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Settling in...again

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Well, we got ourselves moved to a cute little, pink beachhouse. I am so enjoying every sunrise and sunset...feeling really, really blessed. So much so, in fact, that I walked for a full hour yesterday after I got back from my meetings in Vancouver. There is a walking path, conveniently placed right across the street..from there it is beach and ocean and sky. I can see right across the ocean to Vancouver Island from our home. I walked to the mail and back and then continued down the path...enjoying the still warm sunshine on my face and body. I arrived home just before the sun slipped silently into the ocean...and got some great pictures.

Our new home is outfitted with a really fabulous professional type gas range, complete with a convection oven...which I have never used before. Thankfully, there is a book for me to study and learn from. We also have about double the freezer space, which I am excited about as that will cut down on waste...I can freeze leftovers to eat when I am dining solo, or when I don't want anything my omni has chosen!

I had a total of five days off from work to move and organise, and I am so thankful for that! I am not nearly done, but way ahead of what I may have been if I only had the weekend. I put all the not-likely-to-be-needed-right-away stuff in the spare room, which is without furniture now as we had to throw it all out. We discovered the room was full of black mold. So, we are washing everything we own (all of our clothes hung in the huge closet in that room) and rinsing with vinegar....

Back to the room of boxes, otherwise known as the spare room. The cute little beachhouse was fully renovated before we moved in...definitely one of the points for when deciding where to move to. Well, we got our stuff moved on Thursday, and so Friday night I decided to do some of the laundry....since there clearly is so much of it, having to wash everything. The first and second load were small, and there were no problems. Then I did a big load and....problem! The water all came back up into the house and flooded the room of boxes! All of our art work was stored in there too, so I was panicking. Used every towel we had to sop it up...and managed to save...EVERYTHING!! Again, I am feeling very blessed. Apparently, when cleaning up during renovations, they washed everything down the sink...creating a blockage which was packed solid by the two little loads of laundry. It's all fixed now, thank goodness.

I have been thinking more and more about stuff. Having too much of it, to be precise. I cleared out a great deal of stuff voluntarily prior to the move. I helped move a youth to Vancouver, and donated a van packed full of stuff to his first home; sent loads and loads (and loads, still have a couple more) to the local thrift stores, and I have a basket of clothes for another agency that helps outfit women for job interviews etc. Still, I look around our little home and see stuff everywhere. I actually want (rather than need) to pare down even more. This weekend, I will organise the new closets and part with even more. It does not seem even possible to wear all the clothing I have...so away with it! That will be a good start. Next weekend, we are taking some things to our kids...they actually can use the things I have been collecting...bye bye antique dresser that sits there because I have had it a long time...bye bye chest of drawers that once belonged to my grandparents but but other than that has no real significance...my grandkids can use it, I don't need it. We will also be gifting my stepson and his young family with a leather couch and ottoman...oh and plants...we seem to have an abundance of plants!!

I have to say, I had been doing reasonably well in terms of eating healthy, but totally fell off during the move...so much so that I made myself sick. The body will rid itself of what it doesn't want/can't use. That was not fun, not at all...with everything else going on. But, I am back on track. I am really enjoying yams these days, and I had a yam, with steamed veggies for lunch. It cost me a grand total of $4 at the grocery store...AND I walked past Starbucks twice today without going inside...I am exploring the idea of detoxing, as I want to be sure that I am free of black mold, and just to give myself the physical support I need to be healthy.

I am sleeping fairly well since we moved, although I do wake up 3-4 times a night feeling hot...once I cool down I am able to get right back to sleep though, so that is an improvement. Generally, my overall sense of wellbeing has skyrocketed since we moved. We were truly living in an unhealthy environment, and I am sure that I was trying to survive toxic overload. (I saw that a white shelf I had sitting in the bay window, which was always open, is stained grey now... effluent from the mill?)

I am really happy to be living where I am now. I feel lighter emotionally, and am looking forward to feeling lighter physically too...both in terms of weight loss, and stuff loss!


Hi, my name is Tammy and I'm a Carbaholic!!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I have sometimes resented the nutrition tracker, and I definitely have struggled to enter every morsel, every day. However, the tracker has somewhat redeemed itself as it provided me with an AHA moment...or a kick in the butt, whichever way I choose to look at it, I need to make some changes.

