Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Getting Started

So I've been thinking a lot about the changes I want to make as well as the ones I've started.  Obviously with any change you need goals.  I think my major goals at this point are the following:  to continue to improve my relationships with the people I love, especially my children; to build healthy habits through a combination of diet, exercise, and stress reduction; to continue to learn more about myself; to gain meaningful employment; and to make care of myself a priority.

What have I done so far?  Well, first and foremost I've started walking more.  Today I was able to walk at a pretty good clip for about ten minutes.  Considering a year ago I could hardly walk the dog, I'm so excited that my body is working better.  Not only was I able to walk at a good speed, I chose to go on a walk because I WANTED to.  I wanted some fresh air and to spend some time with the dog, and I did. Very proud of myself, indeed.  In addition, I've started to make some changes in how I shop for groceries, and the meals I plan as well.  I bought organic produce this week.  I read labels and tried to seriously limit foods with a lot of processed ingredients.  I went to buy a diet fruit drink and when I saw the mile long list of ingredients, I put it back.  In my mind, as of now, it's pretty much chemical water.

This isn't to say that my cart was filled only with fresh, wholesome food.  Nor was it only filled with crap.  The things I wanted, I bought, but hopefully made more educated, informed decisions.  For example, I bought a carton of ice cream.  After considering my options, I went with Breyer's all natural vanilla.  It's an oldie but goodie in my book, but most of all, the ingredient list was this:  milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla.  I recognize sugar is not ideal, but I managed to avoid a whole bunch of preservatives and additives that I would have otherwise eaten.

So far things are going well.  I've started leaving food on my plate when I'm satisfied.  I'm trying to eat more fruits and veggies, which then leaves me less likely to be hungry later.  Apples, berries, bananas and mandarin oranges have all been hits this week.  Tonight dinner will be salmon, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.  Not only is it full of my favorites, it's 100% unprocessed.  I'm loving the opportunity to spoil myself a bit with healthier foods that I love.  Prior to this past week, I would have considered the salmon to be a luxury and probably would have passed on it completely, opting instead for the tilapia I also picked up.  Instead, we're eating salmon this week and tilapia next week.  And I'm very content with that!  I'm considering making another berry run tomorrow.  Yes, instead of visiting the store to pick up candy or a cupcake, I'm contemplating berries.  Yum!

In the words of Dr. Phil, I want to get excited about my life.  I want every day to be an adventure, not just food wise or exercise wise, but in every way.  I want to spend more time doing things with my friends and family, more times contributing to the world in general.  That idea makes me very happy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Beginning

I'm not sure when exactly I lost myself.  I think over time, being a mom and professional, I put my children, family, and job ahead of myself for a long time.  With both of my kids being teens now, I have more time to myself and it's time to focus inward.  I've struggled both physically and emotionally quite a bit in the last five years.  I'm coming to the realization that I need to make some changes in my life in lots of areas.  God has given me one life and I need to experience it more than I am currently.  I can't bank these days—I can't get them back once they're gone.  It suddenly occurred to me the other day that rediscovering who I am—spiritually, emotionally, physically—could be a fun, albeit ambitious—undertaking.  So why not make it an adventure?

I know I'm a good person.  I love my family, have good morals, and am generally nice all around (I think, anyway!).  But I want to get back on track for a healthier me.  I've started therapy to help me handle the emotional side of things and release a lot of the stress I've been under.  Part of the purpose of this blog is to help me stay on track and have a place to clarify my thoughts.  Emotionally, I want to move into a happier place.  I want to feel more emotionally stable.  I want to heal.

Physically, I want to take better care of myself, both in appearance as well as internally.  One of my goals is to get better control of my diabetes.  I really want stable blood sugar levels.  That will help tremendously regarding my energy and overall feeling of health.  Fatigue has been a big problem for me lately and I do believe part of that is due to my blood sugar being elevated.  That, in combination with fibromyalgia and depression, has worn me out quite a bit.

A huge realization for me has been that I have to lose weight if I'm ever going to be able to heal my body to some extent, and to live my life...the life I want to live.  I want to be able to work again.  I want to travel.  I want to experience all that life has to offer, to be cliche!  Fatigue has held me back for quite a while and I'm ready to move forward.

I actually credit all of this sudden awareness to God.  I found myself starting to go to church again in the last two months.  Interestingly enough, the more I've gone the more I feel comforted and enjoy going.  I joined the choir and have gone to two practices so far.  I look forward to it and am starting to feel more connected to God.  That brings about a true peace in my soul.  There is something about the rituals of the church that feels so comforting.  I love my God and know he is holding me through this process.  I want to continue to grow in His light and spread His love through action.  I can't do that when I check out of engaging in my life due to pain, fatigue, or illness.

So onto goals that I want to work on.  Long term goals include:  getting to a healthier weight, better manage my diagnoses, continue to build healthy relationships with my family members and my family unit, and grow my faith.

This week, I want to focus on eating less processed food.  I am going to try to limit my dairy intake as well.  Buying organic when I can, I'm going to look for overall healthier food choices.  Specifically, for this week, I am going to focus on eating real food as much as possible, to walk twice a day (the point being to move), and start reading the book When Christians Get It Wrong.  I am also going to keep a food journal so that I can start figuring out which foods seem to help how I feel.  I am going to leave the house to do SOMETHING every day, even if it's just a short trip somewhere.  I also am going to start Game Night on Thursdays with my daughter, so I know we are spending quality time together at least once a week.

So that's where I'm starting.  I think it will be interesting to find out more about myself!  I want to see what I can do spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually.  I want to grow.