTech I got at The Source on sale for $5.00. The freebie from the cereal box... works OK, but doesn't have the features of the other one. Regular price can be up to $15 or $20. The more expensive one I had previously came with a CD & DVD that I mentioned in previous pic (I got that one at Canadian Tire).
My hand workout. I also use this ball under my chin for a chin workout to help get rid of my double chin. I have two of these... a green & a yellow. I got them at Dollarama!
Water bottles. The next most important thing you'll need! This one... another Dollarama find!
My measuring tape... more important than the scales!
Skin fold capilar. Very hard to use accurately if you don't have training.
Shown here is my old scale. It's a very basic digital display model, with no features. When this one died I got a new one which keeps track of a number of items for up to 10 profiles that you can program into it. It tells me everything from my weight to my body fat percentage. The new one I got at Pharma Plus on sale for $25.
My bike... it's old, but it works so don't laugh! lol
I also have a stationary bike as well. It's an old one but it works great. A lady in my building gave it to me one day!
My Nordictrac Ladies Leg Shaper Pllus. Gives you the movements of climbing stairs and a rowing machine all while sitting down. Great machine.
I sometimes use the stairwell in my building for climbing stairs. I live in a 14 story building. A few people here use the stairwells & hallways for walking! Great for the days when the weather keeps me inside... which is quite often taking into account the Canadian winters!
My water cooler... my bestest buddy! lol The bottom section is a small fridge! Keeps stuff very cold. See the plastic cups in a stack underneath the water spouts?! Well they are a stack of 8 cups numbered on the bottom. When I drink a glass of water I put it back in the stack on the bottom. When I get to #8 I know I've had my minimum amount of water for the day!
The water that I buy because it's
(1) a local company
(2) a local water source
(3) from a natural spring. Many bottled waters are actually from municipal water sources with a lot of chlorine & fluoride in them which is VERY unhealthy. This one is chlorine & fluoride free!
(4) it's a dollar cheaper per bottle than the other waters LOL Over the course of a year, that $1 / bottle cheaper adds up to a bunch of money saved. I go through about 1 bottle per week of this 5 gallon size.
Anyone in the Barrie area who would like to purchase this they have an office on Bell Farm Rd. They will deliver for free but with a minimum of 4 bottles. It's also available at Canadian Tire on Bayfield Street (next to the Customer Service counter) for $3.99 / bottle (plus bottle deposit of $10.00)
My kitchen scale. EVERYthing I eat gets weighted & measured. Even now that I've lost my weight, I still use this every day!
My books on healthy living. Education is VITAL in learning to live healthy. Without he education, you'll not be successful! SparkPeople has TONS & TONS & TONS of articles & information about EVERY thing related to healthy living in any way, from the physical to the mental health!
Notice the Kevin Trudeau books in the front. This man is the man that I credit with changing my life! It is his books that caused me to start this journey... to quit my meds, to search out healthy & natural medical treatments for myself. EVERY one should read these books. They'll change your life! I've even written Kevin Trudeau and thanked him & I hope to one day get to shake his hand! There's SOOOOO much info in his books. Things that will put you on top of the world, things that will creep you out over the fact that you didn't know them before. His books are worth the investment!
My books on healthy living. Education is VITAL in learning to live healthy. Without he education, you'll not be successful! SparkPeople has TONS & TONS & TONS of articles & information about EVERY thing related to healthy living in any way, from the physical to the mental health! Notice the Kevin Trudeau books in the front. This man is the man that I credit with changing my life! It is his books that caused me to start this journey... to quit my meds, to search out healthy & natural medical treatments for myself. EVERY one should read these books. They'll change your life! I've even written Kevin Trudeau and thanked him & I hope to one day get to shake his hand! There's SOOOOO much info in his books. Things that will put you on top of the world, things that will creep you out over the fact that you didn't know them before. His books are worth the investment!
Green Tea... I drink this 12 oz mug with every meal (or a 16 oz Timmie's mug if I'm on the run). Love the Green Tea. It has a LONG list of benefits from weight loss to mental health.