My diet of late has been far to low in protein, and far to high in carbs. I am choosing whole grain breads and cereals, but given my numbers, too many of them. I have been really frustrated by my very slow progress, and I think I might have a clue as to why. I am guessing the pie and ice cream (98% fat free) doesn't help. Good thing it's all gone, and my omni will be working away from home for the next few days. This means, I won't buy more and therefore won't be tempted. I struggle with preparing foods for both of us, and usually by the time I have figured out his meal, done the prep and have it nicely cooking, I give up and lose creativity when it comes to my own meals. I end up eating whatever he is having, except I leave out the flesh. No can do. This approach has proven itself to be counterproductive. I realise that when I put some thought into my menu selections, I tend to make some pretty good choices.

I am still sore. Given that I packed my books yesterday, which meant a lot more lifting than I am used to, the tendonitis in my wrists has flared up, and my elbow was giving Agony a run for the money....I need a new term for beyond agony. I almost gave in and used the pain meds (can you tell I hate popping pills?) I will continue to use them only when really, really needed....at least until I fully understand their effects on my body and how I can minimise any anticipated damage. I continue to cope by using Arnica Salve (locally harvested and made I might add). The upside to the soreness is that some of it is that kind of muscle soreness I welcome...it tells me some muscles got a much needed workout. I can feel it in my chest and upper back, and......triceps!! Yay, I swear, I will get rid of those wings!!

This morning, I wrote a seven page outline for a business plan that is due at the end of the month. If successful, we will be able to increase our business earning capacity four-fold. Pretty exciting now that I am getting into it.

Once I was done with that, I packed up 4 plastic bins of kitchen/dining room stuff...just a little light packing for today. Today is the day I can get more boxes, hopefully, and I may even do some dumpster diving again....Then, I plan to take it easy and give my body a much needed, well deserved and earned rest. I know that if I don't, I will not be able to manage my pain without drugs.

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook....my status states how much I love my daughter, what she has brought to my life, how grateful I am to have her in my life...I did it on Facebook on purpose. I keep trying to open her daddy's eyes to what he is missing. I keep hoping he will wake up and be a daddy. But, as long as he stays married to the wicked step monster, that is not likely to happen. So sad.

My omni and I had a great talk last night, made some plans for our future. It has been a while, and both of us have been stuck in our own thoughts, planning our own futures, that we seemed to be living parallel, but seperate lives. Not good enough. So, we have re-affirmed our committment and are forging ahead...together. I like feeling supported, I will quickly get used to this!!

So, today is a protein day......hmmmmm...what should I have for lunch......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMFLEMI 10/8/2010 4:29PM

    Thycknsweet, I could so join you there...Chocolate is another weakness....
Snikwad, thank you for your encouragement!!

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THYCKNSWEET 10/7/2010 4:36PM

    Hi tammy and i'm a chocoholic!! emoticon

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SNIKWAD 10/7/2010 4:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TAMFLEMI 10/7/2010 1:58PM

    ps....little car is running again...it was a sensor that burned out. Oh well, it also has a new fuel pump now too....my omni handled it all like a pro!! Good job!!

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A day in the life....

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yesterday my omni called to say that he wouldn't make the ferry home. He though that all the gas had been siphoned out of his car overnight, so he was walking to a gas station. Turns out, he has lots of gas (well actually, the gas tank in the little car is almost full...lol) , but his little car just won't go. He spent the night in beautiful Squamish, and I spent the night at home, alone, packing and worrying.

Well, today arrives, he changes the fuel pump...but the car still won't go. (won't go, hmmm...more fiber? lol) Now he has had said little car towed and we are trying to find out what's wrong. Good thing is, after a series of fortuitous events, he has found transportation so he won't fall too far behind on his contract. Yay!! However, his insurance expires tonight at midnight, and I have the renewal papers and stickers at home...ah well, like all challenges that came before this one, we will persevere and sort it out.

