So…will you stop?

So…will you stop?

So…off on another walking adventure this morning. I get to my decided place to walk and start on the trail only to be bullied off by a very hungry caterpillar! It was huge! It was at least as big as my pinky finger! So…I surrendered the trail and decided to walk the parking lot. I discovered a sidewalk and decided to take it where it would lead me.

So I’m walking down the sidewalk. It ends so I turn around to go back. At this point I’m winded and when I saw where I have to go and that it’s uphill I thought, “somebody is gonna have to come pick me up and take me back to my car”. I realized though how ridiculous that sounded as I wasn’t injured or incapacitated. I just needed to keep going until I got back to my car. Then I had an epiphany! (I always have them when I walk. You’d think I would do it more often!) anyway. I thought…that’s how life is. Sometimes we are on a path and get tired. Worn out. Hurt. Ready to quit and call someone to bail us out but we shouldn’t. We just have to keep going. That’s the only way to get through life or to live…you have to keep going! If you stop and wait for someone to come get you, you’ll lose your momentum, you’ll waste time and you will miss all the good stuff along the way!

So…I kept walking. The hills would come. I trudged up them. Then they would level out. It would be great for awhile. Then I would get to a place where the sidewalk would end and I would turn around and find myself going up another hill. Then it would level out. The cycle kept repeating. I was finally back at my car. Winded. Feeling a mixed bag of emotions and just thankful to be done. I thought some more. Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt (India.Arie)…

Had I called someone to come get me…I would’ve missed out on some of the beauty around me. Wouldn’t have heard my favorite songs to make me feel better along the way…and I wouldn’t have gotten that great view of eye candy standing at the library when I got back! Lol. Okay….silly…but you get my point. When you give up…you miss out on the good stuff. No matter how big or small. So my words to myself and to you if you want to listen…don’t give up. I know I’ve had this conversation with me before….but anything worth it is worth repeating.

Until next time… 

 
Hakuna Matata

So…why don’t earthworms bury their dead?

The other morning I woke up in one of my moods…I did not care to exercise.  I wanted to quit.  I got mad because it should be easier to decide to take steps to be healthy…I just keep thinking…”Fit folks don’t have to do this!”  So, I wanted to give up…I go through this often..so no alarm…All winter and much of April, I lamented about the weather preventing me from getting my walk on since my preferred method of exercise is walking through my fine town.  I get to see all the beautiful historic homes on my route and when I’m in for a long walk, I get to take in our historic downtown area.  Well how much nicer can you get with 58 degrees in the morning?  Yeah, I’ve been lazy. So…I pushed..and fought and fussed..and hemmed and hawed and all of that…then I got up and put my clothes on to walk.

Instead of staying in the neighborhood, I ventured out and walked towards downtown through the aforementioned scenery.  Part of this trip is on a sidewalk next to grassy areas.  This morning I noticed an alarming number of dead earthworms when I walked.  This completely and totally creeped me out!  It made my skin crawl.  I know…I know…they can’ t hurt me…but that doesn’t change how it made me feel.  Every now and then, I’d come across one that was still alive and was pushing through trying to get to its destination.  No matter how dehydrated, flattened or whatever it was, it kept trying it’s darnedest to get to wherever it was going!  I tried to scoot on past them but the lesson had already been taught.

I pressed on and finished my walk.  I didn’t make it all the way downtown…but I did manage to get my 40 minutes in at a decent pace.  The entire walk though, all I kept thinking about was those earthworms.  Those poor ones that were still on the sidewalk who lost their fight and the ones that were still struggling to make it.  I realized that the ones who continued to fight, even the hopeless ones with partially flattened bodies are fighting.  Do they know that their fight is hopeless?  Who knows, but I see their little wiggling selves trying and trying and trying.  That told me that no matter what, I should just keep fighting.  Keep hoping.  Keep moving.  Do. Not. Give. Up.

One of my challenges in my journey is not seeing many people who’ve had success starting from where I did.  When I do find folks who’ve lost as much weight as I have to lose, I only see their end result and their maintenance phases.  But I want to see where they started…their frustrations.  It’s hard to find their stories from the beginning.  When you stop seeing results, you get discouraged and it’s easier to just quit.  I guess I’ll be like the earthworm though…I’ll press through…and keep wiggling and pushing and trying to make it to my destination until there is no more breath in me.  Yep…that’ll do it…

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…The Scale-a is a Li-YA!

So…The Scale-a is a Li-YA!

So…this weight loss journey is not for the faint of heart. Each and every day, a person on this journey has to overcome new obstacles. It is never just living.

