A New Year
Sunday, January 15, 2012
The last three months have been a rollercoaster for me. There have been changes that really have affected my routine and it has caused a BIG back slide, but I am taking steps to over come the obstacles in my path, both physical and mental. My Father used to berate me with the words “You take two steps back for every step forward.” or “You do two things wrong for every thing you do right.” It made for a wonderful childhood (major sarcasm here). Every time I start to accomplish something good, those words come back to haunt me, and I falter. I have been an adult for over twenty years, and he’s been gone for over 15, but the ghosts of the past are powerful.
I quit smoking in late August. I have been smoking since I was 14, over half my life. I quit while I was pregnant with both my children and while I was nursing, but started back up within weeks of weaning them. Hawaii has a Tobacco Quit program and I called them for help. I received free nicotine patches and coaching. I also shared with the SP community and got a lot of moral support. I am still tobacco free! I did have a reaction to the patches and had to quit using them after 5 weeks. I also found myself snacking more, especially at night, to stave of the urge to have a cigarette. A hundred calorie snack bar is a great substitute for a cookie, but not if you eat 5 in one hour!
In late September I made a job change. I have worked as a Nursing Assistant for 21 years, 15 of them on the same unit. I love working with patients, for the most part, but it is very physical work. I first injured my back 15 years ago, and have re-injured it several times since. I also found out I have bad discs in my neck. I had surgery to remove one that was pinching the nerve running down my arm, but I worry about the rest. I tried reducing my hours, and though it helped with the physical stress, my mental stress increased because I was getting canceled at least once a pay period, and I worried about the loss of income. When our weekend Unit Secretaries graduated from Nursing School, I talked to my boss about taking the position. I now work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 6:30am to 5pm. It has been an adjustment for me, and I do miss interacting with the patients, but I work 30 hours a week, pretty much guaranteed, and I actually make more per hour as a Secretary. Unfortunately, because I ride the bus to and from work, I leave before the sun comes up and get home after it goes down. That threw my exercise schedule off, and I let it be an excuse for cutting back, to the point where I stopped altogether.
My computer started acting up around August-September. It would freeze up, not want to start, and the once it was booted up, not want to connect to the internet. Then it really would start to freeze and the monitor would look like a multi-colored checker board. I finally took it in for a diagnostics, and found out it is the mother board. I need to get a new computer! I refuse to use credit, so it will take me about three months to save up enough to replace it. Before I had it checked, I would try to log on to track, and get frustrated when I couldn’t connect. It would be days before I could connect, then I couldn’t find my notes, or I would enter and get upset because I estimated my calories too low or too high and not be within my calorie goals.
Around mid-November, I had enough. I decided I was going to just get through the Holiday season, not worry about every little thing I put in my mouth, and face the music on January 1st. I was more concerned that I would give into the urge for a cigarette because of the increased stress, and it would give me time to review and renew my goals.
So here it is, the end of the second week of January, 2012. The good news is I am doing okay with the goals I have set for my self so far. The bad news is I have a lot of ground to make up. Since I probably won’t have a home computer until about March or April, I set goals that are easy for me to track and I can enter them at a later date on the trackers. I do have access to a computer and the internet at work, but time is limited. January started with a weight gain of 23 lbs. I am sad that I put on more weight than I had lost, but determined to get it back off, and keep it off.
My goals for January are simple.
1. Walk on my days off.
2. Drink 80 oz of water every day.
3. Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per day.
Getting enough sleep has been the hardest for me, not so much on my days off, but on my working days. I wake up at 3:30am and don’t get home until 6:30pm, so that leaves two hours to eat, bathe and prepare for the next day. I’m working on strategies, like packing all three lunches at one time and picking out my clothes, but relaxing enough to even sleep is not easy. In February I will add two more goals, but I am trying to focus on the now. I have a habit of focusing on “what will be”, and get frustrated when it becomes “the now” and I am not where I planned on being.
This has been a long blog, so thank you for taking the time to read it. I will back at work Friday, and hopefully I will be able to report progress. Aloha for now.