This morning I was talking with my daughter, who is getting married in June. Her father and I have been apart for about 30 years, due to my inability to cope with the choices he was making at the time. My daughter had asked if I would walk her down the aisle along with her father, and I readily agreed. Surely 30 years is enough time to allow things to settle. Surely there would not be any feelings getting in the way now. Apparently not. He told her that if that was the case (walking with me and her) he would decline. What an ass...sorry, but I just am so upset that he can't see past the end of his own nose to see what an effect his choices have on our daughter. So, as usual, I took the high road. She was so upset, so hesitant to tell me about it, my heart ached for her...that she would even be put in this position. So, I volunteered that I hoped she would consider walking down the aisle with her daddy anyway. They have been so distant always...I was not close with my father either, and I treasure the memory of him walking me down the aisle, and I want that for her too. Sigh....I will totally admit that I am disappointed. But, her happiness means way more to me than a short trip down the aisle. I have been invited to prepare a reading to be given just before the ceremony. I truthfully told her I would be honored to do so.

A bright note in this day: my grandson has made up his own knock knock joke. He is 2 and a half years old...here's his joke: Knock Knock. Who's there? Nana! then he laughs! Of course, given that I am Nana, I think it is the best joke ever!

I packed up my books this morning before work. I found a few...okay about 10..books to donate and I am amazed. I usually hoard information and have argued long and hard to keep all my books over the years. But, I guess I am changing and realising that information becomes outdated too...just like that peach colored fortrel pant suit.....kidding! I got rid of that last year!

I drove home to get the aforementioned insurance papers, so I will have them handy when we come up with a plan to unite them with broken little car. I had enough lunch time left over to create part 2 of my new favorite openfaced sandwich...mmmmmmm...it was just as good as yesterday!! I didnt' change a thing, but I did have a bit less tomato on it today, as I forgot to replenish my stock at work. It was delish anyway! I have also started keeping healthier cereal options at work along with rice milk so that I can eat when I am hungry, which is rarely before I go to work. Usually the hungries hit around coffee time....then I take a bit later lunch to compensate.

Oh, I almost forgot yesterday's highlight....I went dumpster diving for the first time in my life!! I am not saying I have never picked up freebies on the side of the road...I have. I am not saying I have never recycled castoffs...I have. My mom and I were a bit like the Junk Brothers...my stepdad worked for the town, and for a while he was the garbage man. He would rescue items, and mom and I would fix them up, repurpose them and sell them! I have a long history of liberating cast offs. What I am saying is that I have never literally hoisted myself up on the side of a dumpster and while balancing my lower abs (ouch, I may have bruised a little) on the edge reached in and retrieved multiple items of interest out of the dumpster. That was, until yesterday. Right after work. In my big girl office type clothing. I was only mildly embarassed when I was caught. I scored about 30 boxes of a size that is perfect for packing my books. I can lift the filled boxes myself! Yay!! Good thing it was a dumpster filled with clean cardboard!! All the while I was thinking...this must look hilarious! If I saw me doing this, I would definitely feel the need to take a picture......

Well, all in all, I did pretty good on the food front yesterday, and today has been very good. I had a little icecream with chocolate sauce last night, and I enjoyed each spoonful...and yes, there were way fewer spoonfuls than I may have had in the past........


Testing Limits....

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Although this may not qualify as an acceptable opening paragraph in an article, or for an academic paper, I decided to take liberty in the fact that this is my space, and I can write the way I want to! Before I write about the changes since my last post, I have to write about what I had for lunch today....

So, here it is...I got a low fat whole grain mini baguette, cut the hard little ends off then cut it in half (for tomorrow's lunch) resulting in two 6-inch pieces. I split one lengthwise then spread it with hummus. On top of that - lovely, fresh, organic (huge!) whole leaves of basil - then topped with organic, crunchy zucchini strips and sliced organic tomatos....it was a flavor party!! So good, I can't wait to have it again tomorrow. Fresh, organic, in-season, preferably local produce is definitely the way to go.

Now, on with the updates. We are moving!!!!! I cannot begin to say all there is to say about how exciting this is. We found a lovely little pink cottage, complete with flower filled window boxes, a yard, a deck and an amazing kitchen....literally right across the road from the beach!! Yay! There are no houses to block the view, I have been dreaming of the sunsets I shall enjoy once we have moved in and gotten settled.