In the month of March, my prayer partner and I fasted. One of the things I prayed about on the fast was making my weight loss journey more automatic or at least something that wasn’t such a big fight each and every day. For me, that almost always involves what I put into my mouth. So, the fast helped me to do that. It amazes me how much “stuff” is in the food we buy each day. We eat it without a second thought most times. I sincerely wish I didn’t have an aversion to farms, dirt and all that stuff, because I’d sincerely consider raising ALL of my own food!

ANYWAY…I said all that to say…my scale and I are not good friends…It LIES! I weighed on one Friday and the Monday that followed, my scale was EXACTLY ten pounds more than it was on Friday. I know that I did not for real gain ten pounds in 3 days. The culprit had to be water retention. So…as I examined my diet, I found that yeast had been the culprit of water retention…yup…I had not been eating things with yeast as ingredients and as soon as I did…my body retaliated and held onto water like a desert nomad! So…I’m working on that.

In the meantime…I’d like to celebrate some non-scale victories. You know…these are things that let you know that you’re making progress even when your scale says the opposite. Remember…your scale is just telling you about your relationship with gravity…lol.

So…here’s what I’m celebrating. Since last May (since that’s when I started writing about this journey), I have gone down 4 pants sizes, 3-5 shirt sizes (depends on what sizing chart you’re using…) and 3 dress sizes.

I’ve also mastered walking 3 miles without stopping. I’ve also reached the 5K distance. I participated in a Breast Cancer Walk with some friends and the coordinators told us that it was a 3.5 mile walk and I was so nervous! I walked with my friends, and it only ended up being 3.1 miles. I walked the whole way and slowed down only to pick up a bottle of water.

In the moments leading up to the walk, my friends and I had photos taken. In one of the photos, Kerrie suggested that we take one jumping. My first thought was, “Lord, everyone else is gonna be off the ground and I’ll just have bent knees with my feet on the floor.” I was so very distraught at the thought but I decided to give it a good try….and low and behold…I JUMPED! Like…I have evidence…on the photo, there is a shadow beneath my feet! So…what’d I do? Did I celebrate with cake?? Nope…I went and bought myself a jump rope.

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Photo is the courtesy of Hyacinth Wright (an AMAZING photographer…and all around wonderful person…)…

I also came across some amazing recipes that are flavorful and introduced me to some healthier eating that don’t make me feel like I’ve missed anything. Yum…yum..and yum!

I’ve also been keeping my blood sugar in check, blood pressure down and I found out yesterday that my cholesterol is down since February! Wooo hooooo!!! Dancing…dancing….DANCING! I’m doing alright…

Now…the next victory I’ll celebrate will be finishing an “official” 5K in record time. I reached my fastest walking time and it was a 19 minute mile. So, I’m interested in decreasing that time. I also plan to increase my distance. Back when I was seeing Dr. Him, he made the snide comment, “well, you’d lose a lot of weight if you walked 5 miles a day.” At the time, I could barely walk 1 mile. HA! If he could see me now! It’s been nearly a year since I last visited that practice with Drs. Him and Her. Considering the diabetes diagnosis, I figured I’d have at least been contacted regarding an appointment…but erm…uh…no! Ah well…I probably wouldn’t have answered their call anyway.

So…while my scale is holding steady with the same number from two weeks ago, my body, my actions and my internal systems are telling a different story. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m so on my way to where I should be! That’s exciting. The end of the month, I’ll be weighing in for the final time for a challenge I took up with a local hospital called Get Healthy West Georgia. The goal is to have lost 10% of my weight from the initial weigh in. Let’s see!

Until Next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Best of 2013 – Healthy Me!

So…this year has been full of twists and turns.  I can honestly say it started of with a BANG!  For health and wellness, I was really met with all kinds of blows…from day one!

In January of this year, I lost my voice.  For those who don’t know me…you know that’s a BIG ISSUE!  Though I’m an introvert, I do love to talk…and sing…but on top of that…I work in a call center so using my voice is how I earn my living.  I went to work one morning…and thought that the hoarseness I was feeling would disappear…by the middle of the morning, I was in excruciating pain and was barely speaking above a whisper.  My callers all gave me well wishes, home remedies and blasted my employer for making me work while I was sick.  It was my choice.  While I didn’t feel well, I knew that I should go to work anyway.  After all, I work from home, so it’s not like I had to travel to be near anyone.  If I was contagious, then I would only infect my imaginary friends.