Without my healthy living and sticking to my depression-healthy diet, I will not be able to live without medication. I am DETERMINED that I will not put that poison in my body every again of my own free will! I am doing it the healthy way! Due to my mental health issues for so many years, much of my diet has to include foods that help with depression. I have done a lot of research in this area and green tea is one of those things that I will always have in my diet.
Oh... and the bottom of the mug when you tip it up says "... I might". LOL
This brand of tea is the one I use most of the time, but I don't enjoy it as much as some natural stuff that I had found in china town in T.O. The problem now is that I no longer live in the GTA so china town is kinda far away! I have to stick with what I can find in local stores in Barrie.
My typical breakfast. Probiotic yogurt (great for depression and keeping you regular, which is great for me 'cause I've suffered from IBS my whole life... Irritable Bowel Syndrome)... NOT the fat free kind because I have found that fat free products cause me to have very bad & very severe mental breakdowns. So I go strictly non-fat free in all foods.
I also have found that artificial sweeteners do the same thing to me, as does processed cheese slices, and a number of other food items. I've also had to switch to strictly lactose free milk as well.
Also in this pic is blueberries... another GREAT depression food, and whole wheat toast with NON-HYDROGENATED margarine (heart healthy margarine... which I need to consider now because I am a high risk for heart disease & diabetes because of my family history), & of course, my green tea. Sprinkled on top are roasted almonds. A healthy diet should always include nuts. Almonds are also good for depression so I make sure to include them with every breakfast.
Before SparkPeople (SP) I NEVER ate breakfast... EVER... and when I tried it would make me sick. Food first thing in the morning was something my body rejected. Now, it's my favorite meal! Really. Not that I adjusted to that habit overnight. I had to gradually train my body to get used to food first thing in the morning... but WOW... I feel SO much better through the day now!
Another breakfast, with vanilla yogurt, and raspberries (which also have a lot of great health benefits. Every morning I have berries & almonds mixed with my yogurt for breakfast. Most mornings I complete this with whole wheat toast, but sometimes instead I'll mix 1/4 cup of healthy granola (not all granola cereals are healthy... please read your labels).
Whole wheat cereal with raspberries & almonds mixed in... for a change to the yogurt now & then. I drink lactose free milk, or goats milk. I've tried soy milk and though it's 'ok' I'd prefer not to drink it! lol Just doesn't 'hit the spot' with me like the other kinds.
Great breakfast drink. With yogurt, banana, strawberries, & pineapple. LOVE this drink!
Here's the recipe that I got from the side of a pineapple juice can many years ago:
Quick Start Breakfast Drink
Preparation Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 0
Ingredients: 2 cups Pineapple Juice or 1 can Crushed Pineapple
2 ripe medium Bananas, peeled & sliced
2 cups Plain or Vanilla Yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen Strawberries
1/4 cup Wheat Germ (optional)
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
Method: Combine all ingredients in a large blender. Stir until smooth.
Homemade chili... with all clean, unprocessed ingredients... no chemicals or preservatives here! Whole wheat bread on the side. I have cut out virtually all white flour products from my diet. White flour is very unhealthy, it sucks my energy and makes me feel terrible. I have much more energy and am able to think much clearer with whole grain foods in my diet.
Homemade turkey soup
A mini personal pizza... made on a whole wheat toritilla, topped with 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, tomato, onion, & a mozzarella cheese.
Mozza, cheddar & swiss cheese's do not have lactose in them. They are great and should be included in any healthy diet.
An afternoon snack... 6 whole wheat crackers & 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
Another typical afternoon snack... air popped popcorn with NO butter!
Home roasted pumpkin seeds! Very healthy snack.
Home made trail mix with nuts, cranberries, & a few dark-chocolate chocolate-chips for a treat.
At least twice per week I try to have fish for dinner. It has many, many health benefits. Once per week I eat salmon as it is another very good depression food.
I love green veggies, and I eat lots of veggies all the time now. I have fruit for snacks through the day. I try to have 2 snacks per day.
I was one of these people that even at my heaviest weight I did not eat a lot. It wasn't until I learned about healthy eating from SparkPeople that I learned that I wasn't getting enough nutrients to fuel my body. When I increased my daily diet to the amount they suggested, I stated to lose weight! Yep... I had to eat more to lose! Now, I still, some days have a hard time eating all that food but I'm doing very well with it.
