Thursday, May 26, 2016

OMG! The Cravings Are Back!

I'm so glad to be home! Today was one of the most difficult craving days I've had in a long time. My son and I were out and about. As part of our new routine we ate before leaving the house. Until now it's been a tremendous help. I guess it could still be a tremendous help, it's just not feeling like a tremendous help right now.

Seems like everywhere we went there were rows and rows of fast food places. I can't avoid these places for the rest of my life. I really realized that today. The first part of the day was okay. Food did capture my attention, but I could redirect my thoughts fairly easy. Later in the evening proved to be something more arduous. Every fast food restaurant stood out as if flagging me down, excited to see me, willing me to enter their driveways. Vivid visions of fast food decadence flitted across my mind. I could almost smell the temptation. At one point I reached over to put my signal on to get over and make a stop. I had to tell myself, "NO! Just one more stop before dinner." I'd already planned to purchase dinner from one of our favorite spots as well deserved treat.

The very last stop was the grocery store. We practically ran through the store...picture that. Good thing I had my list. Today might have been the first time I actually followed my list to the letter. No time for extras...must get food and go home. I literally tossed the bags into the back seat, motioned for my son to park the cart and hopped in the car. With my hands gripping the steering wheel as if my life depended on it...and in a way it did...I focused all my energy on getting to the place I had in mind to purchase dinner and go straight home. The visions of various fast foods still dancing around my mind. I was determined to do what I'd set out to do.

Why the hell does it take so much effort to do right?

We made it home with groceries and dinner in tow. I did pretty good I think. Though not totally unscathed, I did shamelessly order an extra large fry and a cheerwine float with my dinner. Damn!

Onward and Upward...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Learning to Celebrate My Body

Hey everybody! How are you doing? I'm not feeling so good today. Just a bit under the weather and a little tired of the rain. We've been getting more rain than usual this season or at least if seams that way. Feeling a little glum, but not diving into depression or anything like that. What I need are a few sun filled days and mild temps.

I hope you've had a good week so far. My week as has been. Busy for the most part. I've been searching YouTube for more exercise videos. Some of them are okay. Most are what we've already seen and there are some pretty good gems out there like Jack La Lanne and Jane Fonda.

Sometimes I get a little depressed when looking for exercise videos. Last week was one of those weeks. I wanted to find a series of videos for beginners, something done from a standing position preferably. I still love doing my chair exercises. I just hoped to find something equally as gentle on the joints from a standing position. I also want to share videos that celebrate all body types and sizes. I did find a few videos, but the titles were so derogatory that I dare not post them. I hate seeing titles like "Exercise for Morbidly Obese" or "Beginner Exercises for Overweight People." Why can't it just be Beginner exercises and show people of all shapes and sizes doing the exercises. Okay...okay...if we lived in a perfect world.

Last week I started sharing belly dancing videos because it's something I find interesting and would love to learn  how to do. I also thought these types of videos would be fun to share. The first belly dance video was a tutorial on warm-ups. This week I found a 10 minute instructional video on hip movement that I fell in love with. The woman dancing is a plus sized beauty. She's so confident in her skin. I want to be as confident in my own skin. This weekend I want to begin learning how to really celebrate my body at the size I am at right now. Maybe this will help me cope with the summertime shedding of layers and having to become more comfortable being out and about more.

This weeks video is  a Belly Dance Tutorial : *HIP MOVEMENTS*   Please remember to do the warm up video from last week before beginning this weeks tutorial. The two videos combined give you approximately 20 minutes of movement. Belly Dance Warm Up Exercises and Drills 

Enjoy!!! Onward and Upward!

Friday, May 13, 2016

It's Friday Again! Woot Woot!

Wow! These weeks are going by fast. When is the official first day of Summer? How's your weather. It's been in the 80s here. Good walking weather.

This week has been very busy. Lots of new projects and a rigorous schedule. I'm glad to say that I've been doing well with my eating. I've have not starved myself nor have I binged. I did have a close call one night this week. I wanted very much to go out late night to get some ice cream. Fortunately I was able to work my way out of the craving. I had to eat another small snack (a non sweet snack), but it was satisfying, so I did not scan the kitchen for more treat.  Not many treats floating around my kitchen these days. Unless you want to count bananas, fruit cups and the occasional ice cream bar which for some odd reason doesn't trigger me to binge like a half gallon does. Not sure why. Also, I've been sure to keep lots of tuna and chicken for quick salad wraps for on the go and snacks. My son's enjoying having wraps to go.

I've been exercising, but have not taken any more walks. My son did have a neurology appointment at the children's hospital today. I walked pretty briskly to my surprise and felt really good during and afterward. That being said, I wish I could commit to working out twice a day as I said I would do. I don't have any excuses. I can make the time and when I do, I still enjoy my regular late night workout. All in all, I feel like I'm doing well. Perhaps I'll try working out twice a day for one day per week to start. That may be where the walking comes in. Well see...