Anyway, I finally had no voice AT ALL left.  I let my supervisor know via instant message.  He had to get it approved from a manager for me to leave.  The manager listened to my calls for thirty minutes before deciding that I sounded “horrible” and needed to rest.  The next morning, I called out.  I went to urgent care and was told I needed voice rest for the rest of the week and to follow up with my doctor if it got worse or if my voice didn’t return.  Well, the pain went away, but I still had no voice.  I was pretty miffed.  I enjoyed my three days off…but I couldn’t sing either!  They called my prescription in to the pharmacy.  When I went inside to pick it up, I had post it notes so that I could rest my voice.  I had written out my note that I was picking up a prescription for myself…OOPS!  The cashier, a Caucasian male, turned the color of beets at first.  It did not occur to me that a note handed to a person behind a cash register could be scary!  When he read it though, he calmed down.  HILARIOUS though…only in hindsight of course.  I saw him hold his breath then start breathing again when he realized what I needed.  But let’s think here…If I was going to rob the store…why would I walk ALL THE WAY TO THE BACK…instead of hitting the cash registers up front?  Oh well..guess there’s no logic when it comes to robbers….

ANYWHO…my voice did not return and I ended up being put on voice rest…which meant for my job, I could not talk on the phone.  When I gave my doctor’s recommendation to my supervisor, he thought it would be fine to ask management if I could perform other tasks as our call center does more than just answer the phones…and because I’d been trained to do the other tasks, and they were behind with them, SURELY, I could do something else while I was on voice rest.  Unfortunately, the powers that be in my organization said…”Well if she’s sick she needs to take sick leave.”  My only problem was that I had no voice.  As long as I didn’t try to talk…I was in no pain…my fingers and brain worked fine…so I didn’t understand why the powers that be wanted me to have to use FMLA to be off for that time frame when there was SOMETHING that I could be doing that didn’t require the use of my voice.  At first, I was like…”you know what…whatever…this is the time I can use to find new employment or work on my book.”  But then…I couldn’t sleep…I was sincerely bothered by the complete disregard for my talents.  Yes.  I had sick leave but I needed to save it for when I was REALLY sick.  They’d been soliciting help for us to work extra time to help out with this other work in the call center, so I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just help out during regular hours because the work was there to be done.  Well, I am my mother’s child…and when something is not right in my world or there’s some great injustice that needs to be undone, I write a letter.  I write to the party involved and copy to everyone in the line of authority above this person who needs to see that I have a complaint.  Maybe that’s not the proper way, but it gets answers.  I was up at 3 am writing this letter.  Sure enough…my phone was ringing off the hook the next morning…with apologies and explanations as to why the decision was made.  Then it was the “I didn’t know you could…blah blah blah”..or the “Sure..we can work that out..”  All of this could have been avoided if folks would just be levelheaded and not get so caught up in titles to think that just because they’re in charge, they know what’s best for all involved.  I don’t like to be a troublemaker, but what makes sense…makes sense…and I’m glad the powers that be understood that FINALLY…because later in the year…I really did need my sick time…because I started having to visit a trillion doctors to get my diabetes care on track…had I used sick leave all of those days…which ended up being 6 weeks of voice rest, I would have had a problem when it came time to see about a more pressing issue.

I’ve gained and lost weight this year…but I finally managed to get my mind right which is the biggest challenge of any wellness program.

I’m grateful though, because not only am I getting my physical self in order, I think I’ve made grate strides with regards to my emotional and mental health.  I’ve learned to accept me…love me…and care about me…I’m learning how to stand up for myself, not hold things in and really really, enjoy this old life of mine.  Breaking the Shell is an experience…an on going process…but it is certainly one that has been life changing.  Super exciting!

I know I have a looooooooooooong way to go with being healthy, but I’m pushing on…I shall persevere!  Here’s to a great year in health!

cheers

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…yeah…mmm hmm…

So…since it was too cold to walk outside this morning…and I haven’t exercised in a few days, I knew I needed to do SOMETHING…so I looked at my Pinterest boards and found a quick work out that was simple…called Starting Ten.  Here it is:

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Seems simple enough.  It was…but lawdy…it’s a good quick way to get your heart rate up.  but here’s my problem…I’m still faily large even though I’m 70 pounds down from my heaviest and 47 pounds down since May…(well..technically September because I’d gained and lost…)…ANYWHO…jumping is something that is a challenge.  I’m delighted to say that even though I jumped and heard my thighs, stomach and buttocks applaud, I did it anyway.  I hate that sound.  I hate it with a passion.  It’s the same sound I hear when I run.  I’ll keep doing it though, because eventually, the only clapping will be from my hands applauding myself for not giving up and continuing my healthy lifestyle.

Doing this through the holiday season is so hard because I’ve always just allowed myself to overindulge just like everyone else and say I’ll start again at the new year.  This year it’s different though.  Now…don’t get me wrong…I will have cake!  I’m just going to be very mindful of my portions and will also keep finding workouts that are indoor friendly even if I have to hear my body clap as I do them.  The main thing is…I’m not quitting…

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…there’s no God?