I was never an emotional eater. Just the opposite... when I get emotional, I stop eating. NOT a good thing either, by the way! I have been known to go for a couple days with no food because I was upset. This is NOT a good thing. When you stop eating or you're not eating enough your metabolism will slow down and your body will hold onto every calorie it can to survive... thus the fat storage!
Also, no more than twice per week I eat good quality beef. I have pretty much cut out pork just because of the fat content that's in it.
My diet now consists of a lot of fish, chicken or turkey with some beef tossed in here & there! lol
I eat a fresh spinach salad most days for my lunch. Spinach gives me a great energy boost as well as it's a good depression food. I eat chicken breast most days in my spinach salad for lunch, plus some days I also have a roasted chicken breast for supper. I don't use dressings on my salad. Instead I use a tablespoon of red wine vinegar... a staple I grew to have in my house while I was learning to cook Portuguese dishes for my ex, Paul. The European diet has a lot of red wine vinegar on a regular basis; along with olive oil. I use only olive oil in my kitchen now. Every healthy diet should include olive oil. Other oils should be cut out.
This salad contains:
50 grams fresh Baby Spinach
37 grams Green Pepper (bell peppers)
60 grams Tomato
70 grams Cucumber
40 grams Cheddar Cheese
100 grams roasted Chicken Breast
1 slice Whole Wheat Bread toasted & cubed for croutons
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (instead of dressing) - RWV has no calories & it tastes GREAT!
All my meals have a combination of carbohydrates, proteins & fats... VERY important for a balanced meal! SparkPeople will teach you how to make this happen in the proper proportions. Again, this part is VITAL to a healthy balanced meal.
HA HA HA ........ Gotcha!!!!
You didn't think I was really gonna post my fat bathing suit pics did you?! lol I have some! The new bathing suit photos with the weight loss... I actually like! Makes me feel SOOO good to see myself in a bathing suit again after not being able to wear one for well over a decade! I only put one on long enough to get some 'before' shots. Other than that I refused to go near a bathing suit while I was over weight!
The first time I saw myself in a mirror (by accident) just in underwear and I looked good, I cried! It had been SO many years since I had felt that I looked good. I could actually look in a mirror and not get angry at myself. I looked good and I liked what I saw. It was an awesome experience.
I spent many years refusing to purchase clothes unless I had no choice because I refused to shop in the 'fat' department! Now that I've lost my weight I've rediscovered my love of shopping! So cool!!!! One of my biggest pet peeves as an over weight person was how different I was treated in stores by sales clerks. Even other female clerks treated me different than what I was treated as a thin person. Walking into a store as a thin person wearing a fun or sexy outfit WILL get you better service by clerks, get you noticed more by other customers, and if you drop something... there's a LOT more people there to help you pick up! Walking in as an over weight person... not the same world at all! It was terrible & it made me feel terrible. I didn't want to admit that I was over weight so I refused to buy fat clothes unless I had no choice, so needless to say I had a lot of clothes that lasted me a LONG time!
Even now that I'm done losing the weight, http://www.sparkpeople.com is a very important part of my daily life & not just for the food & exercise trackers; but for the support. Again, I can't stress how important the support is. As is setting goals & the motivation. Without a mindset of determination and refusal to give up, I could not / would not have made it this far!
A couple of final notes:
- I didn't weigh myself every day, though there are arguments for & against this practice. I just know if I did that myself would bet obsessed with the scale & I didn't want to go there. I weigh myself once per week on Friday mornings as soon as I wake up in the morning.