I'm still working on my ability to be out and about without feeling self conscious now that it's warmer. Can I tell you how tempted I've been to wear a light jacket if  only I could get away with it in 80 degree weather. All I need is to go out in a jacket and have a hot flash on top of that. Not happening. Anyway. I've been going through my closet looking for long flowing shirts to go with my newest obsession...leggings. I realize that I'll never be satisfied with the length of my shirts, so I'm going to make a point to get to my local remnant store to purchase some fabric and needles for my sewing machine. I'm going to design my own look. That's right! To celebrate my graduation from oversized, ratty jeans to leggings. Some of the leggings are a larger size so they'll be a little lose, but some I've purchased in the right size and they really fit. Those are the ones I'm most conscious about wearing long shirts with. Still not quite used to  my clothes actually being the right size.

Anyway, on to the exercise portion of the evening. So far we've had stretching, walking, mild cardio, dance and yoga videos. Let's see if we can do something a little different this week. I'm still doing the walking and yoga videos, but I'm always up for something new.

I'm thinking that I will make it a point to get up a little earlier so my son and I can go to the track one morning while temps are still pretty cool. Hmmm. I know of a track near by, I need to check if they allow entry when school is not in session. At least I won't feel totally exposed on the track as I would walking around my neighborhood.

I'll give you an update on the track next week.

Meanwhile on with the video...

For this week I'd like to do something different. So lets begin learning how to belly dance! I've heard over the years that belly dancing is a good exercise. I'm all for learning a new dance. I don't dance that much so this should be something fun.

Since this is something new, I'm going to start out with a proper warm up for belly dancing. No matter what kind of exercise we do there should always start with a warm up and end with a cool down. Remember to have a drink of water before you start and keep some near by if you need a sip during your workout.

I feel a little inspired to get something jingly to wear around my hips. I'll look for something while out next week or I could go real cheap and tie my keys to a scarf. LOL

Okay, I'm ready to shimmy...

Belly Dance Warm Up Exercises and Drills - Enjoy!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Highs and Lows

For the past few weeks even up until yesterday I have been on an emotional high. Everyday filled with promise and every evening marked the end of a very productive and successful day. Today I'm on a low. I woke up this way. I'm feeling uneasy and filled with self doubt, even regret for some of the projects I started last week. I pulled myself out of bed and begrudgingly went on with my day. What I really wanted to do was crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. I probably would have if I didn't have my son to look after.

I've been doing so well for the past few months. Damn! I want to keep the good going, but I'm starting to numb out. I wonder what triggered it this time. Well, good news...I'm not going to starve myself today and there's not much in my pantry to trigger or contribute to a binge. Depending on how strong the pull, I may dig deep to find that one self soothing tidbit. I already have my night snack ready. I feel a little better just knowing what it's going to be. I am so glad I don't have any of my old favorite snacks lying around. I even got rid of the stuff that was in the freezer for fear that I would thaw it all out in a desperate moment.

This feeling comes and it goes. I think this is the longest I've been okay since starting the recovery process. Typically I don't like to talk about it and that's why I haven't talked about it, but I guess I need to get it off my chest and out of my head. I've worked so hard to face my emotions, wanting to be brave and standing firm until I crumble into a quivering mess. I've been good about pulling it together and keeping it together most days. I'm having to remind myself that the peace I felt is real and I know it will come back.

I really have this feeling. It's like fighting some sort of gravitational pull. That proverbial tug at my shirt tail just as I start to take flight. There's that throbbing fear of freedom as in becomes ever more present in my life.

The only thing I can think of is my fear of losing weight, exposing myself to attention that I'm not able to handle well. It's also the anniversary of the time shortly after my mom's passing. I was left to take care of my dad who took great pleasure in inflicting emotional pain as much as possible every chance he got. My mom was no longer around and he needed to have a victim. Okay...enough of that.

I feel good about what I cooked for dinner tonight. It wasn't much. I have a little left over jambalaya, so I thought I'd make a few salmon cakes to go with it. I'm cutting diary out of my son's diet because it seems to irritate his gut. So I made my salmon cakes gluten free and dairy free. This is a first. I'm an egg baby and have always put egg in fritters, meat cakes, burgers and the like. As a matter of fact, I made burgers last week and didn't use egg or flour. They turned out to be quite delicious and my son's gut did not get irritated.

There is a ray of sunshine in the fog. I know this bad feeling will end as it has a thousand times before. So today has been a little bit of a low. I'm glad I decided to write about it. I'm feeling a little better than I did earlier.

Continuing to fight this fight.  

By the way...I still did my workout Saturday night. My mind tried to talk me out of it because my son and I participated in the walk earlier that day. I made up my mind the night before that I was not going to let anything get in the way of my usual workout routine. I pray my willpower can hold up.

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

To all who have been born.

 To all who have given birth.

 To all who parented.

 To all who have kissed a boo-boo.

 To all who have been a caregiver....

 To all who have become better listener than talkers.

 To all who have willing made sacrifices for someone else and would gladly do it all over again...
Happy Mother's Day!

My Spectacular Day!