I have discovered that 10 trips up and down those dreaded three flights of stairs is...well too much. Like a restless baby, Agony woke me many times during the night as I over did things yesterday...a simple task of unloading two bags of groceries, four plastic storage tubs and moving boxes, on top of the usual 4 trips up and down daily...was just too much. Oh, and I packed up the china cabinet and most of the art off the walls, family pictures etc. Just a bit too much for one day. I am managing, though, without the help of pain meds, and I feel really good about that. Hooray for Arnica Salve!

I have managed to maintain my 15 lb weight loss, and that makes me smile...often. I check in about once a week, just to make sure it hasn't crept back, but so far, it seems to have found somewhere else to live. I think I may be trading fat for muscle though, because my clothes continue to become steadily looser, and I notice some shape shifting is going on. Happy about all of it! The only excercise I have been able to maintain consistently (besides stair climbing) is using the dumbells I keep under the coffee table. I think my wings are shrinking and I definitely feel a lump growing in my arm...I am not alarmed by this growth it is simply my bicep muscle waking up....

I am excited that there is not only a beach right across the road from the new house, but there is a walking path..that I can use!! It is for the most part flat, with occasional gently undulating hills, just to make it interesting. With no stairs to dread and cause pain, I will be able to once again walk every day. Can you see me do my happy dance? Oh, and I shall not forget...just a short and very doable stroll from my new home...Summer Beach Yoga...I will excitedly anticipate until next summer....

Another thing that excites me is the new home has an amazing gas stove...professional quality! I have been creating dishes for myself, and when they look and taste fabulous, I have been documenting and taking pictures. Some dishes are best forgotten...but others are definite do-overs!! Even my omni enjoys them...last night's veggie/mango/curry dish was a hit! Not entirely local, but yum yum! So....you guessed it - a cookbook is in the works. Mostly low fat vegan foods, but I plan to include some healthy indulgences, as well as perhaps some personal, anecdotal stories...so not my mother's diet...way way too much fun! I am learning that healthy nutrition is not about deprivation...that would be the path to temporary, unhealthy weight loss and I am no longer part of that plan. Good, healthy organic food is my preference. Honestly, I tried to cheat but made myself sick in the process. My body has begun to reject foods it doesn't want now...even ice cream makes me feel sick, and cheese - ewwwwww don't even get me started. I do miss ice cream though, so I sometimes buy the best quality (usually Breyers all natural) lowest fat that I can afford and I have some. But these days, I no longer need to eat half a tub to feel satisfied, and I don't feel like I "need" ice cream every day.

I was cooking a spaghetti dinner a couple of weeks ago...chunky veg and tomato sauce for me, extra lean ground beef added for my omni (noodles for him, spag squash for me)...I wasn't thinking and I popped a bit of ground beef into my mouth...and gagged! I could not get the meat (and the flavor of it) out of my mouth fast enough! I sure have learned.....I am no longer a flesh eater. I am beginning to lose my taste for fish as well, and I only eat it when I really, really want it...that way I am sure to enjoy it...for now at least.


On Gratitude....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And so it goes.....
There have been times I am aware of in my life, when I didn't pay attention to being grateful for all that I have. I didn't celebrate the abundance in my life, and soon I would receive a reminder to focus on all that I have to be grateful for.

This is one of those times. I am reminded of all that I am grateful for...friends, family, a strong heart, good lungs, good digestive health, intelligence, empathy and compassion....etc. However, after yesterday's doctor visit all that I have lost, and may lose is crowding in on my thoughts of gratitude.

I suffered an injury to my knee in 1991. I damaged some cartilage and tore the ACL away from the bone. After I recovered from arthroscopy, I was able to maintain a high level of fitness with bracing, and was able to get to a place where I could also exercise without a brace. At the time, I was not a good candidate for reconstruction as I was far to impatient and likely would not adhere to the recommended recovery process. I likely would have determined that I was all better and would have returned to my previous activities. I loved playing ball, hiking, body building, parasailing, boxing, line dancing, regular dancing...almost all types of physical activity...although I never did enjoy running for the sake of running, or jogging.

I stopped smoking for three years about 10 years ago. I gained 60 pounds...some due to situational depression. I haven't lost the 60 pounds yet. On my recent vacation I did manage to lose 15 pounds. I am hopeful that will be the start of a new wieght loss experience. I have revisted smoking since then, once full time and in the past three years on a "once in a while when I am so stressed out I am going to explode" basis.

So, back to yesterday's doctor visit.....
Before vacation I had an MRI done on my right knee. I have been experiencing increased pain, swelling, instability and locking up. Of course, having been there before, I suspected that I likely had more cartilage floating about...but I wasn't sure what could be causing the sudden swelling, and pain not linked to injury or physicality. I had the impression that I would be looking at either reconstruction or replacement surgery. To allay my fears, I had done a great deal of research, and had begun to dream of all the things I could do after I recovered. I felt like I was like getting my life back.

True to form, I have not been expressing or even thinking about being grateful for all that I can do now. I was focussed on what I will be able to do once I recover from surgery. I was reminded yesterday when the doctor told me that I may not be a good candidate for reconstruction because I may actually have increased stiffness and pain due to being immobile for a period of time following surgery; and I may not be a candidate for replacement surgery because I am too young and will probably wear out the new joint in 5 years. I accepted a referral to a surgeon to discuss trimming dead cartilage and removing all the bits floating in the joint. The MRI shows severe osteoarthritis in the medial portion of the joint, and moderate in the lateral portion, as well as the damaged and deteriorating state of the cartilage.

I have to admit, I am feeling really sorry for myself. My biggest fear is to be trapped in a body that doesn't work. Sad really. Intellectually I understand that this is an ungrateful and petty position. I can be so much more strength based that that. There is much that I can still do. However, I have never in my life had any success in obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight without a high level of exercise. I am terrifed that I will not only be burdened with this extra weight, but that I will also balloon to a new, unheard of weight gain record. (I am also an emotional eater......).

I know I need to focus on diet and exercise to maintain the level of mobility I have now. I am struggling with even more restriction on my lifestyle...I feel that I have given up so much already! (tobacco, alcohol, sugar, red meat, poultry, dairy..to name a few) I had a list of activities to return to, and new ones to try after I recovered from surgery...ballroom and salsa dancing, improve my golf game, biking, hiking, kyaking.....now I am not sure if these things are in my realm of possibilities. I am unsure whether I can improve my physical health, or if I will simply be able to work to maintain the health and mobility levels I currently experience.

Not only that, I am afraid that arthritis lives in my other joints...mainly hips, wrists, elbows and sometimes shoulders....all painful almost every day. How much will this impact my quality of life? How much of this is in my control? What is my prognosis? How can I live the best life possible? Today, I began researching in hopes of finding some answers to these questions, and some thought out questions for the surgeon when I finally see one. I have been on this part of this particular journey since October 14 of last year.

I am by no means a quitter. I will not give up, this is what I know about me. I have a terrific success rate when it comes to overcoming adversity. But I sure am scared, and feeling vulnerable and in need of a good cry. And I am sure I will have a good cry, at some point. Right now, I am researching to learn what I can do for myself. I may have to adjust my attitude and expectations. It seems a good time to restart my gratitude journal, so I can focus on "can do" rather than "can't do". We have to find a new home, three flights of stairs are not helping the situation at all. Tai Chi looks promising, and I can continue with Yoga. The resistance band thingee I bought years ago and have lugged around faithfully (while not using it) is finally going to come into some good use. I enjoy stretching.... My biggest immediate hurdle is finding and purchasing some sort of water outfit so that I can exercise at the pool...ughhhh it has been years since I attempted a fitting and purchase of a bathing suit. Just the thought makes me feel a bit queasy. Plus, I can't seem to find a class that runs outside of working hours. So, I will talk to my employer about some sort of flexible work arrangement. There are options available, it is just so hard for me to accept limitations. I really had hoped I would play ball again one day......sigh.

As I bounce back and forth from optimism about my future to sadness and longing for what was and what might have been, I have faith that all will as it should. And I pray......


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