- Finally, I allow myself once day per week to go over my calorie range limits (SP has a minimum calorie amount and a maximum daily calorie amount, which they calculate for YOU based on a long series of questions you'll answer when you sign up). This isn't to say I can go ahead and pig out all day on unhealthy foods, but a treat or two that day is OK. One day per week will not destroy your eating plan or your weight loss goals. I want to live a healthy lifestyle but I don't want to be miserable doing it. I want to be able to enjoy myself in social settings. Letting myself have this one day allows for all this. I don't get angry or upset or feel left out when I'm out in social settings, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on the stuff that's fun to eat.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
My weight loss journey as I've told you before is just one of the things I'm doing with my life. My main goal isn't to be thin...though that's important, it isn't THE big goal. THE big goal is to get my life back on track... to build myself a life again. To do that one of the most important things I can do is to make myself healthy... physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The spiritual journey...well that, I believe, comes from the bible, but it can only be successful even then if it's reinforced by a healthy body and mind. My journey is something that I need to do myself. I can't get there by leaning on others. It's a journey that only I can take and it has to be taken alone or the whole purpose will be defeated. Being that I lost all faith and trust in the medical industry I've been on a journey to help fix my depression the best that I can by taking other routes. I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle is the only thing that can do this. I've talked much about how I'm going about that and about how I've done my own research on myself so I won't go over that again. But one of the reasons why I believe in a healthy lifestyle is because I relate it to nature. Natural products and ways of doing things I believe is best because, I think, natural means it's the way God intended for things to be. And God's way in ANYTHING will always be the best way. No matter what it is in life if you block God out of it than it WILL fail!
One of the things I use for tracking things is a software program called Optimism. It's meant for depressed people to track all sorts of things. It's even customizable. There's a space for some notes. I usually make some daily notes about what I've checked off in my tracking efforts. Well in my notes one of the things I wrote was this... "I'm thinking that it could be time for me to make a big step in progressing my life. But I have no idea what that is, or where to go to do it, or who to ask for help. Should I go to an employment agency? Should I just look for a job on my own? Should I contact friends like Charlene and get some social life going? Should I go to the doctor and ask about some kind of help/therapy group to join? I have no idea where to go from here. Or should I just wait to get a definite sign from God? or should I just wait for God to bring me what I need? "
Well, with all that said, my mental health journey has been difficult to say the least. It's been a long hard road, and some days I feel like I'm still at square 1... And I don't mean the mall in Mississauga called Square 1. lol But then when I really stop for a minute to look back on how far I've come... what my days used to be like... how I used to think...everything about me and my life, and then I compare it to how I am now, it' amazes me how I've changed. I just wish other people around me could see it as much as I do. Then again maybe they do and they haven’t told me. The best defense, I think, against mental health demons is a healthy physical body… thus the weight loss! So here I am.
My biggest hurdle has been socializing. I just can’t do it most of the time. Then the fact that no matter how healthy I am, no matter how happy my day is, that big ‘dragon’ that people call depression is constantly hanging over my shoulder breathing down my neck. I can feel him there so much. Some days I am perfectly capable of ignoring him and he doesn’t bother me. Other days the heat from him is so intense it’s all I can do to keep going on. I realized the other day that when something funny happens to me that I have a tendency to picture it in a cartoon! LOL I often associate funny things to something that I’ve seen on cartoons when I was a kid… back when cartoons were cool… not like today’s cartoons! LOL Well, anyway, then I thought… what if my ‘dragon’ was a cartoon? Would it take away his power? For at least some of the time anyway. Well, since then, I picture Mr. Dragon as a cartoon. Pete the Dragon, actually… you know, from the Disney movie! LOL So from now on I’m going to try to see if it helps when the ‘dragon’ is taking over my day if I picture him as a cute cartoon. I figure that it's kinda hard to take him seriously if he's so cute and playful. I’ve even given him a name and called him 'Petey'. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll have to remember to keep notes on that. I know that probably sounds like something weird to some of you but I’m trying to come up with a tool to fight with. I’m determined I’m gonna fix myself or die trying.
Well, anyway… back to the social problem… I haven't worked a regular job outside my home in many years now... or at least not without the man I was in love with a the time by my side (I worked for my ex when we were together.... fun & we were the perfect working team... but not exactly independent on my part). I want to go to work again, I want to develop a relationship and hopefully get married again some day... I want to be able to pursue so many of my dreams. Right now as far as I've come the truth is the social problem has hardly moved an inch. I still spend my days at home alone, and most of that I spend in my room alone... with my pets, my TV, my computer. I hate that more than I could ever put into words. I’ve had a few friends from my past pop up again because of FaceBook (boy that site is like a gold mine for long lost people. Just incredible). Anyway… These past friends have sent me emails on & off. They’ve even mentioned maybe getting together for a coffee. I’ve been turning them down thus far because I’m scare to go out & socialize.
One of these friends is a woman named Charlene. I met her when I was about 20 or 21. We were like sisters back then. She was the first real girl friend I’d ever had in my life. She was the complete opposite of me. I was shy, awkward, and scared. I’d only ever had a couple of boyfriends, and had never partied much. She was a wild party girl who had tons of boyfriends. She taught me to open up. I learned to make friends, I learned how to dress to have fun and feel sexy without looking bad. She helped me more than I could ever write down here in a blog. After a few years we just drifted apart… our lives taking different turns. Well, Charlene found me again via the internet about 3 years ago. We chatted on the phone a couple of times at first. She wanted to get together and reboot our friendship. I put her off ‘cause I was just too scared… and mostly ‘cause I was too embarrassed at the mess I was in. I was a small shell of a human being compared to the person that I was when she knew me in our party days.
Well since my journey has been making me feel better I’ve been feeling like I want to start getting out. I mentioned that in a blog or two back. I’m feeling like it’s finally time to move forward with another step. I’m feeling very strongly, God talking to me that it’s time. Though that doesn’t seem to be taking the fear away. I feel the urge tugging at me to move forward, but I’m scared to death. I know, if I had enough faith than I wouldn’t have so much fear. That bothers me too. I try to tell myself that every time I feel the fear.
Well, last night while I was online on FaceBook, God had answered the series of questions that I had written in my Optimism software journal just a few hours earlier because Charlene showed up online. I wanted so desperately to start a chat with her. I knew that if I did that she would want to get together. I looked at her online status for about 45 minutes trying to make myself start a conversation. I just couldn’t do it. I asked God if He would let her start the conversation and if so I promised that I would chat with her. But God clearly said “no”. He said to me “my child, if she starts the conversation first than it won’t be YOU making the first step forward. I need YOU to move forward”. Then I knew that I had to talk first. God doesn’t want to have the world move toward me. He wants me to step into the world. So I decided that I just had to “close my eyes and jump”. If the “water” was cold, I’d have to deal with it. Well, there it was… I sat in my chair and I typed “Hi. How are you doing?”. Well, we had a conversation for about 15 minutes and we’re going to get together soon. No definite plans yet, but she said she’ll call me in a few days to make plans.
So there it is… I did it! I jumped. Granted… I’m still scared… ‘cause now that I’ve jumped in I have to swim or sink. I even had some bad dreams about it last night. Which bothers me in itself; though I guess I understand it… I think! It’s just fear. But God has been with me through so many steps. I’ve mentioned before that I’m going to write a book about my story, and I could make half of it just talking about how many things God has gotten me through… how many things He’s rescued me from just in the nick of time! I saw on a church service on TV last week that ‘FEAR’ means False Evidence Appearing Real. So I guess that I have to keep that in mind. God is there holding my hand and the fear isn’t real. I just hope that when the time comes I can pull it off. I hope so, because I don’t think I could have more determination inside me if I tried.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Today was my weekly weigh-in day! I'm down a few more lbs now to 168 lbs. That's a total loss of 57 lbs! I can hardly believe it when I say it! 28 lbs more to go to my goal weight. I'm so excited. This summer could be the first time in at least 15 years that I'll be able to wear a bathing suit! Maybe that should be a goal when I get there... to go shopping for a suit! I haven't owned one in so many years I almost forget how to shop for one! lol
I'm still sick with the cold today. I hate it. I'm aching all over, my energy is drained, my back is sore, and I have a headache the size of my apartment building. Though I did do an extra hour of housework which, according to my heart rate monitor, I burned about 418 calories doing! Sometimes, I really think I could learn to like housework! hehehehe NOT! lol
I also made some home made doggie treats for Casey. They're called Nibbler Pup Cakes. They're baked in mini muffin tins. He loves them so much. Last week I made him some Dot Treats. Small bite sized treats that are perfect for a little dog like Casey. I don't make him treats on a regular basis as a rule, but he loved the ones I made him for Christmas so much...as did all the other dogs in the family I made them for... that I figured I'd give him some more. Plus they're made from healthy ingredients.
Well, I hope you all have a great weekend.
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