Hi Everyone! I wanted to catch you up on the events of the day. As I posted on Friday, my son and I got up early this morning to participate in the NAMI walk which is a walk to raise funds and awareness for mental illness and available services. There was a great turnout and fantastic energy from everyone. The walk was 2.2 miles and for those who wanted to do a 3K run was also a 1.5 mile route that they could run twice. I opted to walk the 1.5 mile route.

Well, you know that I've been exercising more regularly now than I ever have. Today, I found out just how out of shape I really am. I went into the walk feeling pretty gung ho about it all. I didn't expect to spring through the walk, but I surely did not think that I would struggle the way I did at the end...okay...midway to the end. It was sheer determination and lots of prayers that got me to the walk to begin with let alone completing it. My son on the other hand, just about skipped the full way through. He loves to walk. I should be a good mama and walk with him more often. My neighborhood is great for walking. We don't have real sidewalks, but my neighborhood has very little traffic. It's built kind of like a labyrinth so it has a maze affect and it's quiet. I love my neighborhood. I will make a special effort to walk around the neighborhood with  my son at least once or twice a start, as long as the temperatures stay mild.

I've been enjoying the videos, but the videos, especially the walking ones do not even begin to compare to taking a real walk. I see why walking is the best way to exercise. It's the best low impact workout you can do. I'm still going to do my indoor workouts, but I think adding outdoor walking is a must. We'll see how it goes.

After we finished the walk, I decided to continue pushing on and running a few errands that we did not get to do earlier in the week. Some of these errands required more walking...oh joy. I admit, when we got to Walmart I was so tempted to get one of those scooters, but I grabbed a basket in stead, just to have something to hold onto while I made my way through the store. I'm surprised I could feel my legs given how tired I was. Oh, I forgot to mention that I didn't get winded during the walk. My breathing and heart rate were great, but my body felt otherwise.     

One more thing, despite how tired we were we still went to the Art Center for the No Shame Theater event this evening. I was so excited. Sad to say, after a couple weeks of practice, I still did horribly. I don't feel so bad about doing poorly with the acting as I feel bad about the audience not getting the full experience of a beautifully written monologue. At one point I decided this would be the first and last stage experience in my genera of experiences, but an hour or so later I decided I would get back that stage time and time again until I conquer my fears. The old me would have left the as soon as my performance ended, never to return. I tell yah, this transformation thing is most interesting...very strange to embrace so many new experiences and not care if they go well or not. I mean, to totally expose myself and be okay with it. That's the most brilliant part of this whole thing, especially since I've spent the better part of my life hiding.

Oh! Another one more thing...I carried water, fruit and snacks for this morning's event and I purchased a rotisserie chicken while shopping that we had for lunch and dinner with a few other cooked items. I did not use our busy schedule as an excuse to settle for junk food today. Woot! Woot!

In my opinion, today has been a day of triumphs. I have accomplish things that I would never have tried to accomplish in the past. I was able to make healthy eating choices for both me and my son. I'm so very happy he was with me to share in all the wonderful experiences today. It has truly been a spectacular day!

Onward and Upward! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mindful Movement Part 2

How is everyone doing today? I hope you enjoyed last weeks video which was an introduction to chair yoga. I really enjoyed it. I found a series of videos that start off with a 10 or 15 minute beginner practice and goes up to a complete 40 minute beginner practice. This week I'd like to share the 15 minute practice. What I like most about these types of videos is the encouragement to be mindful of my body and how movement makes my body feel. That is the purpose of me sharing these wonderful videos with you on Fridays. To encourage mindful movement and hopefully help to develop a love of healthy positive movement in all of us.

This week has been a week of firsts for me. I find myself doing things that I would have only thought about in the past. Things like being more forward with disabilities advocacy and really working towards making a difference for disabled people in my community. I've also branched out and wrote a monologue which I am planning on performing at a local Art Center tomorrow. In addition to that I'm actually planning for my son and I to participate in a walk tomorrow. NAMI a local advocacy group for individuals having mental illness and intellectual disabilities. The walk is tomorrow morning and will be 2.2 miles. I can't tell you the last time I've walked a mile or even just around my neighborhood.

I can't explain it, but there's something wonderful occurring and I'm not sure why it's happening. I'm just happy that it is happening. I imagine part of these wonderful desires for change are because I am becoming more mindful about how I spend my time and utilized my energy. I have a greater desire to do things that are not only healthy for my body and mind, but also inspirational and meaningful to me and my son.

I'm here with tears in my eyes as I realize that I am finally learning how to live. It's an amazing realization to know that all these years I've been in my pain and have not known true life and living. I'm so very happy to be at this point and I hope and pray for all of us to feel life, embrace life and live life in it's fullness being even more mindful and thoughtful of ourselves and each other.

So let us continue the journey together. This weeks we continue with mindful movement. I may post one or two more videos from this series in the coming weeks. Let me know if you like these videos or if you would rather I post some other kind of exercise. Onward and Upward!

Mindful Chair Yoga: A Playful Practice (20 min)