So…there’s no God?

So…yesterday, I woke up feeling horrid. My stomach and head were both not cooperating with my wellness plan. I snoozed twice but finally forced myself out of bed to get my walking done for the day. I was completely exhausted, achy and nauseous. I wanted nothing more than to stay in my bed under the covers. I finally beat my flesh and got out of bed. I walked my usual route and when I got to the ten minute mark, I was delighted to find that my speed was about four minutes faster than normal and I had walked farther in that 10 minutes than I usually do. Considering how I felt, I was very surprised. Then, I felt what I thought was a raindrop. I looked up at the sky and saw the clearest sky and the beautiful scattering of stars. Oh my wow! The sky was absolutely beautiful at 5:45 am. I was able to make out the big dipper and was suddenly overwhelmed with awe. In that moment I could feel God’s awesomeness. I wondered how people say there is no God. Something like that happened just by chance?! Uh…no…I don’t think so! I was close to my turn around point and when I walked back my the same area less than three minutes later, the same part of the sky was now cloud covered. At that moment, I was thankful God let me see a little bit of His awesomeness just minutes before. After that, I felt like I was being carried. I made my distance in record time this morning. My app that I use to track my walking gave me a sticker or badge or whatever that said, “flying”. I was laughing because I sure felt like it. I can’t describe it. I mean, I knew I was walking because…well..that’s what I set out to do! Aside from that, I could feel my legs working. It was truly amazing.

So, I will continue to worship the Lord with my body because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. That’s what He says about me. It’s in His word! How special is that?

This leads me to thinking about India.Arie’s God is Real.  It’s quite thought provoking.  I love it.  You should listen to it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxZ2KBXDEcM

So the next time you’re out and you think there’s rain coming, just look up. You’ll be amazed at the wonders around you.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Why did Forrest run?

So…Why did Forrest run?

One of my favorite actors is Tom Hanks.  I can watch him in absolutely anything.  My favorite movie of his is Forrest Gump.  You know the story…Forrest is distraught of Jenny’s disappearance…and he jumps up off the porch and starts running.  Later, when Forrest is being interviewed, they ask why is he running.  Surely, he’s running across the country from coast to coast, he must be running for a cause.  Forrest’s reason for running was, “I just felt like running.”  Simple.  That was all.  He just felt like it.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get you started.  You suddenly feel like it.  That’s not to say that you can’t do something when you don’t feel like it, but sometimes, there’s just no defining moment or super motivation to do something other than just wanting to.  That’s where I am with this exercise thing.  I’m glad…because for awhile there…I was stuck on I HAVE to…which made getting up out of bed each morning to exercise such a daunting task.

Funny though, I didn’t realize that it had become, “I just felt like…” until a week or so ago, I went to go wake my work out partner so we could go to the gym…and she was VERY sleepy…ordinarily, I would have used that as an excuse to not go and go back to bed.  That day though, I surprised myself.  I said to her, “alright..if you don’t get up, I’m going without you!”  For a quick minute, I wondered who had said that…lol…but she got up anyway.  I’m glad that I felt that way.  It changed the way my workouts went.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying walking outside…I’ve taken to the hilly path to the shopping center across the street.  It’s been an interesting walking time.  Now, I have to say, if I want to go to Burger King, we can go if we walk, because I walked up there this morning.  I didn’t go to buy anything, but I was out gettin’ my exercise on!  Over the past month, my walking time has increased from 20 minutes to 50 minutes!  That’s exciting because I’m burning more calories!  OH YEAH!

It’s funny…when I walk sometimes, people encourage me on.  I hear strangers say things like, “That’s right girl!”  or “You go girl!”  I’ve even heard people say, “I’m so proud of you…keep it up.”  It helps.  It makes me feel good…then I get ticked of a little…not because they are cheering me on, but because at that moment, it seems as if they assume I’m ready to quit.  No.  I’m working hard…that sweat? Yeah, I’m tired…but I’m pressing on.  I don’t REALLY get mad, but it’s just a fleeting thought.  I usually just smile and wave.  Sometimes, people say things like, “I should be out there with you…”  I always encourage them and say, “Come on!”  One lady wanted me to wait on her while she went and got her shoes.  I told her I’d catch her on may way back.  She wanted me to come knock on her door each morning when I walked.  My thoughts on that was if I give you the time I’m going to walk, why not just be ready and come on and walk.   Anyway, this is my journey not anyone else’s.  I don’t mind having people walk with me but I can’t let someone else’s lack of motivation deter me.

So…I journey on.  I just felt like running.  (well..not running..but you know..walking…)

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata